Costa wanted to put on an event for 250 of its top baristas at a venue in London. Among the goals of the event were making teams feel they were the most important ingredient in Costa coffee. The event was also designed to celebrate the team’s pride, passion and personality. It was also geared up to allow the attendees share the event with an external audience through social media.
Staff from across the globe competed to win in the speciality drink, espresso race and latte art challenges. Ten finalists, including six from the UK, competed on the first day behind closed doors at one of the Costa training academies. They were judged on the delivery of four main drinks, with the competition spilling over into the second day, which was a high profile live event.
On the second day, footage from the first day was shown to get everyone involved and to build excitement before the finalists took to the stage in front of the live audience. Each finalist created their speciality drink for the judges using their own recipe. They also had to compete in a high-pressure espresso challenge to see who could make the most brand-standard espressos in a set time.
A separate latte art competition was held, alongside the main competition, to engage Costa’s social media community. It was also meant to be a celebration of barista creativity and attention to detail.
Costa's global internal comms lead Lisa Morgan said: "This was the first year we worked with Top Banana on the event and they really helped us take it to a whole new level and create a buzz around the awards.
"The set and stage worked really well and made the finalists feel really special as the spotlight was completely on them.
"I am excited about the next one in January… although it will be hard to top this year’s event."
Date: January 2017
Venue: Royal Horticultural Halls, London
Number of delegates: 250
Agency: Top Banana
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