LIWF 2012 “most challenging show to date”1st June, 2012 by Martin Crummy
The 2012 London International Wine Fair has been dubbed the “most challenging show to date” by event director James Murray.
The three day event also saw a slight fall in visitor figures from 13,754 in 2011 to 13,431 this year.
“It’s safe to say that this has been our most challenging show to date,” said Murray.
“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. 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.”
In contrast, Vinexpo Asia-Pacific has achieved a significant rise in visitor numbers compared to its last show in Hong Kong, which was held in 2010.
Discovery was the theme for LIWF 2012, with exhibitors coming from China for the first time, as well as from other emerging producers such as Georgia, Lebanon, Moldova, Russia, Slovenia and Turkey.
The International Wine Challenge Discovery Tasting featured 1,000 wines tailored to independent, on-trade and multiple grocer sectors and a selection of over 50 Industry Briefings, seminars and masterclasses were on offer with information from the experts in each field.
Other popular stands were those which brought innovation to the fair like Wine Stars and Tesco’s Dragons Den style selection.
Anne Burchett, managing director, Sopexa UK & Ireland said, “For our exhibitors, finding the time to take advantage of the new LIWF initiatives isn’t always easy, but the general feeling was really positive – some even commenting that they made more contacts in London than at ProWein.
“Our Fast Track to France feature was busier than ever and, despite those that try to play down the importance of LIWF, the Fair has proved itself an essential, must-attend event for anyone wanting to gain a 360 degree vision of the market. Instant commercial results are harder to find these days but we remain optimistic for the future.”
Other reaction to the fair has also been positive. Fiona Cochran, marketing director, Bibendum added, “We have put a lot of investment into the LIWF with our brand new stand and believe it paid off, our producers were very happy to be here and very positive about the UK Market.
While Ronan Sayburn MS, director of wine and spirits, Hotel du Vin said, “This year’s LIWF was one of the best for a long while. Very interesting stands included the IWC, Wine Gang, Union des Grand Cru plus the final of Sommelier of the Year and the usual masterclasses. Lots to see and do. It seemed that more of the lesser known wine regions had more presence too – Hungary, Uruguay and even Virginia. So a great opportunity for sommeliers and wine buyers to discover something new. ”
The 2013 event will run from 21-23 May at ExCeL.