Craft Beer Rising launched a digital destination to enable exhibitors to easily access its trade event, to remove manual processes, and to enhance the overall customer experience.

Craft Beer Rising (CBR) is a combined trade show and public event to promote the burgeoning craft brewing industry. Its annual three-day event is the UK’s biggest craft beer festival.

This year 175 breweries exhibited at CBR with well-established brands like Meantime, Sierra Nevada and Oakham Ales in attendance alongside rising stars like Gipsy Hill, Brixton Brewery and Mondo.

As part of its growth strategy, CBR needed to take several manual administrative processes that had become challenging to manage and automate them through digital technology.

Through automation, the organisers hoped to ensure a simpler and more effective user experience for trade partners, to improve productivity, and to make a significant saving on staffing and other overheads that could be reinvested into the business.

“Communicating with over 170 exhibitors all wanting different things is very complicated and time consuming and would lead to mistakes. We needed to simplify this process and make it fairer to clients” says Chris, Hannaway, CBR Founder.


“To help CBR move beyond spreadsheet management, 4 Road first built a clickable demo of the bespoke solution it would eventually create in full,” said James Browne, sales director, 4 Roads.

“Developing this demonstration site ahead of the full build enabled us to show CBR how the finished product would look and function. It also provided them with an opportunity to provide feedback and suggest amendments.”

From the demo site, 4 Roads was able to build out the full exhibitor site and integrate it with CBR’s public-facing WordPress website and its HubSpot CRM system.

The new site was launched in time for it to be used as part of the trade promotion of CBR18, which took place over three days in February.

"Communicating with over 170 exhibitors all wanting different things is very complicated and time consuming and would lead to mistakes. We needed to simplify this process and make it fairer to clients."

Chris, Hannaway, CBR Founder


The destination now offers a great digital experience to replicate the great live experience of the event itself. In fact, creation of the bespoke site for exhibitors has already brought CBR marked benefits in three key areas:

In productivity, the new solution has removed multiple, manual process and in doing so reduced CBR’s dependence on staff to key in vital data. Greater automation and a self-service facility for trade partners has also reduced the potential for mistakes.

The new tool has also brought CBR greater insight into the user journey. Integrations with the HubSpot CRM and the addition of reporting built into the system enable CBR to understand more about customer behaviour in and around their domains.

Critically, the new trade sign-up area also offers an enhanced customer experience for those breweries who are interested in attending the event. Key features include:

  • Enabling customers to take ownership of their registration and sign up process by entering brewery size and additional details to create an editable profile
  • Enabling breweries to invite guests and manage lists over each day of the event. This includes automated invite emails requiring confirmation of attendance
  • Enables breweries to include ‘add ons’ such as necessary barroom kit on booking order

A series of new features have also just been added to enhance the experience further. These include a feature that allows customer to book multiple stands and allot these to different brands they wish to promote through the event.

In addition, once payment has been taken through the site, CBR’s exhibitors can now make use of a digital event floorplan to select exact stand(s) they wish to occupy for the course of the trade show.

Chris, Hannaway of CBR concludes: “It’s saved so much admin it’s given back a huge chunk of time to the team, so they can concentrate on putting on a good event. What’s more having a technology like this working for us has allowed us to grow and stage new events, safe in the knowledge that the hardest part is now automated.”

Speak to James about your digital requirements

James is Client Services Director at 4 Roads and happy to talk through your current digital challenges