Last night (Nov 20th, 2013), I had the opportunity to talk as part of the first Indy Beer News "Indy Beer Talks" panel. Thankfully, Bill Jimmerson picked market saturation as the topic which was convenient since I recently researched the topic and wrote a post on it. I wanted to share a few quick thoughts on the experience.
1) The venue worked well. We were in the north end of the city market and there was plenty of room for people to hang out before and after. Tom Tap had a solid lineup going (Happy Anniversary today) which made it easier to calm some nerves. Aside from the brief interruption of some guys starting overnight construction work a little early, I thought the venue was great.
2) The panel was awesome. We got to hear from Clay Robinson, the Co-founder of Sun King, and Clay Robinson, the president of the Brewers of Indiana Guild. Jon Lang stepped in on the key issues and some of the strategies Triton has employed. Also, Chris Sikitch shared some insight on Sunday sales in the legislature and that his dad lives near Munster (Hello, new Three Floyds hook-up).
3) It is really hard to be on a panel and make eye contact with the audience. I found myself looking at the moderator, Bill, or at the table in front of me unless I was sharing part of a story with someone specific.
4) I'm glad I printed off the statistics that I wanted to share. I had them on my phone and made a Last-minute decision to print them in case something happened with my phone. It was easier to read off paper.
5) With a single exception, we had a respectful audience that was receptive. It was really cool to see the a number of breweries that are in the planning stages and watch them nod with a couple of the points that were being made. But, seriously, don't heckle a panel of people that aren't really being that controversial.
I will update the post when Bill publishes the podcast, but I wanted to get some thoughts out based on the experience. Thanks to everyone that came out to support the panel and, especially Bill for inviting me to speak.
If you weren't able to attend, keep downloading Bill's "Indy Beer News" podcasts, published every Wednesday on iTunes, and stay tuned for the next one.