Creative Cocktails, QR Codes and Conferences.

August 3, 2011

Let’s face it, events often include and count on adult beverages to add to some of the “wow factor” that attendees seek and planners hope to achieve. While it may not always be “PC” to focus on alcohol as a form of entertainment, creative cocktails can certainly add an interesting dynamic to any event.  Last week while I was attending MPI WEC in Orlando, Florida, I witnessed some truly engaging uses of cocktails and wanted to share them with you.

Disney and QR Codes

QR codes are all the rage these days, but I rarely see them being used effectively.  At WEC,  Disney hosted the welcome reception at EPCOT.  One of the first things that I noticed when I walked into the first exhibit was that waiters were passing beautifully-colored custom cocktails.  Standing on top of each bar was a simple tent card with QR codes that linked to the recipes for the drink-of-day.  I loved this idea because it was simple, yet useful. If you are wondering what was in those magical drinks,  here is the link that the QR codes led to: Disney also shared a link to the full menu for the evening and that can be found here:

Pure Blitz!

The other event that I really enjoyed was Blitz! which was a combination of a cocktail reception and a trade show. This wasn’t just some wine and cheese mingled in with vendor booths. This was truly an experience with unique snacks and specialty drinks.  It allowed attendees the chance to visit with vendors while sampling visually-pleasing  martinis and margaritas.

Aquatini anyone?

I ran into my friend Jorge Hernandez who works for Posadas, a family of hotel chain in Latin America. When I saw Jorge, he told me that I needed to stop by his booth because “they were serving Aquatinis.” What I didn’t realize what that it would be Jorge, draped in an apron, handing out the blue beverages which share a name with one of my favorite hotels, Live Aqua in Cancun. When I walked by the booth I was able to sample the blue liquid while chatting with a representative from the organization. Talk about a conversation starter!  [If you want to recreate an Aquatini at home, the ingredients are Tequila, Peach Schnapps, Ginger Ale and Blue Curacao. Mix at our own risk.]

Posadas wasn’t the only property to offer a taste of what is offered at their hotel. The Cosmoplitan Hotel is Las Vegas was giving out their signature drink, Cosmo’s Cosmos.  While they had professional bartenders making the drinks, they had a rep from the hotel nearby chatting up people while they were in line.  I have to tell you that this was THE BEST drink that I have ever tasted. I especially liked that recipe cards for the cocktail were handed out so that I could shake one up at home and share it with you.

Okay, so there was nothing ground breaking here. The world wasn’t changed. But what did happen was that Disney made GOOD use of a new technology, Jorge found a fun way to meet new planners and conference-goers got a REAL TASTE of The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas.  Sometimes it’s the simplest things that have the biggest impact.

What’s the most unique and engaging integration of cocktails that you have seen at an event?