Everyone has their own personal interpretation of what the fall season means to them. For many, it marks the start of a new season of their favorite TV shows as well as some highly anticipated new ones. For others, it might be an opportunity to enjoy some fun fall activities like pumpkin picking, hayrides, haunted houses or corn mazes. But for many in the beverage industry, fall is an opportunity to visit the numerous trade shows that are taking place during this crisp season.

Some of you might be fresh off of attending the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) annual show, which was Oct. 7-10 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. In addition to its educational sessions, keynote speakers and expo show floor, the annual event continued its Cool New Products section, which also allowed attendees to preview online some of the products that were featured at this year’s show.

October also plays host to the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) Annual Convention. This year’s event marks the convention’s 75th anniversary and will take place Oct. 14-17 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego. Celebrating the last 75 years, the convention will feature more than 20 educational seminars including a discussion with brewery industry leaders such as Sam Calagione, president of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery; Luiz Edmond, president of Anheuser-Busch North America; Bill Hackett, president of Crown Imports LLC; Tom Long, president of MillerCoors LLC; and Dolf van den Brink, president and chief executive officer of Heineken USA.

And don’t forget about InterBev 2012. Now owned and operated by NürnbergMesse, the biennial event will take place Oct. 16-18 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas. Attendees can check out InterBev Live!  where industry experts will give presentations about the newest products and innovations in the beverage industry. The show also will feature 175 exhibitors.

You also can finish up the month of October by attending Pack Expo International 2012, Oct. 28-31, at McCormick Place in Chicago.  For four full days, patrons can visit the 1,800-plus suppliers that are showcasing state-of-the-art materials, machinery and methodology assisting in packaging and processing.

This year’s event also will include the introduction of The Beverage Cooler Lounge, sponsored by the International Society of Beverage Technologists (ISBT). The Beverage Cooler Lounge also will feature an opportunity for attendees to vote for Beverage Industry’s Best Packages of 2012. Visitors will get a chance to cast their vote for the Top 5 packages from a field of 10. The final five will appear in Beverage Industry’s December edition.

And after leaving The Beverage Cooler Lounge, visitors can stay in the loop with the launch of The Beverage Connected Community, an online forum where the beverage industry can connect and continue the experience outside of the show floor.

With so much going on in October, it’s sure to be a busy month for those in the beverage business.

Jessica Jacobsen