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Q & A with Sid Patel, Founder of the ABID Conference in New York City

Sid Patel, founder of ABID Conference discusses what Importers and Distributors can expect in the ABID Conference going to held in New York


In May 2018, New York City will be the home of a major new event, the Alcohol Beverage Importers & Distributors (ABID) Conference, which is aimed to be the NO #1 educational and networking program for small and medium wine, beer and spirits importers and distributors of USA.

The organizer of the event is the Beverage Trade Network (BTN), which has hosted highly-acclaimed events for the alcohol beverage industry all over the world, from Australia to London to San Francisco.

We recently sat down with Sid Patel, CEO of the Beverage Trade Network (image on the left), to discuss what to expect in New York City next spring.

Can you give us a little background on why you’ve decided to launch the ABID Conference?

Sid Patel:  The mission of the ABID conference is to provide actionable insights to wine, beer and spirits importers, and distributors of the American market.

What we’ve seen is that larger distributors are either buying out smaller rivals or figuring out ways to create mini-divisions to win the battle for retail shelf space. That makes it increasingly difficult for small- and medium-sized importers and distributors to gain traction in the market.

As a result, these small- and medium-sized businesses are turning to us for real, actionable advice on how they can grow their bottom line and stay ahead of the innovation curve.

At a time when direct-to-consumer online platforms are also gaining in popularity, that also dramatically changes the competitive landscape. So you can think of   ABID event in New York as a platform for these small and medium importers and distributors to understand the changes taking place in the industry and to adjust with the new reality and find new ways to grow and develop their business.

Why did you decide to launch in New York?

Sid Patel: Well, first and foremost, New York City is one of the most important cities in the global alcohol beverage industry. Many of the major U.S. importers and distributors have offices or locations there, and if you think about the enormous energy and buzz created by the city’s restaurant and bar scene, you can understand why so many trends start in New York first and then spread to the rest of the country.

Plus, we’ve already established a track record for hosting industry events in New York City. NYC also brings the factor of convenience where all major airports of US inner cities are connected. Outside state distributors can fly in and out at convenience.

What can participants expect at the 2018 ABID Conference?

Sid Patel: Our primary goal is to make sure that participants learn how to grow their import or distribution business. We’ve lined up a great panel of speakers, and we’re going to make it very easy for participants to meet and interact with these speakers. Not only will they learn first-hand from presentations, but also they will have the opportunity to build new relationships and meet new industry contacts.

We really envision the event as a place where importers and distributors can network with fellow professionals within the industry. So we’re working on some really creative ideas to make that happen. We want to encourage all of the face-to-face connections that can lead to new relationships. People will be able to share stores, gather ideas and meet up with people they might already know, but have never actually met in person.

The theme of the event is importers and distributors should walk away with actionable insights from the conference that they will apply.

Who is the target audience for this event?

Sid Patel: The Alcohol Beverage Importers & Distributors Conference has been designed specifically to serve the needs to small and medium-sized wine, beer and spirits importers and distributors within the U.S.

Who are some of the speakers that you’ve lined up for the event?

Sid Patel:  Some of our speakers include Stephen Fahy, Senior Buyer at The Wine Library; Evan Daly, Field Sales Manager of the Allied Beverage Group; Sharyn Kervyn, Wine Director of The Capital Grille; and Alyssa Wolf, the owner of Red Wolf Imports, Matthew Johnson from Opici Wines, Debbie Lane from Testa Wines,  Bill Sciambi from Verity Wine Partners. You can see full list of speakers here.

These are importers and distributors who run their business and have done it before and are still doing it and growing their business.

What should people do if they want to attend ABID 2018?

Sid Patel: Right now, we’re offering what we call “Super Early Bird” pricing that will be effective through December 31. This is a great opportunity to sign up for the event at the lowest possible rate. Seats are limited and we do encourage importers and distributors to book asap and secure a ticket at lowest pricing.

The Alcohol Beverage Importers & Distributors Conference is a two-day event for small and medium-sized wine, beer and spirits importers and distributors within the United States. To learn more or to sign up to attend, please visit:

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