Vinexpo 2013 - FRANCE: Chairman faces down show's critics
Vinexpo's flagship event in Bordeaux finishes today
Vinexpo's chairman has responded to fresh criticism of the wine show admitting there is "room for improvement", but no need to "change a winning formula".
Speaking exclusively to just-drinks at the biennial Bordeaux event yesterday (19 June), Xavier de Eizaguirre acknowledged that the exhibition is "not always perfect" but that it is difficult to argue with "32 years of on-going, non-stop success".
His comments came after some exhibitors voiced frustrations over aspects of the five-day fair - including logistics, lack of quality visitors and the June timing of the show. Ines Pinto, ViniPortugal's international fairs manager, said there had been "less people and less business" for its producers this year. She also complained of internet and mobile phone issues. Pinto added: "Vinexpo is now more about the PR and parties, whereas ProWein is more a place for doing business."
Frederic Raynaud, MD of Alsace producer Chateaux & Terriors, has exhibited at Vinexpo for the last 20 years, but he told just-drinks: "Something is not usual (this year)." Out of 15 big importers he deals with, Raynaud said only four were attending. He also flagged the high costs of exhibiting, claiming his total outlay, including accommodation, for his company's eight people was EUR80,000 (US$108,000). "There is a 70% chance I will not be here (at Vinexpo) in two years," he added.
But, in response, Eizaguirre said: "I hear many other positive comments ... people are still very happy to come here, otherwise they would have stopped coming. Vinexpo provides a certain type of contact and environment and Prowein achieves different goals."
Earlier, he said: "There’s a lot of room for improvement for course. We don’t own the building we’re in, we don’t own the city of Bordeaux, we don’t own the traffic of Bordeaux. We work hard, it’s not always perfect."
A full version of just-drinks' interview with Xavier de Eizaguirre will appear on the site later today.
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