Tales of the Cocktail Tips for All Headed Down to New Orleans

Tales of the Cocktail 2022 marks the return of the first IRL in-personal festival in New Orleans since 2019 and the start of the pandemic.  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.

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

  • Drink water every chance you get because you will be sweating profusely – dehydration is real
  • 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 (Irish Exit as they call it) is a solid move so you don’t have to say goodbye to a ton of people BUT make sure at least one person knows you are leaving, where you are going, ensures you have safe transport back to your spot and tracks your location – and check in with them when you are safely tucked in
  • Pack shoes that you won’t be upset trashing at the end of the festival, Pack or buy a poncho because rain is nearly inevitable, pack external chargers & cords to bring with you, Pack knowing that it will feel like 100+ degrees and 200+% humidity
  • 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. If you enjoyed the Panelists – TELL THEM and thank them for their time, energy & labor because these people are doing this for very little financial compensation – so gratitude & recognition is awesome
  • 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
  • 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!

Comments from the Thirsty Group

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.
  • Bring proof of Vaccination OR valid negative COVID-19 PCR test (within 72 hours); or negative Rapid test (within 24 hours)– Per Tales of the Cocktail requirements for Tales 2022, in order to get your wrist band, you will need to have one of these 3 things. If you were not vaccinated for whatever reason, get tested often!
  • Write numbers down. Have the numbers of medical, 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.

If you’ve got more tips – please join in the thread so we can update this and help each other stay ready and safe for Tales of the Cocktail 2022. – CLICK HERE FOR THE THREAD

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