Seminar Frequently Asked Questions

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About Tales of the Cocktail Seminars

What is a Seminar at Tales of the Cocktail?

Tale of the Cocktail hosts the world’s most educational seminars for the bartender community. Seminar concepts are submitted and chosen by a panel of more than forty professionals ranging from past presenters, working bartenders and spirits industry professionals from around the world. Tales of the Cocktail is a global, educational event for the bartending community. Seminars should be educational in nature and not a brand presentation. If you have a brand or concept you would like to showcase, we would suggest hosting a Tasting Room or participating in one of our other events.

What is an Educational Seminar?

The Educational Seminars are larger format educational series that includes cocktails and/or tastings for 80-200 attendees. Educational Seminars also include Traditional, Technique, Point/Counterpoint Seminars (Debate style) and #SEDTalks. The Educational Seminars are 90 minutes in length.

What is an Exclusive Tasting Seminar?

The Exclusive Tastings offer attendees an intimate gathering in groups of 20-35 people. Attendees have the opportunity to taste and learn about rare and hard-to-find spirits. The Exclusive Tasting seminars are 90 minutes in length.

What is a Point/Counterpoint Seminar?

An Educational seminar where two competing points of view are debated. You submit it as a regular (Educational) seminar, but make clear it’s a point-counterpoint debate.

What is a #SEDTalk?

A #SED Talk is a presentation of between 12 and 14 minutes long, on a single topic, without any tastings or cocktails served. It’s modeled on the TED talks. Six #SEDTalks are bundled into a single 90-minute slot. You can suggest a single #SEDTalks topic.

Submitting a Seminar

Who can submit a seminar idea?

Anyone with new and relevant material can submit a seminar concept. The person who will moderate the seminar should complete the seminar submission. Please do not have a PR representative or an assistant complete the form that cannot work with us throughout the entire process.

Can former Cocktail Apprentices submit seminar ideas?

Yes, we encourage former Cocktail Apprentices to submit ideas for seminars.

Do I need previous presentation experience?

Prior presentation experience is not necessary, but encouraged.

How long should I take to submit my seminar?

Please set aside an uninterrupted hour to review the application. You do not want to do this on the fly! Submissions are evaluated solely on the quality of the proposal submitted. Make it count!

How do I know what will be asked on the seminar application?

We encourage you to download the application questions to prepare and save your answers prior to submitting. This way you may simply copy and paste your answers into the form when ready and retain a copy in case of broken connections, etc. Tales of the Cocktail is not responsible for any ideas not received by the seminar collection form. You will see a confirmation screen upon successful submission.

Why do I need to submit my recipes and tastings now?

The Cocktail Apprentice (CAP) Leadership team will approve all seminar components prior to being approved. If there are any questions or concerns the CAP team will contact you for further clarification or updates. If we do not have full details of your planned service and execution the committee will have a harder time selecting your seminar.

What if I do not know who will be sponsoring my seminar?

That is no problem! Please note the type of sponsors you will be looking for (based on your detailed recipes) so that we can assist in pairing you with a sponsor. However, we recommend beginning the sponsor conversations before submitting to allow a seamless integration with the content and cocktails.

What happens if I don’t submit a seminar submission completely?

The seminar submission needs to be completed in its entirety or it will be disqualified. Please note that “completely” does not just mean filling in the blanks with basics but also takes into account well developed concepts, which are well presented in terms of description, grammar and even spelling. Not everyone on the selection committee may know your work, so treat the completed seminar application as our first impression of you and give us your best! There are however, no “wrong” answers or specific “types” we are looking for. Honest, natural answers will go much further than ones fabricated or skewed to what you think we are looking for.

Can I submit multiple seminar submissions?

Feel free to submit multiple ideas and concepts, but we will not schedule any one person to participate in more than three (3) seminars during Tales, excluding #SEDTalks.

How can I learn more about the submission process?

If you are new to Tales of the Cocktail® please email with your idea or questions and we can assist you.

Seminar Deadlines

When can I submit a seminar idea?

Seminar ideas may be submitted between September 1st and January 8, 2018.

Will there be any deadline extensions for submissions?

NO, there is no grace period and there will be NO submissions accepted after the January 8, 2018 deadline.

Can I submit my seminar on the day of the deadline?

Yes, there are no consequences to submitting your idea on the day of the deadline. We encourage you to spend the time needed to flush out your idea, secure your panelists, touch base with potential sponsors and more. The deadline to submit your idea is January 8, 2018.

When will I be notified if my seminar is selected?

The presenters committee will review the submissions and we will notify you in early February if your seminar has been selected.

Seminar Selection Criteria

What are you looking for in a Tales of the Cocktail seminar submission?

We are looking for new, original and timely content in your seminar concept submission. If this topic is your usual specialty and you have presented this material at other events and conferences please do not submit it to Tales of the Cocktail.

What are the criteria used to review seminar idea submission?

  • Overall: quality of submission
  • Relevance: to current and enduring industry topics
  • Would a roomful of working bartenders pay their hard-earned money to attend this seminar?
  • Uniqueness: of topic and certainty that proposed content has not been presented at a prior major trade event
  • Completeness: of presentation plan with distinct start and finish with enough potential body to captivate an audience for allotted time. There may be multiple people submitting a similar idea.
  • Reliability: of proposed research and presentation information. Industry experts will vet proposals for accuracy of information. Proposed new material will be reviewed based on presenter background and expertise within the field.
  • Presenter history: All proposals will be considered from both new and experienced presenters
  • Achievability: of being able to present the material proposed within the time, venue, and financial and logistical constraints of the event
  • Proposed sponsorship: Pre commitments for sponsors will be reviewed to ensure a balance between financial support and reasonably unbiased presentation of educational material. Additional sponsors may be suggested to ensure balance as well as adequate financial support. All presenters are expected to be gracious and professional in discussing all products and not to speak unflattering of any brands.
  • General references: are you who you say you are? What’s your history in our industry? Do you conduct yourself responsibly? Are you now or potentially setting a good example of education and graciously evangelizing our industry?

Should my seminar submission have a category?

Seminars can fall into many categories but some common ones which Tales of the Cocktail seeks for a balanced event are:

  • Bar Career
  • Business
  • Cocktails
  • Exclusive Tasting
  • General
  • SEDTalk
  • Spirits
  • Technique

Seminar Presenters

What is a Seminar Moderator?

The person submitting seminar idea is the moderator. This person is the leader that takes charge and responsibility for the panel that he or she organizes, and is the main speaker in a seminar. A moderator will be responsible for coordinating notes and presentations between panelists and the Tales of the Cocktail team. Moderators will be responsible for keeping each seminar ‘honest and timely’ on the day of his/her seminar. They will also be in charge of meeting all the deadlines and communicating all those deadlines to their panelists. Moderators can lose their ability to moderate in subsequent years due to unprofessional conduct, missed deadlines or numerous changes. Moderators can only lead and participate in 3 seminars total.

What is a Panelist?

A panelist is someone who is asked by the moderator to be on the panel of their seminar. Panelists are contributors on the topic, and are not involved or responsible in leading, organizing, or coordinating a seminar. There may only be a maximum of 4 (four) panelists in any given seminar for a total of 5 presenters maximum (including the moderator). Additional panelists must be approved by the Director of Education and Tales of the Cocktail Team.

What is the difference between the Moderator and the Panelist?

The Moderator is in charge of all communications between Tales of the Cocktail and their panelists. They are responsible for meeting all their deadlines and communicating what is expected to the panelists. Moderators receive an Honorarium for leading the seminar. Panelists simply present during the seminar.

Presenter Compensation

Click here to view the Presenter Compensation Guidelines. Once a seminar is accepted that we will outline the incentives or package for the moderator and panelists. If you have questions about compensation please email

What Do I Do After My Seminar is Accepted?

What happens if my seminar is accepted?

At that time, you will be asked to confirm that you accept to presenting your seminar that once again reviews the deadlines and materials needed and details compensation provided by Tales of the Cocktail.

What are the other deadlines involved in leading a seminar?

Since your final seminar information is due upon submission, any edits to your seminar title, description, panelists and cocktails/tastings are due on Friday, March 30, 2018. Moderators and panelists will also need to upload a biography and photo to the Tales Ticketing Site. They will be sent an invite to do so. Missing set deadlines or other agreements in your presenter and sponsor contracts may result in reduced logistical support or even seminar cancellation.

Am I expected to provide cocktails or tastings for attendees?

While not an absolute requirement for every event, we do strongly suggest the serving of a cocktail and/or tastings during your seminar to demonstrate your points if they pertain to the topic. View the maximum number of cocktails or tastings per type of seminar.

Am I expected to do an onstage demonstration?

While this is not required, if you wish to do so, there will be a place to indicate what you need in your recipe submission form. Tales of the Cocktail will supply all ingredients necessary for the demo on stage at the time of your seminar.

Do I need to provide tools or glassware for the technique or exclusive tasting seminars?

In most cases Tales of the Cocktail can provide specialty glassware and tools if we know in advance. Please make sure to include items needed in your initial application to be considered. For obscure or hard to find items we might need your assistance in sourcing an item or having it brought in. You will be asked to work directly with the Tales of the Cocktail and CAP teams on special needs.

Cocktail Service and the Cocktail Apprentice Team

What is the Cocktail Apprentice Team?

Onsite, the Tales of the Cocktail seminars have, since 2007, relied on the Cocktail Apprentice Program (CAP) staff to prepare and serve batched cocktails and tastings to seminar attendees. This group is comprised of 70 of the world’s leading bartenders hired through a rigorous application process attracting over 300 applicants each year. The Cocktail Apprentices are fully trained in an established system unique to Tales of the Cocktail to successfully execute over 300,000 cocktails each year.

It is expected that the presenters work with the Tales of the Cocktail staff and CAPs to provide accurate and achievable recipes. While the staff will usually do all preparation and serving in order for the presenter to focus on their talk, it is always helpful for the presenter to taste their batches to make any last moment adjustments. Each presenter will be assigned a Cocktail Apprentice Team leader to directly coordinate recipe preparation specifics, batch tasting, serving cues, etc.

How will I serve cocktails or tastings for these attendees?

Any cocktails or tastings you wish to serve guests during your seminar will need to be entered into our online recipe database by the presenter by Friday, March 30, 2018.

Recipes will be reviewed for accuracy and achievability and approved if falling within the specified requirements of the event. If they do not, Tales of the Cocktail staff and the Cocktail Apprentice Leadership Team will work with the moderator to adjust recipe.

Tales of the Cocktail staff will calculate the amount of each ingredient needed and all spirits will be ordered through a Louisiana distributor.

When will I know if my recipes and/or tastings are approved?

Upon notification of your seminar being selected you will be made aware of any questions or issues with your original recipes or tastings submitted. You will have until Friday, March 30, 2018 to submit your final cocktail recipes and tastings through the online form.

Why do I need to resubmit my recipes and tastings?

All recipes and tastings will need to be submitted via the online form, which assists in automatically calculating ingredients and amounts. Recipes cannot be submitted via email or phone.

Can I change my recipe or tastings once they have been submitted?

No, the recipes and tastings must adhere to a strict deadline to ensure all products are ordered by a specific date.

Is there a limit to how many cocktails and or tastings I can serve?

Yes. There is a different limit for each seminar category:

  • Straight Tastings: Maximum 8 tastings
  • Tasting with Cocktail Batching: Maximum 4 tastings and 2 cocktails
  • Straight Cocktail Batch: Maximum 3 cocktails
  • Interactive: Requires approval from the CAP Leadership
  • SED or Intellectual (No Cocktails/Tastings): No cocktails or tastings

For definitions of the categories please make sure to review the CAP Support Overview: Definitions and Limitations.

Is there a limit to what type of cocktails and/or tastings I may serve?

Yes. Please remember that Tales of the Cocktail Seminars have a specific event set up for hundreds of attendees and not a bar focused on individual servings. The Cocktail Apprentice Team will accommodate as much as possible but please be accepting of venue and event limitations.

How are my cocktails or tastings served and what size are they?

Cocktails are served in recyclable, Tales of the Cocktail logo plastic cups. The cups are 5 oz and the cocktail is served at 2 oz each.

If glassware is specifically requested at the time of submissions we can make accommodations for you. Glassware will be standard industry stemware unless otherwise requested. Tastings are 1 oz.

Can I simply do my own batch math by multiplying my recipe by my room size?

No. There are many factors involved in the math to batch. Over the past several years Tales of the Cocktail and its Cocktail Apprentice Team have developed a proprietary system which takes into account room size, original and finished drink sizes, dilution, ingredients at batch scale and many other factors including potential unpublished attendees such as sponsors, media, etc.

When are my cocktails batched?

Cocktails will be batched between one and three hours prior to your event. Each presenter will be assigned a Cocktail Apprentice Team leader to directly coordinate recipe preparation specifics, batch tasting, serving cues, etc. We strongly encourage you to taste your batch before service.

How do I know how much product will need to be provided for the recipes/tastings in my seminar?

The Tales of the Cocktail team will calculate the amount of each ingredient needed and will work with our partners for the products to be in New Orleans for the event.

What happens if I need an ingredient that cannot be found in New Orleans or is homemade?

It may be necessary to ask you to provide an ingredient if it is homemade or of a special nature. We will let you know if this is the case once you submit your recipes Friday, March 30, 2018. If you must self supply the ingredient, you have the option of either altering your recipe to include available product or shipping the ingredients at your cost to either the Tales of the Cocktail offices or your hotel room. All ingredients must be provided to the Cocktail Production Kitchen 24 hours prior to your seminar. No spirits can be self supplied or shipped to the Tales of the Cocktail office or hotels per Louisiana law and must be purchased through a licensed distributor.

Why does the CAP Leadership team have the ability to veto my seminar?

The CAPs are experts at Tales of the Cocktail seminar execution. While we strive to offer the best educational seminars in the world, there are some limitations to what can be efficiently and safely done at our host hotels. The CAP Leadership Team will do their best to work with you on alternatives, but there may be some seminars that are not 100% feasible.

On the Presenter side, if we are not able to get a hold of you via phone or email the decision to veto the seminar may be made. The seminars are a collaborative effort and we need all hands participating to ensure a top quality seminar.

Sponsor Involvement

What is the role of the sponsor in a seminar?

Sponsors are woven into the content of the seminar where the primary focus is the educational component. A seminar is not the place for a brand presentation. Sponsor spirits are also incorporated through the cocktails and/or tastings. We encourage the sponsor brands to work closely with the moderators ahead of time to ensure all parties are satisfied with the seminar.

Do I have to have a sponsor confirmed before I submit my seminar?

No, you don't have to have a sponsor confirmed before you submit your seminar. If you have a brand that you are interested in working with but don't have a relationship you can list them as a suggested sponsor. If you have a sponsor already confirmed go ahead and list them. Once the seminars are confirmed we will work with you in finding a sponsor if you need one.

How much does it cost to sponsor a seminar?

Traditional Seminars
Sponsorship Fee: $5,000 to $7,000 dependent on assigned room and capacity. Fees are all inclusive. Early bird discounts available if booked by April 5th.

Sponsor Seating: Guaranteed 10 Seats for Sole Sponsorship

Exclusive Tasting Seminars
Sponsorship Fee: $1,700. Early bird discounts available if booked by April 5th.
Sponsor Seating: 10 Seats for Sole Sponsorship

Do sponsors get tickets to the seminars?

Sponsors are guaranteed a certain number of seats depending on the type of seminar. If sponsorships are split among brands the number of seats will be divided amongst the total number of sponsors.

How does Tales of the Cocktail acquire the sponsor products?

Tales of the Cocktail will place an order for all spirits used in the seminars through a Louisiana distributor. For traditional and technique seminars there are no additional costs to the brands for the spirit purchased.

Exclusive Tasting Sponsors: Tales of the Cocktail will invoice the event sponsor an additional sponsorship fee amounting for the dollar amount of the purchased product, inclusive of tax. Sponsorship dollars and product donation will be a tax free donation to the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation.

Can I distribute promotional items in my seminar?

Yes, we encourage shipping the items directly to the Tales of the Cocktail office prior to the event and your room team will have the items placed in each seat before the start time. If you choose to bring items with you, please notify Tales of the Cocktail of the items and arrive early enough to have our team assist in placement.

To ship your items to the Tales of the Cocktail office, please email

How do I know how many seats are in the seminar room?

In March the moderator will be notified of the final date, time, room location and size of the seminar.

  • Hotel Monteleone
    • Queen Anne Ballroom- 215
    • Iberville A (formerly Nouvelle East Ballroom)- 95
    • Iberville B (formerly Nouvelle West Ballroom)- 95
    • Vieux Carre- 95
    • Queen Anne A (formerly Bonnet Carre)- 39

Non-Seminar Submissions

What if I have another idea that is not a seminar?

If you would like to submit an idea for an event that isn’t a seminar we will have a separate form that you can use to submit those ideas to. If you have any questions please contact