world tea expo, 2016, penton, wte
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LEAP INTO WORLD TEA EXPO by Gail Gastelu, The Tea House Times

Monday, February 29th 2016 @ 11:06 AM

Oh, hey! It’s Leap Day! And today, Feb 29, is the last day for early-bird rates to attend the ever-wonderful 2016 World Tea Expo (trade only). Leap on over to their website and register today.  If you’d like a little insight from my point of view, read on…

As you may know, I have been closely involved with World Tea Expo since inception. The Tea House Times is a proud media sponsor and exhibitor and I have been a frequent presenter, creator of the inaugural World Tea Awards, and longtime advisory board member (although I’ve moved on from that, for now; because of other personal commitments, speaking engagements across the country with other shows, and my recent appointment to the Tea Association of the USA’s STI Advisory Board, plus my work on the new #DrinkTea Campaign for Tea Council of the USA). There’s only so much this girl can do!! It’s all great fun, though. I love, love, love the tea industry and everyone who is involved in it, yes tea people, coffee people, hotels and restaurants too.

Each year, I receive emails and phone calls from my customers and industry colleagues asking me what’s new, what they should do, and what is best or next for their business this year? They ask because they know I am smack dab in the middle of this information hub and important/special relationships with all industry/tea related shows, activities, news, information, and more. Do I mind? Heck no! When you call or email to ask, it is not an inconvenience at all….I love what I do and connecting people through every aspect of tea, thrills me.  So, let’s get on it already.  Here are some questions I have received over and over again, so I will share these and my answers to them, first.

This is my personal/business blog, remember, and here I will be completely honest with you, as always.


- What do you think of World Tea Expo’s new ownership?

If you are unaware, yes, World Tea Expo is under new ownership again, since October 2015. “Penton is an innovative information services company that empowers nearly 20 million business decision makers in markets that drive more than 12 trillion dollars in purchases each year.” (Quoted description taken from a recent press release.)

While they are experts in many markets, in our tea industry channels you likely know them best for Delicious Living, Natural Products Expo, Restaurant Hospitality, Restaurant News, or Supermarket News for example. “Headquartered in New York, Penton is privately owned by MidOcean Partners and Wasserstein & Co., LP.” 

I actually know some of the investors/partners personally and many people in my family are directly involved with the natural products industry.  So, I have known about Penton (particularly Natural Products Expo) for a long time and am fairly certain Penton will bring World Tea Expo to reach new heights.


- How do you think the show will be this year?
Let’s experience it together this year, and we shall see!  This vibrant and passionate tea community will continue to thrive and with Penton’s help, certainly grow into new markets as well.


- What classes should I take?

New to tea, entirely? Tea Business Boot Camp, just prior to the show, is a must along with the World Origin Tasting Tour (Click here for recent press release from WTE on this). Also look for some more basic, starting seminars, 101 types of things. If you have time from there, look for topics that speak to what’s trending (which I recommend for everyone).

Experienced business or long time attendee? I’m told you all love to see the regulars but also like to mix things up and meet someone new. You will find a great mix of speakers well-known to the industry in general and a few others, who are perhaps coming along now because of Penton’s involvement with a broader market view, look for that.

Experienced with knowledge but not know-how? Look for Skill Building Workshops, learn some new skills and pass them on to your staff when your return.

Besides tea knowledge, how about business success? Look for Working with the Media: Learn from Top Tea Editors - Thursday, June 16, 2016: 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM (Session Number:  212) - - This is a media panel led by World Tea Expo’s press liaison, Aaron Kiel.  I will be a part of this panel but not all panelists are finalized nor listed yet at their website.  “You’ll hear directly from a panel of top editors and industry writers, learn about their media outlet and the types of stories they like to cover." "They’ll give insights on how to best approach them and pitch stories. You’ll learn bad PR (mistakes to avoid) and good PR (the right way to build a relationship with an editor, journalist or blogger).” – There is much more to it – Find a full description here. I’ve already heard from a lot of people who want to attend this session, so be sure to register soon. I look forward to seeing you there!


Find more topics and highlights of the show by reading
Penton’s World Tea Expo
recent press release here.


- Are you aware of any special events I should plan for? Be on the lookout for things happening in, on, and around the show floor. This can very easily be missed. Comb through the show guide when you arrive and set alarms on your smartphone for everything you want to attend (trust me, there will be a lot of things to juggle, you need to!) – Set alarms for any classes you signed up and paid for as well, it is easy to get busy or sidetracked and forget. As I write this, Special Events are not yet showing on their website, but you will begin to see things listed as we approach the show date. Watch the tab that says Special Events (it shows up under Attendee Resources).  Watch for World Tea Awards and if you intend to go to the dinner, do not delay in purchasing tickets, it fills up quickly. (Usually formal too, so get shopping for that gown or tuxedo!) – What else? Look for tea tastings within the general conference selections too.


- Do you think my company should exhibit at this show? Keep in mind this is a wholesale/trade only event. World Tea Expo is not open to the public and you are not selling right off your table. I mention this because not all newcomers are aware. All orders are taken for post-show delivery. Merchandise is not permitted to be sold on the show floor. Is your business a tea brand or are you a supplier of tea? Yes, exhibit. Do you have something related to tea or its enjoyment? Yes, my goodness, yes. We need to see more of these things back at this show. Tea is enjoyed in many ways and tea lovers will purchase all types of brewing/straining/service options and any type of related giftware too.


- What’s new with The Tea House Times and when can I meet with you? There’s so much new with us since exhibiting at World Tea Expo last year. If you look for The Tea House Times on the Show Floor Virtual Booth online listing right now, you can see more of what’s new with us, the publication’s redesign, new partnerships, announcements, show specials and more. Look for The Tea House Times in booth 719 on the show floor map and click on it for more information (find it here). Our Tea Bureau will be in 721. If you need a meeting with me that will take more than five or ten minutes, please email to request. Otherwise, pop on by for a visit at any time during show hours. If I am not in the booth, ask Sue to phone me. : )


Happy Leap Day!! – Don’t forget, today is the last day for early bird pricing at


For the Love of Tea. . .



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GAIL GASTELU is Publisher of The Tea House Times, Producer of continuing education and online tea etiquette certification. She is also producer and presenter of Tea Course Fast Track and produces numerous other products and services to connect businesses and consumers to everything tea. Gail lives in NJ with her husband and two children. Her motto is "Just Do It!"  Learn more about Gail's work here. Contact Gail via email here.

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