Visitor numbers were slightly down on 2011 at the LIWF

Visitor numbers were slightly down on 2011 at the LIWF

The organiser of the London International Wine Fair (LIWF) and Distil has argued this year’s show “stood up to its critics” despite revealing visitor numbers were slightly down on 2011. 

Over the three days at London’s ExCel earlier this month, there were 13,431 visitors, compared to 2011’s 13,754 - a drop of around 2%. Prior to the event, some industry commentators questioned the necessity of big trade events, while a number of high profile firms stayed away - including Pernod Ricard, Percy Fox and PLB. 

James Murray, LIWF and Distil event director, admitted this year had been “the most challenging show to date”.

But he added: “Operating in a depressed economic climate is never easy, but we feel the show stood up to its critics and continues to provide a platform for doing business in the UK.”

This year’s LIWF saw exhibitors from China for the first time and other emerging producers such as Georgia, Lebanon, Moldova, Russia, Slovenia and Turkey.

Looking head to next year’s event, which will take place from 21-23 May at ExCel, Murray added: “Plans are already underway to ensure 2013 ranks amongst the best shows to date and we are already putting in place new features and confirming exhibitors for next year.”