Brewers Association

Case Study
Brewers Association Logo

The Client

How ATS helped Chris Williams and the Brewers Association eliminate long lines and turn a complicated badge print process into an efficient badge production system

“Amazing improvement over what we’ve been doing.”

The Brewer’s Association is a Trade association that promotes and protects nearly 8,000 small and independent craft brewers in the US.

The BA holds three annual events for beer lovers. Homebrewers Association is an annual education and tradeshow event for hobbyist brewers. Craft Brewers Conference is one of the largest beer industry tradeshows in the world that hosts 10,000-15,000 attendees at its tradeshow for independent craft brewers. And the Great American Beer Festival is an annual 4-Day festival that features anywhere from 600 to 900 small craft brewers at the public festival with 45,000 – 60,000 attendees joining a show floor with 3,000 different beers offered.

Chris Williams is the Senior Event Manager at the Brewers Association. Chris is responsible for event registration, attendee/sponsor communications, exhibit hall management, and most importantly, beer tasting.

The Problem

Before the transition to ATS Print on Demand, the Brewers Association would spend days before each event pre-printing, organizing, and stuffing badges into holders. As their events began to grow by 1,000 to 2,000 attendees each year, they decided they needed a better process. “It was a nightmare to get this all organized.” In addition to the exponential growth each year, the amount of individual attendee recognition and other event access needs increased as did their event registration logic. The task of migrating to a print on demand system seemed impossible.

  • Due to sifting through thousands of envelopes, attendees would stand in line for nearly an hour to retrieve their badges or make any changes.
  • Chris’ team was limited to what they could do with badges and ticketing to additional events, as it was a completely manual process both pre-show and onsite.

The Solution

ATS created a customized print on demand system that fully integrated with the Brewers Association online registration system. In the first year working with ATS, the print on demand system included custom components that helped the Brewers Association account for complex logic that had evolved in their organization over many years. The ATS print on demand system allowed for customization of the badges for all 3 of the Brewers Association annual events given each event has unique credentialing needs.

“We have a lot of weird problems with our data and the ATS team always finds a solution!”

Amazing improvement over what we’ve been doing.

The Result

“Printing badges pre-show and onsite used to be a grueling experience. With Print on Demand, seeing a difference in the line movement and how fluid it is…that’s really how we can see the success.”

The ATS Print on Demand solution allowed the Brewers Association staff to go from what was a grueling experience of having to pre-print thousands of badges, manually managing complex logic to having the time to handle all of the important last-minute tasks that arise days before an event and to keep up with the massive growth of their events. When ATS came on board in 2014, the Brewers Association flagship B2B event, Craft Brewers Conference, had a few thousand attendees and grew exponentially year after year to over 12,000 annually. With the help of the ATS team, managing this growth was effortless.

With a decrease in wait time in the registration line, while having an increase in attendance numbers, making the switch to Print on Demand was a massive hit among the attendees. “With Print on Demand, the line for registration was knocked down from nearly an hour to maybe 10 minutes for really long lines.” By getting them through the lines quicker, they were able to spend more time attending conference sessions & visiting the expo.”

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