Coffee Tradeshow Donates $200K to Louisiana Businesses and Workers
NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center recently hosted the Specialty Coffee Association’s Specialty Coffee Expo, which attracts exhibitors and attendees from around the world.
“Our city has endured a lot of challenges over the past 19 months and bringing events like this back to New Orleans is extremely beneficial to our economic recovery,” said Michael J. Sawaya, Convention Center president. “Specialty Coffee Association has been a wonderful partner, and we are extremely grateful for their efforts at persevering through various challenges to keep this year’s event safe and sustainable. Conducting an event on this scale is complicated even under normal circumstances.”
Not only has SCA remained committed to hosting their meeting in New Orleans, but they are also donating $205,000, which is half of all attendee revenue, to Louisiana coffee businesses and hourly coffee workers in New Orleans and surrounding parishes who were impacted by Hurricane Ida. SCA is partnering with GoFundBean and Louisiana Hospitality Foundation to distribute these funds.
“We at the Specialty Coffee Association were thrilled to bring North America’s largest coffee event to the beautiful city of New Orleans. After more than a year apart, specialty coffee buyers and sellers gathered once again at Expo to connect and do business,” said Yannis Apostolopoulos, CEO of the Specialty Coffee Association. “New Orleans has a long history as a coffee city and a vibrant specialty coffee community today; it was important for us to be able to return and support the local community by donating half of our attendee revenue.”
Through this four-day event, NOENMCC was able to implement new sustainability programs in partnership with Schmelly’s Dirt Farm. Attendees were encouraged to put their coffee grounds, compostable cups, food and more in compost and recycling bins across the facilities. SCA also worked with New Orleans & Company to donate leftover supplies like milk and furniture to Caribbean Carnival/Friends of Culture, Son of a Saint, and the New Orleans Mission. Leftover glassware was sent to Tulane University for use in their glass blowing program.
COVID-19 protocol was enforced throughout the event to ensure that attendees could safely meet, and exhibitors could showcase their most innovative products and services. All attendees, including those who were fully vaccinated, were required to present a negative PCR COVID-19 test valid within 72 hours of badge pick up to enter the venue. NOENMCC also provided rapid testing options onsite and followed all local and state COVID-19 guidelines.
“Successfully hosting a group like SCA is the result of years of relationship-building with the client and a seamless partnership between New Orleans & Company and the Morial Convention Center,” said Stephen Perry, president and CEO of New Orleans & Company, the official sales and marketing organization for New Orleans’ tourism industry. “When a convention comes to New Orleans, there is broad economic impact that goes far beyond hotels and restaurants. Our friends at SCA contributed even more to New Orleans through direct financial support to their local members/coffee shops, which we deeply appreciate.”
For more information on this and other upcoming events at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, visit https://mccno.com/.