Coffee Fest Show is the first client Ilanded for Chalkboarder, a companyI founded early in 2009, that provides social media strategies andother services. The following is an Open Letter to members of theSpecialty Coffee Association of America, distributed by Chalkboarder onbehalf of our valued client, Coffee Fest. Jeffrey J Kingman, CEO,Chalkboarder

Open Letter to SCAA Members from Coffee FestFounder

Dear SCAA member,

Hopefully you recognize the name, Coffee Fest, the specialty coffee industry’s top retail trade show, consistently providing retailers with relevant information and newproducts tohone their business skills and up their bottom line.

I am writing to you today to ask you to consider the decisions the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) is making in servicing you and the specialty coffeeindustry
across America as a whole.
management of SCAA is vigorously negotiating with the city of Seattle to
produce the SCAA annual convention for six out of eight years in Seattle
beginning in 2014.

We support the SCAA on the many good things they do for the industry and we have worked closely with them for all our years in business. Wenever have and never will encroach on the region in which they producetheir
annual show.
If the SCAA came to Seattle once every 5 years, wewould have
no concerns. Coffee Fest has been
produced in Seattle on an annual basis since 1992, for nineteen years.While Coffee
certainly doesn’t own Seattle, we do object to the SCAA’s planto all
but permanently locate here and expect that given the details and facts,you
may object too.

Do you want to have the SCAA annual convention in the same city for six out of eight years?

· If you are not a northwest business you probably will object.

· If you are a northwest business that exhibits at SCAA you most likely will object.

Why object?

· The SCAA show is actually a very regional event with 58 percent of the US
attendees at the just completed SCAA annual convention in Anaheim
coming from California
(based on SCAA attendee list).

· With the SCAA having six shows in eight years and Coffee Fest having its biggest
annual show in Seattle you now have 14 coffee shows in one city in eight

· For six in eight years you will only be able to see the same attendees at the SCAA convention that you routinely see at Coffee Fest.

· If the SCAA’s intent is to save the association money due to free use of the Washington State Convention Center, wemaintain
that with the inevitable reduction in exhibitor and attendeeparticipation (14
shows in one city in eight years) that the SCAA may not be saving moneyafter

· If the SCAA also loses membership dues, this revenue reduction must be taken into account.

Does this seem like a good plan to you?

We believe that the SCAA locating in Seattle for a minimum of six shows in eight years will irreparably harm Coffee Fest.

Our event brings a dimension of the business that the SCAA simply does not. We bring mostly retailers (coffee shops, drive through,restaurants, hotel food and beverage, fast food establishments, grocerystores,
etc.) and the exhibitors write orders. We also educate the businesseswith
classes in subjects that the SCAA does not cover.

So if like us you find issue with this decision, we ask you to make your voice heard.

If you don’t mind 14 coffee shows in the same city in eight years and you don’t mind that Coffee Fest may disappear as a result then we thank you for listening.

If you do mind, please contact the SCAA. A list of contacts is listed below for your convenience.

Thank you for your consideration,


Alan Silverman


Coffee Fest


Go to the SCAA web site, click on Board of Directors, click on e-mail link of the director nearest your business

Ric Rhinehart, Executive Director

Peter Giuliano, Pres - NC, Tim O’Connor, VP.CA- Shawn Hamilton, Sec’y,CA

Willem J. Boot, Director,CA - Marty Curtis,Director,AR - Al Liu,Director,WA,

Paul Thornton,Director,OR -Ellen Rogers,Director,MA - Mike Ebert,Past Pres.WI

Andi Trindle,Director,CA-Ellen Rogers,Director,MA – Nathalie Gabbay,Director,CA

Max Quirin,VP,SA

FAQ Sheet

The SCAA provides support for much of the coffee industry, they set standards throughout the world, and we have always strongly supportedthem.

Coffee Fest caters to the retail trade with affordable and flexible admissions, opportunities to development business relationships, freeseminars, relevant classes, and regional shows that bring Coffee Fest close to you.
We are proud of our track record helping the specialty coffee businessto grow
and thrive. We know our exhibitors and attendees value what we offer,and we
are continuously asking for how we can improve to best help yourbusiness.

We have provided space for their Barista Competition at all our shows; we have exhibited at every SCAA show, have always been a member andhave never scheduled a Coffee Fest show in the same region as the SCAAin the
same year.


The industry cannot afford to attend two shows annually in Seattle for six years.

The industry will have to choose which show to attend, if SCAA meets in Seattle.

Regardless of which show the industry chooses to attend, the other will be hurt.

This is not good for the industry.

For more information, please call me at (425) 295-3300 ext 131 or email me at

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