Saturday, June 2003 - Steve Aronson
The last-minute madness that envelops Britt the week before Costa Rica’s largest tourism trade show, Expotur, was at its frenetic height this year, as our tourism, sales and special-event staff rallied to ensure our CoffeeTour coffee and new products were well-promoted.
The May 24-30 show drew tour promoters from all over the world to chat with local sellers and learn about new offerings. The event’s 230 stands and carnival-like energy overwhelmed the Herradura Conference Center and is, arguably, the country’s best chance to ensure that Costa Rica’s tourism industry holds onto its coveted position as the country’s number-one income generator.
Britt has actively participated in every edition of Expotur since 1991. During that time we’ve watched the trade show grow as the world awakened to Costa Rica’s incredible biodiversity and how much fun it can be.
We injected some extra energy this year into our traditional CoffeeTour stand and coffee giveaways by setting up eight free-sample coffee stations around the show floor. As a result virtually every hotel stand in the show had one of our logo-bearing thermoses, which we kept filled with fresh brew.
Two of our on-staff actors donned their familiar campesino garb and carried out spontaneous promotional skits throughout the conference center. The charisma of these two professionals turned heads and provoked smiles all along the way.
This edition of Expotur also gave us a big chance to promote two promising new products: Our "sabores de Costa Rica - Flavors of Costa Rica" evening fiesta and the new videoconference capacity of our on-site Dionisio Echeverria Theater.
"Flavors" remains true to Café Britt’s practice of promoting Costa Rica and coffee through informational, creative entertainment. The two-hour evening, which takes place at our roastery, is a sensorial and culinary encounter with the rainforest and living cultures of the Central Valley, the Caribbean port city of Limón and the northwest province of Guanacaste.
Our actors lead the group through our working coffee plantation for chilling encounters with characters from some of Costa Rica’s most famous legends. Guests can take the entire "journey" or wander the grounds freely, sampling a little or all of the evenings offerings.
Our creative director Eduardo Mosheim spent months writing a script that educates as it entertains, bringing the "Flavors" characters alive with folksy dialog and humor.
The evening culminates in the theater with a screening of Opera Natura, a masterful 30-minute production featuring the amazing flora and fauna of Costa Rica’s rainforests.
Café Britt teamed up with two award-winning local artists - filmmaker Roberto Miranda and composer Carlos Castro - to create this film. Castro’s musical score is a variation of the composition that recently earned him the 2002 National Music Prize, his second.
Shown in "surround sound," Opera Natura envelops viewers in the rainforest from the comfort of their upholstered theater chairs - or living rooms, if they opt to take home the film’s incredible DVD version, for sale in our factory and airport stores.
The comfort and acoustics of our state-of-the-art theater recently became more versatile with the arrival of our first fiber-optic link. The link will make the theater an ideal spot for videoconferences and other multi-media-intensive special events.
We expect that these facilities, just steps away from our cozy, open-air Don Prospero Restaurant and ample gardens will become an irresistible combination for groups seeking a special ambience for their meetings or events. We’ll keep you posted.