The Independent Brewers Association has announced today it is making “the difficult decision” to cancel Good Beer Week 2022 and postpone this year’s BrewCon until August 2023.
In a statement the IBA’s CEO Kylie Lethbridge said the decision was made due to continued uncertainty in the events industry brought on by the pandemic but that their flagship awards The Indies will still proceed.
In 2020 and 2021 the IBA was forced to cancel its expo and trade show BrewCon due to COVID-19 and its associated restrictions, but during a small window in May 2021 the last Good Beer Week was able to proceed without much hindrance.
This year’s Good Beer Week was due to take place in Melbourne from May 20 to 28 while BrewCon was meant to be staged in Queensland in August/September.
The IBA statement in full:
Many in the conference and events industry here at home and overseas are still very much affected by the pandemic and it is for that reason that we have made the difficult decision to reposition our annual calendar of events activities to ensure we are able to deliver maximum benefit to our members.
This means we will be cancelling Good Beer Week 2022 and will be rescheduling BrewCon to August 2023.
We have not made this decision lightly but given the current uncertainty we feel it is prudent to make the call early. This also helps conserve our limited resources, and enables the Association to adapt to another year of disruption. The resources will be redirected into new, smaller activities that will give us more flexibility to engage with our members while still providing direct benefits.
While this may be disappointing news for some, we can’t help but be a little excited about the alternate plans we have in place and services we will be offering our 535 members some of which are outlined below and discussed in more detail by Richard and I in this video.
- Launching our 10 year Roadmap recently developed by KPMG and push to have it adopted by government as the guiding policy for indie beer.
- Working intensively with our Project Groups, State Chapter Leads and partners to prioritise and deliver key actions outlined in the 10 year plan, This includes shared technology platforms/systems, group buying power, technical guides, sales tools, HR and legal services, sustainability programs, guidelines for navigating regulatory obligations, funding and business models etc.
- Introducing state/regional networking lunches and a rolling schedule of Mash Ups. If we can’t come together as an industry we will bring the IBA to our members.
- Implementing the Indies Awards Review which will address some of the challenges we experienced in 2021. The Indies Awards 2022 is the one key event we will retain.
- Implementing a new partnership program that provides greater and more curated benefit for our industry partners.
- Launching our new HR toolkit and commence work on an industry Diversity Plan
- Expanding our current efforts in the education and training space with the ultimate aim of finding national alignment/solutions to address the skills shortage of brewers.
- Continue and expand the state/territory/regional based activities.
- Focus our efforts on working with other beer event organisers to introduce the Indie Seal and experiences where possible(masterclasses, competitions).
- Launch our national consumer direct Indie Seal awareness campaign and build ‘the indie story’ on our consumer channels.
- Ramp up our cooperative partnerships with the trade.
- We will also push on with the work in progress eg. improvements/alignment of CDS schemes, working with FSANZ on the codesign process for the proposed energy labelling, responding to state licensing, planning and regulation reviews and advocacy efforts in the lead up to state and federal elections.
It’s not all doom and gloom. We feel that by implementing this change, we are not only responding to what you need from the Association, but we are evolving the IBA to the next level in terms of delivering on industry needs.
We have all been extraordinarily resilient over the last two years and managed to celebrate some significant wins together and it is our sincere hope that the indie community supports our decision and are as positive about the future as we are.
Plus, we can assure you when we do get together in Queensland for BrewCon 2023 that it will be bigger and better than ever.
For further information or discussion please feel free to reach out to any of your Board Directors or to me at Kylie.Lethbridge@iba.org.au.