UK: London Wine Fair set for “make or break” 2014
The London Wine Fair moves back to May in 2015
The show director for the London Wine Fair (LWF) has warned that the trade exhibition is facing a “make or break” event later this year, despite being “effectively sold out”.
The show is moving back to the Olympia exhibition complex in central London from ExCeL to the east of the city centre. The move, which has coincided with the dropping of the term 'international' from the event's title, was brought on by falling exhibitor numbers.
Speaking to media at a briefing earlier today (11 April), Ross Carter, director at event organiser Brintex, confirmed that the LWF is “effectively sold out”, and that 5,000 visitors have registered so far – a 15% increase on the same time a year ago.
“2014 is still a make-or-break year for us,” Carter said. “We've had fantastic success on paper; we've sold out. But, come 5 June, that's when we'll know if it's been a success or not. We felt that … bringing back a raft of exhibitors that hadn't taken part in 2013 meant that we were going to deliver the right feel and vibe for the fair.
“It'll all come down to what our exhibitors choose to do after the fair," he continued. "The success of the fair will come down to the total number of visitors."
The warning comes a week after Brintex said that craft brewers would have their own section at this year's show, set to run at London's Olympia between 2 and 4 June, while the spirits section, Distil, will not return.
“With Distil, the big brands who do have the big budgets – like Diageo and Pernod Ricard - had decided not to take part," said Carter. "For this year's fair, we didn't necessarily want big, glitzy spirits stands – I don't think that's in keeping with the look and feel of what we're delivering in 2014.”
Carter noted, however, that the 2015 event is scheduled to move back to May, running for three days – again at Olympia - between 18 and 20 May.
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