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MICE2020: A ticket to the world

From the August 2019 issue.

Early bird tickets to MICE2020 are on sale until 31 October, providing coffee professionals an opportunity to experience one of the world’s most progressive coffee cities and events.

The last time the wider global coffee community gathered in Australia was 2013, when the Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE) held the World Barista Championship (WBC) and World Brewers Cup (WBrC) for the first time. In the six years since, the worldwide coffee industry has grown at a rapid rate, as has MICE and the Melbourne coffee scene. This evolution will be on display when the competition returns to MICE in 2020.

Tickets to MICE2020, taking place from 4 to 7 May, include viewing of the WBC and WBrC. Early bird tickets launched in August and apply until 31 October.

“The official ticket launch is a sign that MICE2020 is well and truly on the horizon. Next year’s event is such a highly anticipated one, so it’s essential that visitors make the most of early bird ticket sales to gain their place at the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest dedicated coffee event, and at the best prices,” says MICE Show Director Lauren Winterbottom.

MICE2020 visitors can make the most of sale opportunities with early bird general tickets of AU$30 (about US$21) for a one-day pass, AU$40 (about US$28) for a two-day pass, and AU$50 (about US$35) for a four-day pass.

“Next year’s event is a four-day extravaganza. For those that plan to book out their entire week and maximise every education opportunity, the four-day pass is the best value to ensure you don’t miss any part of the action – on the expo floor or the comp stage. It’s been seven years since we last hosted the WBC and WBrC, and who knows when it’s going to come back again?” Winterbottom says.

Julia Swanson, Acting CEO of the Melbourne Convention Bureau, says international visitors will gain a unique experience exploring the blend of cultures that make up Melbourne.

“The city is a mixture of the old and the new, where creativity and innovation come together,” Swanson says. “Melbourne is perfect to explore on foot and is easy to navigate. It is certainly a city where you can immerse yourself in all that it has to offer.”

She adds that Melbourne is an ideal city to host the World Coffee Championships. “Baristas here are some of the most innovative and accomplished in the world,” Swanson says. “Seventy per cent of cafés are independently owned, with many roasting their own beans or sourcing from local roasteries.”

While Australians have a reputation for taking their coffee seriously, they’re just as well known for loving to party. As such, MICE Platinum Sponsor St Ali Coffee Roasters will host a series of official parties with events available through the MICE website.

“What better way to celebrate the world coming to Melbourne than to open our shop doors and café laneway to welcome the world’s best barista talent to our coffee city?” Studio Ali Manager Michael Cameron asks. “We want to create a fun atmosphere where they can enjoy their time in Melbourne and make lasting memories.”

St Ali-hosted events include:
• Welcome to Melbourne evening – Sunday 3 May
• Coffee Tasting Menu Dinner – Tuesday 5 May
• Official MICE2020 Afterparty – Thursday 7 May
• Laneway Recovery – Friday 8 May

But St Ali won’t be the only ones throwing parties, with exhibitors such as La Marzocco infamous for their MICE-related celebrations. Melbourne Coffee Week will also run alongside MICE2020, bringing together a wide selection of parties and networking events leading up to and during the expo.

With the countdown to MICE2020 well and truly on, original space allocations have sold out, with limited additional space still available. The event will see a high representation of roasters, manufacturers, traders, and suppliers, including first-time exhibitor Club House. The Italian porcelain cup supplier hopes to use MICE2020 to mark its official Australian debut.

“Club House has been producing high-quality porcelain cups for the coffee industry for more than 25 years and, after reaching the level of eight million pieces per year distributed worldwide, I believed it was now the right time to increase our commitment to the Australian market,” says Carlo Barbi, CEO of Club House.

“In order to offer the most professional approach to any project, we operate all our business directly from our research and development office in Italy, without any middlemen. Given the big distance, MICE2020 will be a once-in-a-year chance for our team to present in person our products to coffee roasters and baristas.”

He adds that, although his decision to exhibit was mainly market-oriented, the presence of the WBC gave him a final push.

“I have taken part in other exhibitions where the WBC or [other World Coffee Championships] were taking place and I have to say, that hosting these events always brings such an excitement,” Barbi says. “It is very hard to not get involved.”

For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.internationalcoffeeexpo.com

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