Vinexpo aims to ‘wow’ attendees

Vinexpo’s 2015 exhibition in Bordeaux will see a number of major changes, including tasting lounges, new caterers, a revised Club du Lac, a cocktail bar and post-show parties in an attempt to “wow” attendees.

vinexpo 2015The wine and spirits fair, which takes place next June, is to trial a number of initiatives, some of which were tested at this year’s Vinexpo Hong Kong, and others that are entirely new.

In particular, new Vinexpo CEO Guillaume Deglise told the drinks business that the Bordeaux show will include free tastings areas for sweet, rosé and sparkling wines using Enomatic wine dispensers, including the company’s new Flute preservation system for fizz.

Each area will include around 30-40 wines from around the world according to Deglise.

He also told db that next year’s Vinexpo would do away with the Club du Lac, a line of six large, lakeside stands introduced in 2007, replacing the former Club des Marques, which began in 1987.

“The Club du Lac has worked well for the last three editions, but now we need another offer for the few international wine brands who want to be there, but it won’t be exactly the same site,” he said.

Among other changes, Deglise stressed that next year’s Bordeaux fair would feature dramatically improved food.

“We will have all new caterers for next year, so visitors and exhibitors don’t feel they need to go into Bordeaux for great gastronomy, while the sandwiches will be much better,” he promised.

Continuing he said, “You can expect the food and the service to be good because we have put a lot of focus on the restaurant side of Vinexpo, and we have been working with great names in the restaurant business.”

Guillaume-Deglise

Vinexpo CEO Guillaume Deglise

Importantly, he said that exhibitors would be able to bring wines to all restaurants on the show site without being charged any fee.

Furthermore, he confirmed that Vinexpo Bordeaux would repeat the successful central bar section which featured for the first time at the exhibition’s Hong Kong fair in May this year.

Called Spiritual, the area featured a broad range of spirits brands as well as cocktails prepared by professional mixologists, and was organised in partnership with db’s sister title The Spirits Business.

“Spiritual will continue in Bordeaux because it was successful in Asia, and like Hong Kong, it will be in the middle of the show.”

Another initiative introduced in Asia which will be repeated in Bordeaux is an after-show networking event hosted by the exhibition organiser.

While Vinexpo Asia-Pacific featured a single night for exhibitors and visitors to unwind and meet professionals in the industry, Vinexpo Bordeaux will see a post-fair party every night of the show.

Using an area by the river called Hangar 14, Vinexpo will hold events from Sunday 14 to Thursday 18 June which Deglise said is “about networking and having fun”.

Over four nights people can attend the events – which will have a different set of wine and spirits sponsors – for a “small fee” said Deglise.

Connecting these networking parties to the show will be a new tram service, which, although still under construction, Deglise assured would be finished in time for the exhibition.

Deglise also said that he was making many more smaller changes to improve the exhibitors and visitors’ experience.

“We are investing money to improve the access to the show, and the environment,” he stated.

“I think the new tramline will help a lot,” he added, pointing out that the service will be launched in the spring next year and will take people to and from central Bordeaux to the Vinexpo fair site in 20 minutes.

Summing up he said, “Our project for 2015 is very ambitious: we want to move from being a wine and spirits exhibition to being a wine and spirits event.”

Continuing he said, “We want people to be wowed… It has to work, failure is not an option.”

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