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COVID-19: How We Adapted the 2020 SIP Awards

The beginning of 2020 held great promise. Then, not even a quarter of the way through, events were being canceled left and right due to COVID. Fortunately, the SIP Awards wasn’t one of them.

It’s true that our world-famous SIP Awards didn’t look or function like it has in years past. But we’re considering this a good thing, because this year brought more brands and consumer judges than ever before. Here’s how we were able to not only host the SIP Awards, but turn it into our best event yet.

Capitalizing on Stay-at-Home Preferences

Leaders around the world encouraged social distancing and staying at home. Lockdowns were also on the menu in certain cities and states, which meant that forms of entertainment outside the house were no-go’s. As people started spending more time at home, alcohol sales surged 27%

At SIP Awards, we know a good opportunity when we spot one. That’s been the very foundation of our entire awards organization, having been created to fill a major gap in how awards were being given to spirits brands by other organizations.

As more people were spending their days working or learning from home, shifting to a distant tasting approach only seemed logical. 

Taking a Distant Tasting Approach

This year brought a record 212 consumer judges and more than 981 spirits and mixers brands. Participating judges received a curated sampling of libations they could enjoy from the comfort of their own home, which allowed us to include more judges in a wider territory. Each judge also received a tasting glass with their 12 samples that ranged in flavor, variety, and price. 

Judges were asked to taste the samples, then provide their honest feedback that would be shared directly with the brand. All sample identities were protected using a barcoded system so users could conduct blind evaluations.

Time might not have been on our side this year, but that only forced us to get creative so that we could continue to deliver the SIP Awards experience to brands and consumers alike. 

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