Dear TOCC Ticket Holders,
We can hardly believe that after over eight months of hard work, TOCC is nearly upon us. We are so excited for the conference and hope you are too! Everything has been going swimmingly so it was only natural that we had to hit a bump in the road! This week the Drake experienced a big flood in the Underground which is one of the seminar rooms for TOCC. As a result, we have been told that this room is not usable for the conference.
Luckily, our neighbours at The Gladstone Hotel have a room that can accomodate us so we will be using their Ballroom as a seminar room. The Gladstone is a five minute walk West of the Drake straight along Queen Street West. With this location change, we have made some amendments to the schedule. All seminar dates and timings are the same but some locations have changed.
Along with that news, we wanted to make note of a couple of things:
All ticket holders must come to the Registration table located in the North Lounge of the Drake Hotel to pick up their wristband. ID will be required for this and we have compiled the guest list based on the tickets you purchased or the names that you gave us. If someone other than you is using the ticket that you bought, we need to know the name of that person ASAP. You must have this wristband to partake in any TOCC events (and yes, we will be checking!).
Registration starts on Monday from noon until 5pm. We HIGHLY recommend you coming by on this afternoon to get your wristband and to avoid the line ups on Tuesday. PLUS: the first 100 people to come in to get their wristband get that sweet Swag Bag (thanks Cocktail Emporium!). The TOCC Marketplace will also be happening on Monday afternoon so you will have the opportunity to shop from local vendors and meet some authors. Pretty cool if you ask us! TOCC merch will also be available for purchase at the Registration table – just a FYI, we have pretty limited quantities of everything so get them while you can!
Monday night TOCC kicks off with the Bartender Atlas Cocktail Competition! Bartenders from Toronto, Nova Scotia, Saskatoon and Detroit are taking part – and they have no idea just what they signed up for! It’s going to be a fun night.
If you cannot make it on Monday, we hope to see you on Tuesday when the seminars start rolling! Registration opens at 9am and the first seminar begins at 10:30am. We are opening with a live taping of Bartender At Large in the South Lounge at that time. This will be the only seminar at this time so we suggest coming early to get a seat in that room!
Otherwise, we really hope that you take time to look at the SCHEDULE to see all of the seminars that are happening! We have aimed them at all levels of bartending and at many aspects of the industry. We also want to remind you that all seminars are subject to capacity so if there is one that you really want to see, be sure to get there early. On the breaks in between the seminars there will be a bunch of tastings and activations taking place throughout the Drake so make sure that you get to visit all of them!
On Wednesday afternoon, Ashtin Berry is doing the Gatekeepers Workshop that is taking place at the Gladstone Hotel. This is an extra ticketed event that we HIGHLY recommend taking part in. In this age, everything that this woman teaches is necessary for everyone. There are still a few tickets left for this workshop and they are available HERE.
Finally, we are super excited about our TOCC MENTORING PROGRAM. You can read more about it HERE. We think that it is such a wonderful opportunity to sit with an industry leader one-on-one. Sign up for Tuesday’s mentoring is taking place on Monday. Sign up for Wednesday’s mentoring is taking place on Tuesday. You MUST be in person to sign up for a session and, again, this program is first come first serve.
Overall, our goal is to create a friendly and welcoming cocktail conference. Please be respectful of the spaces we are occupying and of our volunteers and Drake staff working long hours to help make TOCC run smoothly. Let’s be respectful of the speakers and of every ticket holder, many of whom are traveling great distances to be here. We want TOCC to be all about community and we can only do that with the help of all of you.
We are so excited for TOCC and cannot wait to see you all there. Thank you for being a part of this adventure with us!
Jess, Josh, Jon & Gord