At the World Tea Expo this weekend, there was a competition to create the best cocktail containing tea.
The 13 contestants, finalists chosen through online voting, prepared their drinks live onstage. One of the main rules of the competition was, "Recipes must be applicable in the marketplace, meaning recipes must be able to be realistically prepared and served in a foodservice establishment (tea room, restaurant, bar, etc.)."
Each contestant had two minutes to prepare the drink, and then was interviewed about their concoction before the final judging. Out of 13 contestants, only one was prepared to talk about her drink as it applied to the marketplace.
I found this rather shocking, as this competition was about showcasing not only a special drink, but promoting the contestants' businesses! Every contestant was either a tea company or a retailer. Either way, the winner ends up with features in Food and Beverage magazine and Imbibe magazine, as well as being published in an upcoming book. It was the perfect opportunity to pitch the drink, their product, and describe how it would fit into a tea room, restaurant or bar.
When the Hale Tea Company contestant started talking about her drink, the audience sat up and paid attention. She had a convincing pitch about her cocktail and its marketability that wowed the crowd.
Unfortunately, she didn't win, but I guarantee that the audience members (many of whom are her target market) will remember her product, her drink and her pitch long after the Tea Expo ends.
Don't ever let any opportunity to speak pass you by without making the most of it. Remember, no opportunity is too small for you to shine and to be memorable.
Now I'm off to try out some tea cocktail recipes!