A party and more space for ProWine China1st April, 2014 by Patrick Schmitt
This year’s ProWine China will get 50% more exhibition space and a new networking event called “ProWine in the City”.
According to organiser of the China-based fair, Marius Berlemann, the exhibition, which is held in Shanghai, will spill over into a second hall for this, its second edition.
“Our exhibitors asked us to increase the space, so this year we are taking 50% more – last year we had one hall, and this year we will have one and a half halls,” he said, speaking to the drinks business during last week’s ProWein in Düsseldorf.
He also told db that he was planning a major evening “networking” event with “Chinese finger food” as well as a tasting area featuring exhibitors’ wines.
Called ProWine in the City, he said the goal of the concept was to “have a gathering for exhibitors to network in Shanghai”.
Continuing, he said the evening event would have a “big tasting zone with exhibitors’ wines, so if a winemaker is talking to a buyer, he can show them his wine”.
Although the exact location of this event is yet to be confirmed, Berlemann told db he was hoping to use a “a ballroom with at least 1000m2” of floor space, while pointing out that ProWine China had a similar but smaller evening gathering last year called “Magnum Night”.
Earlier this year, Vinexpo’s new CEO Guillaume Deglise told db that the fair organiser’s Asia-Pacific show will include an evening event in Hong Kong’s city centre to increase the networking opportunities for its exhibitors.
“We don’t want some exhibitors to be left alone without the chance to continue the Vinexpo experience in the city, so I thought it was important to run an event ourselves,” he said.
Similarly, Berlemann commented, “When you have exhibitors coming all the way to China we want to offer them something additional when the doors close, and this is ProWine in the City.”
Speaking about last year’s ProWine China, Berlemann recorded a total of 7,650 trade visitors, which, he said, “we were very pleased with”.
As many as 45% of those were from Shanghai, a city Berlemann described as “a consumption hub”, in contrast to Hong Kong, which is commonly described as a “trading hub” for wine.
With a population of 24 million and per capita consumption around 8 litres per person, Berlemann added, “If China is a baby, Shanghai is a teenager when it comes to wine consumption”.
When asked about fear of a slowdown in sales of imported wines and spirits in China, he admitted that he had been “a bit concerned”, although he had since seen an opportunity from a change in buying habits on the mainland.
“There is now a huge chance for the Chinese market, because it is now about education. Whereas before it was just about selling to a party official, now you have to attract consumers… it’s not just about presents, but attracting consumers with communication and establishing a wine culture,” he said, urging brand owners not to turn their backs on the market.
ProWine China will be held alongside imported food fair FHC China at the SNIEC exhibition centre from 12-14 November, three days after the HKTDC Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits fair closes its doors.