Tales of the Cocktail 2023 Tips for All Headed to New Orleans to Vitalize

It’s time for Tales of the Cocktail 2023 with the theme VITALIZE! As the global industry is about to descend on the Big Easy, we asked our industry friends, peers and colleagues in the Thirsty Industry Discussion Group to give their pro-tips, seasoned advice and words of wisdom to first-timers. The group more than delivered and there are some true gems that both Tales newbies and veterans can benefit from.

Let’s all be super prepared, healthy, happy, good to each other and LET’S VITALIZE & CELEBRATE community!

Keep on reading and see you all in New Orleans for the return of Tales of the Cocktail.


Kicking it off with our pro-tips from our Thirsty Co-Founder & CEO and this year’s Tales Catalyst, Tara Fougner

  • Be prepared for oppressive disrespectful heat & humidity – prepare your wardrobe accordingly
  • Drink water every chance you get because you will be sweating profusely – dehydration is real – bring a reusable water bottle, hook it to a carabineer and fill it up every chance you get
  • Have a buddy system with your crew or make a plan to ensure you and everyone in your group gets back safely at the end of the night / early morning
  • The old dip & dive unannounced exit is a solid move so you don’t have to say goodbye to a ton of people BUT make sure at least one trusted person knows that you are leaving, where you are going, ensures you have safe transport back to your spot and tracks your location (WhatsApp location services are clutch) – and check in with them when you are safely tucked in for bed
  • Be social and introduce yourself to people, exchange IG / social handles, take photos / selfies, post from events and tag people – you got yourself there, so get yourself out there and make the most of new and IRL connections
  • RSVP to events properly and with respect – do your best to not add stress to your friends / event organizers with last minute requests or calls outside the door
  • Attend seminars – if one you are interested in is sold out, find out if it is live or delayed streamed or if wait list is possible.
    • If you enjoyed the Panelists at a seminar – TELL THEM and thank them for their time, energy & labor because these people are sharing their knowledge for very little financial compensation – so gratitude & recognition will certainly be appreciated
  • If you see something, SAY SOMETHING! We need to look out for one another and cannot rely on police or security to protect us – we need to protect each other. Bystander training is readily available and free – resources available in this group
  • Eat local, eat often – support local BIPOC, Women & LGBTQIA+ Owned whenever you get the chance
  • Remember you most certainly can and should feel comfortable say NO to drinking alcohol. Also, do not feel obligated to accept, drink or finish any beverage.
  • Other side of that – RESPECT if someone says NO to drinking alcohol
  • If you are hoping to market yourself and get your name out there, stay camera ready for big events
  • Make sure you have at the ready & easily accessible if something happens to you and you are not able to communicate and share – health insurance, medical conditions and emergency contact information.
  • Be prepared to have your flight delayed or cancelled and if you have the ability, help someone who might end up stranded by airlines – this year is looking likely for LOTS travel hiccups
  • Remember you are a GUEST in someone else’s home – support & be respectful of all the locals and the city of New Orleans!
    • Pack shoes that you won’t be upset trashing at the end of the festival
    • Pack a poncho & small umbrella because rain is 100% in the forecast and do not expect to find ponchos at local stores, they will likely be sold out
    • Keep with you external chargers & cords to bring with you expecting to be out for an entire day to night without going back to your room to charge
    • Bring Liquid IV, Pedialyte, Emergen C, Vitamins – don’t expect local shops to have this

If you’ve got more tips – please join in the thread on Facebook so we can update this and help each other stay ready and safe for Tales of the Cocktail 2023. – CLICK HERE FOR THE THREAD


Thank you to everyone who gave their time and wisdom from the group!

  • Be pitch and business card ready
  • I bring a lot of on-the-go freshen up tools. Some deodorant wipes, chafing stick, moleskin patches for blisters, mini sunscreen, individual makeup wipes, tinted moisture balm, and some powder dry shampoo. Put it all in a mini backpack instead of a purse, so great to have extra space for swag or a lite packabl jackets and duh a reusable water bottle too!
  • You never know who is within earshot; speak positively.
  • Try to never walk alone at night and definitely not wasted and alone—this applies to all genders
  • Do not climb onto stupid things or do anything that unnecessarily involves the police.
  • Get out of the French Quarter when possible and check out some of the great local comedy and eclectic music scenes while you’re there.
  • Bring water with you. There will be dispensers in the building, but there are fewer than you’d expect. Have your own bottle on-hand. Also, BRING SNACKS.
  • Cleo’s is on Canal, open 24 hours, and sells amazing Mediterranean food and doesn’t sell alcohol. You need Cleo’s.
  • See some art
  • Don’t touch the police horse. EVER!
  • If you go to jail on a Thursday, you’re there until Monday.
  • Write to EVERYONE that you get cards from the week AFTER to thank you for their time. It makes a massive difference and will open up doors that you don’t even know exist yet.
  • COVID-19 still exists – get tested before and after!
  • Keep emergency numbers easily available to you both digital and in print- Have the numbers of medical assistance, police, cab, hotel and close friends in the city written down a piece of paper in your pocket or bag just in case you lose your phone or it gets stolen.
  • If you see any of the Tales CAPS, buy them a drink/coffee/water/give them a high 5, tell them they’re doing a great job even if you don’t know them. It’s a tough old week and those things stick with you!
  • Put a cool reusable cup in your bag and avoid all the plastic cups.

Tales Tips from thirsty Group

  • You never know who is within earshot of you. Don’t talk sh*t openly.
  • Look at ppl when you talk to them, don’t scan the room behind them.
  • If you’re wearing platforms of any kind, make sure they don’t get slippery when wet. It’s better to be well rested than to make every party. Bring heartburn pills.
  • Pack a suitcase/tote inside a suitcase to carry home any bottles you obtain, swag and yes, those dirty clothes that you keep separate from your others. Also, pack bubble wrap for any breakables.
  • Have some sort of a buddy system & share your location with a trusted friend
  • You don’t have to finish every drink
  • See water, drink water
  • Carry Liquid IV on you for water in C
  • Megababe Thigh Rescue
  • Set up Pin usage on Uber. See A
  • Wake up, drink water/electrolytes, don’t drink alcohol until you pee for the second time
  • Keep snacks in your room for late night eats
  • It’s a marathon not a sprint. You don’t have to do everything. Enjoy quality time with people you don’t see often
  • Be patient with everyone; say thank you often

Packing Tips from thirsty Group

  • External chargers, poncho, waterproof closed toe shoes, nice bags.
  • Pack hydration packets
  • Easy comfy outfits
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Swimsuit under my clothing
  • plastic bags for packing shoes/wet clothes
  • cooling towel, flip flops, extra undies, ponytail holders/clips, thigh chafing stick
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Pack a small duffle inside your main bag so you have a second bag to pack all the swag in that you collect throughout the week
  • Eye drops, and any other facial-refresher you got
  • Bring an umbrella
  • Don’t forget bathing suits!

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