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Top 10 exhibitions of 2013

When it comes to exhibitions they can mean many different things to many different people, but they are a vital part of the industry.

Exhibitions generally mean long hours, with breakfasts and evening drinks, sore hands from too many handshakes and lots of walking and talking. But they also give everyone a chance to meet and greet and talk about crucial news.

From producers to bottlers and from journalists to PRs, exhibitions give you the opportunity to meet in the flesh and put a face to the names you deal with over the rest of the year.

So where will you be heading this year?

Millesime Bio, 28-30 January 2013, Exhibition Centre Montpellier, France

This year’s exhibition marks the 20th anniversary of Millésime Bio, which was set up by a group of organic winemakers in Languedoc-Roussillon. This year the event will feature almost 700 organic wine producers from France, South Africa, Germany, Austria, Chile, Egypt, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland and the United States – this is up from the 588 producers and traders who exhibited in 2012.

Monday, 28 January, the first night of the exhibition, will feature a special 20th anniversary evening, with a programme of special activities including a gourmet organic dinner. The Gold Special Award and the Gold Millésime Bio Challenge 2013 ceremony will be held at the beginning of the evening. This year’s Challenge Millésime Bio contest only features wines from 1993 to 1999, as a tribute to the early years of the show. Other features include a roundtable organised by Agence Bio on European viticulture, plus conferences on the organic wine market and the new European winemaking regulations; these will focus on different countries. A working knowledge of French is recommended for those thinking of attending the talks.

ProWein, 24-26 March, Dusseldorf

This exhibition is the biggest of the lot and in 2013 it will be extended by a further two halls due to the high demand of exhibitors. With stands sold out, there will be more than 4,000 exhibitors at ProWein 2013. Around 50 nations will be represented, including new representation from Tunisia and England.

The exhibition is expecting more than 40,000 trade visitors from all over the world to attend, representing a whole range of trades from retail, gastronomy and hotels.

The ProWein Forum will feature an extensive supporting programme, including numerous seminars, tasting sessions and the FIZZZ Lounge, which features a bartender cocktail show. The full event programme for the central lecture platform will be published at the end of January.

Spread across nine exhibition halls, ProWein will this year host international producers of organic wines in a special hall as well as a special show of “Wine’s best friend”, which will feature fine food. The central Tasting Zone, which will take place in Hall Two this year, will carry the motto “Fashionable and Leading Varieties in International Wine Cultivation”.

Shanghai International Wine & Spirits Expo 2013, 1-3 April, Shanghai New International Expo Centre

This exhibition, which brings together domestic and overseas drinks industry manufacturers, distributors, retailers, experts, enthusiasts and consumers, celebrates its 10th year in 2013.

“100% dedicated to trade”, the exhibition’s area consists of more than 30,000 square metres, with exhibitors from 40 countries around the world and thousands of wines and spirits on show.

Exhibitors include major players Diageo, Pernod Ricard and United Spirits, plus many others.

The exhibition features an Imported Wine Show Area, a wine tasting area and a wine service area, which gives advice on websites, culture, advertising, gifts and technology. The expo also features seminars on importing services, tax issues, bonded warehousing and marketing analysis.

Vinitaly, 7-10 April, International Exhibition Centre, Verona

Another huge exhibition and you need to be sure to take some very comfortable shoes with you for this event. You can expect to see over 4,000 exhibitors in an area of 95,000 square metres at this four-day show. Now into its 47th year Vinitaly features a number of events, exhibitions, tastings and workshops for the 48,000 visitors who travel to Verona from more than 110 countries. The international draw is one of the features of Vinitaly, with just 50% of the visitors coming from EU countries. More than 20% of those who attend come from North America and around 24% come from the rest of Europe and Asia. Vinitaly takes place alongside olive oil, food production and packaging fairs.

TFWA Asia Pacific, 12-16 May, Singapore

Founded in 1984, TFWA is the world’s biggest duty free and travel retail association, providing the industry with high quality exhibitions, acclaimed conferences and workshops and in-depth market research. TFWA Asia Pacific Conference & Exhibition enables exhibitors to meet top industry decision-makers in person. From airlines, airports, ferry and cruise companies to downtown and border stores, seize an unrivalled opportunity to attract new business and develop existing relationships.

The exhibition opens with a golf tournament on Sunday, but soon turns serious with conferences and workshops taking place throughout the rest of the week. Conferences range from insights into emerging Asia and the “significant growth potential markets for the duty free and travel retail sector such as Indonesia, the Philippines or Vietnam”. This year the exhibition will feature the “inaugural Industry Conference on China”, and the final night will see guests enjoying a “Singapore Swing Party”.

London International Wine Fair, 20-22 May, ExCel Arena, London

Around 15,000 visitors from the UK and around the world come to the London International Wine Fair to buy wine, see what new wines are available and also to research industry trends. This is the UK’s main wine trade exhibition and organiser Brintex has announced a series of new initiatives designed to “reinvigorate the show, with a focus on UK business” and to make the show a “must-attend event for the core UK domestic visitor sectors”. This exhibition is free to attend, but is strictly for trade only. The LIWF always offers a comprehensive timetable of workshops and seminars and this is the same for 2013. Some of the events on offer in May include: “Marketing wine brands” – standing out from the crowd and new approaches to marketing wine; “The internet changed my business” – three case studies about how the internet changed a wine business and how it could help you; “Natural Wine – Finding the Middle Ground” – going beyond the trade-specific arguments to discuss how we can communicate with consumers about natural wines and the choices open to them. Outgoing exhibition director James Murray commented: “We are committed to cementing the show at the core of the UK wine industry for 2013. While as a leading industry event on the global stage we will continue to welcome the international audience, our priority will be on the domestic market, and acknowledging the importance of the UK buying community.

Vinexpo, 16-20 June, parc des expositions, Bordeaux

Vinexpo has taken place every two years since it was created in 1981 by the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce. The first exhibition in 1981 featured 524 exhibitors from 21 countries and 11,000 professional visitors from 50 countries; in 2011 this had grown to 2,400 exhibitors from 40 countries with 48,122 professional visitors from 148 countries and 1,254 journalists and writers.

Exhibitors are wine and spirit producers, while visitors are wine and spirit professionals seeking to do business with them, including retailers, wholesalers and the restaurant and hotel trade. The accent is on doing global business in one place. Features of the 2013 exhibition include an expanded Club du Lac area for the pavilions, where major global brands exhibit, to larger tasting halls known as Tastings by Vinexpo.

TFWA, 20-25 October, Cannes, France

Every year the beautiful city of Cannes plays host to the TFWA’s flagship event, which brings together more than 450 exhibitors and nearly 6,000 visitors.

Described as “a leading business forum for the duty free and travel retail environment”, this event brings together exhibitors from all over the world. The conferences and workshops are hosted by “global opinion leaders and experts from business, politics and economics”, and aim to help visitors understand the latest trends, new technology and consumer attitudes. One of the other notable aspects of TFWA is the wide array of social events that take place, with the week’s social agenda crowned with Le Premium Evening on Thursday night, featuring a range of live performances from international performing artists in a “truly amazing setting”. The 2012 TFWA event saw a record number of exhibiting companies, 462, of which 39 were new to the show, or returning after an absence. It was also the first year that trade visitors to the exhibition and conference exceeded 6,000, up 4% on 2011. In total 6,074 people from 2,877 companies visited the exhibition in 2012.

HKTDC International Wine & Spirits Fair, 7-9 November, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre

This is Asia’s biggest wine event and offers a wide range of products and exhibitors for visitors. The exhibition covers everything from high quality wine, Champagne, spirits and beer as well as other alcoholic beverages such as Japanese wine and sake. Visitors can also see exhibitors representing bottling, packaging, labelling and tourism as well as accessories, equipment and investment. The 2012 exhibition, which covered over 21,000sq metres, saw nearly 1,000 exhibitors in attendance with just over 160 being classed as “local” and nearly 800 coming from overseas. The 2012 fair also boasted over 20,000 buyers as visitors from 80 countries and regions. Over 13,000 of these buyers came from the booming local region, and the fair was still able to attract over 7,000 buyers from overseas. There were also more 20,000 public visitors to the fair.

FHC China, 13-15 November, Shanghai New International Expo Centre

FHC China is the largest, longest running and most international trade exhibition for the food and hotel industries in China.

This year ProWein will be making its first appearance at the fair as ProWein China, with a dedicated wine area of around 5,000 square metres.

Nearly all the exhibitors are international companies or their agents. Countries on show include: Australia, Austria, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, New Zealand and Spain.

Visitors include importers, distributors and retail representatives as well as trade buyers, sommeliers and corporations. The exhibitor profile includes companies representing still wines, Champagne, fortified and sparkling wines plus spirits and liqueurs.

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