2018 Next Generation Conference in Austin Spurs New Ideas | NBWA: America's Beer Distributors


aschneider@nbwa.org; (703) 483-1726

Blog| Sep 10, 2018

NBWA’s Sixth Annual Next Generation Success in Leadership Conference in Austin, Texas, which took place from August 5-7, was a smashing success. Hundreds of future business leaders from the NBWA Next Generation Group, which has grown to nearly 500 members, stormed the Texas state capital to network, learn more about the future of the beer industry, and get more involved with NBWA.

Next Generation Group participants were welcomed in true Austin fashion with live music, including a performance by NBWA’s very own Next Gen Jam Band. NBWA President and CEO Craig Purser kicked off the conference with an exciting forecast of the beer distribution business.

“I am truly overwhelmed by the enthusiasm I see from the next generation of America’s beer distributors,” said Purser. “It gives me great confidence in the future of the beer industry, and I’m energized by the spirit in this room. I look forward to taking this palpable love for the future of our industry back to Washington, D.C.”

Purser also thanked this year’s sponsor partners: Fintech, Paragon Beverage Advisors, Judelson, Giordano & Siegel, Precision Distribution Consulting, Inc., VIP, and Wells Fargo.

For the keynote address, attendees heard from an inspirational young leader – award-winning marketing executive Bonin Bough. As one of the youngest C-Suite executives in a Fortune 50 company, Bonin has leveraged technology to spearhead some of the largest marketing campaigns in the world. Next Geners had the opportunity to learn more about the changing consumer landscape through Bonin’s insights into digital, mobile, television, print and experimental marketing strategies for a winning marketing campaign.

Tom Fox, a well-known veteran distributor sales trainer, led attendees in a lesson on the importance of a strong sales approach. He encouraged the group to develop yearly sales and marketing plans, local marketing techniques and new training for sales representatives. Fox provided tips and insights to help distribution owners and operators close more sales and continue to make their businesses stronger. 

Brewers Association Draught Beer Quality Ambassador Matt Meadow spoke to the Next Generation Group about the growing need for a successful draught beer program. As the number of breweries and new products continue to increase, so does the complexity of the draught beer landscape and the demands of consumers, Meadows said.

Former White House Art Director and LGND President Michael Aleo walked attendees through how to assess their company’s social media strategy. He stressed the significance of storytelling through digital channels, drawing from his experience in the White House.

The conference also offered participants a host of breakout sessions focusing on a variety of topics, including state legislative battles, three-tier model relationships and important industry updates.

Rounding out the conference were a few social events featuring live music, games and of course, plenty of beer.

We certainly had a blast and look forward to getting this group of future leaders back together in 2019!

Check out the sites and sounds from the event in this video!