An Event Lager Than Life: Our Takeaways from the Largest Beer Show of the Year

GoSpotCheck by FORM Tradeshow Booth

Trends and Takeaways from the National Beer Wholesaler Association’s Annual Convention and Tradeshow

Every year, The National Beer Wholesalers Association holds its annual convention and tradeshow, which provides an invaluable opportunity for distributors to explore the latest industry trends, the hottest new products, and fresh new technologies and cost-saving products. 

At this year’s showcase, over 200 companies came together to exhibit emerging brands and innovative technologies—including GoSpotCheck by FORM’s game-changing image recognition AI. Attendees had the chance to witness our AI in action on beer shelves, coolers, tap handles, and menus—a beer lover’s dream come true. 

But it wasn’t just about the cutting-edge tech and bold innovation. Our FORM team had a fantastic time in Las Vegas, connecting with partners, raising their glasses to new brands, and soaking up the electrifying atmosphere of the convention. Cheers to that!

We asked our event attendees for their thoughts on the event, and what they’re most looking forward to for the future of the industry.

What was your biggest takeaway from NBWA’s convention?

“The event was great! It was really cool to see the discussions around AI and how implementing it in the industry can streamline tasks for field teams and free them up for more meaningful tasks - an item that we help solve for our clients on a daily basis! It was also exciting to see all of the emerging brands, new ready-to-drink cocktails, and nonalcoholic brands represented as well!”
Steffani Billing
Account Manager
“My biggest takeaway is that the lines between the traditional beer distribution market and the spirits world are getting closer each and every day. RTD (ready-to-drink) cocktail offerings, CBD drinks, and hard seltzers are emerging at a rapid clip and competing for the same shelf and cooler space as beer. This will be a very interesting trend to monitor moving forward as many of the traditional non-alcoholic beverage brands are partnering with spirits companies to add brand recognition to this growing space.”
Kevin Corcoran
Chief Sales Officer

Psst…Want to read about more emerging trends in Beer, Wine, and spirits? Check out our blog.

“My biggest takeaway was all of the networking opportunities I had while walking the tradeshow floor! I was primarily focused on going to each booth, learning about their product, and finding out if there might be an opportunity for GoSpotCheck to help them. The largest trend I noticed was the amount of RTDs coming to market. In addition, there were many energy drinks that are now going for a seltzer approach by adding alcohol. Some of my favorite RTDs were Riki Spirits and the spiked coconut water from 100 Coconuts."
Bill Kailimai
Business Development Representative
“NBWA was a great event! It was awesome speaking with leaders in the beer industry to hear their insights about what areas they might be able to improve in from a technology standpoint, and then demonstrating how FORM's Image Recognition can assist their reps in saving time in the field, increase their sales, and grow market share!"
Keegan Allahyarian
Account Manager

What are you most excited about for the future of GoSpotCheck?

“I'm most excited for the enthusiasm we saw for GoSpotCheck. A number of our valued partners shared the benefits they continue to see with our traditional retail execution solutions and were thrilled to see how easy it was to use image recognition. Many were aware of our cooler and shelf capabilities and were amazed at the insights into the on-premise market with our beer taps and menu capabilities. Today, these activities require labor-intensive manual activities and only provide a subset of the analysis available to better serve their customers. The goal of their teams is to spend more time with decision makers and less time doing manual activities - GoSpotCheck makes this possible.”
Kevin Corcoran
Chief Sales Officer
“Most of the booths at the event were emerging brands so it will be exciting to see how they scale and the ways that GoSpotCheck could help them down the road!”
Bill Kailimai
Business Development Representative

Looking Ahead

Thanks to NBWA for putting on a fantastic event! From captivating tech to eye-opening new brands, the convention left us feeling buzzed with energy and excitement. We’re coming home with invaluable insights into what the future of the industry holds, and how we can be a part of the journey. 

We want to raise a toast to all those who stopped by our booth and shared a moment with us. It was an absolute pleasure connecting with you, and we hope the conversations we had sparked inspiration and opened doors to exciting partnerships. Cheers to all that’s ahead!

Want to learn more about the Image Recognition app we demoed at the convention? Take a look at our resource library for video overviews, AI-generated market reports, interactive product tours, and more.

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