Mind the Gap… Between Expectations and Reality

Ranting is not really my style and has been kept to a minimum on my blog so far, but I’m crying out in disappointment over the popular London Coffee Festival. My experience with the event left much to be desired. As soon I saw the commercial, my brain shouted ‘I must go!’ As I was massively excited at that point, I set the time and money aside, bought the ticket in advance to ensure my place, and showed up to the event on time, like any good girl would do.

And then came the disappointment. Buying a ticket in advance didn’t provide priority entry, in fact it didn’t come with any advantage apart from a slightly lower price. Entry was in order of arrival, the fact I had a pre-purchased ticket and came for a previously chosen time slot didn’t matter. Mind you, the queue was about 300 meters long on Sunday, snaking around the entire block. There was no mention of that on the website or in the confirmation email and, although some delay was expected, the 1,5 hour long queueing is off-putting to say the least, and not being able to make your time slot (or know whether you can still get in if you’re late) was quite frustrating; and all that before you face the masses inside, all cranked up on caffeine.

There are a number of ways the poor organisation of the event could have been improved. Some warning about the long wait and queueing at the gate would have been nice prior the event. It’s only polite not to have people with health issues stand in line for hours. Admittedly this event is as much about the money as the next one, and cramping as many people as possible into the hosting establishment is what brings the money in, yet limiting the number of visitors for each day, extending the time dedicated to the event, choosing a larger venue with multiple entrances, or any combination of the above would probably have solved the issue.

Of all the events I attended recently, this was probably the least rewarding from an organisational perspective. Surely enough, the event is one of a kind and, although the annoyance and the cheap swag makes you question if it’s worth to attend, as the coffee aficionado I am, I’ll probably reconsider my current position and will show up again next year.

Did you attend the event? If so, what was your experience? 
Let me know by leaving a comment below. 

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