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Top trade exhibitions for 2015

With a host of industry events to bear in mind this year, Neal Baker rounds up the various key trade shows that should firmly feature in your diary.

We in the drinks trade know that every month, and nearly every week, there is an industry fair somewhere in the world that we wish we could get to, or are disappointed at not hearing about sooner.

2015 is no different, with innovative shows covering beer, wine and spirits that every year seem to grow more and more as the industry continues to expand.

Well, with this guide to the top trade events in the coming months, you’ll see what unmissable shows you’ll need to keep in mind.

Click through to see the top drinks trade exhibitions 2015…  


It is not just the unique range of international exhibitors, of which there were 4,830 from 47 countries last year, but also the supporting events that make ProWein a must-see show for the latest trends and new discoveries every year.

Reflecting this, an array of special sections at this year’s ProWein will take visitors though the latest innovations. Appropriately, the motto of the ‘Fizzz Lounge’ in the spirits segment at ProWein 2015 will be “Drinks of Tomorrow”. Under the expert guidance of Lukas Motejzik, owner of Munich bar Zephyr, visitors here will discover all they need to know about the latest bar techniques – and their phenomenal results.

Another special area at ProWein will be located in Hall 17, where the central tasting zone at ProWein 2015 will be devoted to the winning wines from the Mundus Vini spring tasting.

The ProWein supporting programme will be rounded off by numerous exhibitor events. More than 300 tasting sessions and seminars will be held at the trade fair stands themselves or at the ProWein Forum. This will now occupy a central position in Hall 13. This year, for the first time, the ProWein Forum will be split up into separate areas for tasting and lectures. The full tasting and seminar programme at the Forum and at exhibitors’ stands will be available from the end of January.


The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) is returning to Sheffield next March to stage its third annual celebration of British beer, BeerX.

BeerX 2015 is being held from 17-21 March at Ice Sheffield, where last year’s event was staged to great success. It will once again attract brewers of all sizes, as well as licensees, retailers, suppliers, politicians and beer drinkers, drawn to its combination of events designed to showcase the best of British brewing.

SIBA will once again be taking over both ice rinks at Ice Sheffield and most of its meeting rooms, as well as constructing a 30m bar to dispense 250 of its members’ award-winning beers.

As in previous years, BeerX includes SIBA’s National Beer Competition and Business Awards. BeerX Industry Day, on Thursday 19 March, is now established as a “must attend” event for the beer industry. Two speakers already confirmed are Bob Pease, CEO of the American Brewers Association, and Katherine Smart, the group chief brewer at SAB Miller, with further names to follow.

BeerX already has the largest trade show dedicated to British brewing and SIBA is planning a 30% increase in exhibitors in 2015, with more than 200 suppliers showing their wares to what is estimated to be 1,500 delegates.

BeerX also offers a wealth of inspiration and practical advice for SIBA brewers, delivered through its seminar programme. Experts will share their knowledge on a raft of topics, which will once again include export, as part of SIBA’s drive to help its members sell their beers abroad.

Finally, the BeerX Festival of Beer will present around 250 beers from SIBA brewers – cask, keg, bottled and canned – to an anticipated 4,000 consumers. All will be award-winning beers, having progressed through SIBA’s 10 regional beer competitions. The Festival of Beer will also feature live bands and screening of the Six Nations rugby matches.

Tickets to attend BeerX will be on sale from January via the SIBA website.


“A very special edition of Vinitaly is being prepared for 22-25 March 2015” according to its organisers. With nearly half a century of history, Vinitaly – a leading international exhibition dedicated to wines and spirits – has promoted its mission by evolving from merely being a showcase of wine to become a service for companies active throughout the year.

Vinitaly International was set up to promote Italian wine and wine companies around the world, with new initiatives travelling to the most interesting markets and a Veronafiere representative office in Shanghai supporting small and medium export-oriented companies. Other promotional activities came into being, such as Opera Wine, training courses with the Vinitaly International Academy and business through the Vinitaly Wine Club, through to the new “wine2wine”, the first wine forum network enabling wine producers to share ideas.

Confirmation of Vinitaly’s international importance comes from a survey into customer satisfaction conducted at the end of Vinitaly 2014: it emerged that, over the four days of the event, 68% of foreign operators placed purchase orders, while 73% found new suppliers. The same survey indicated that 97% of exhibitors intend to re-confirm attendance in 2015.

And with 4,111 exhibitors from 22 countries, accompanied by 1,597 journalists from all over the world enjoying the fair in 2014, expectations for this year are rightly high.


This year will see the 35th London Wine Fair, and the second year back at its spiritual home, Kensington Olympia.

2014 saw the first stages of a rejuvenated show, with significant changes in terms of format, content and, of course, location. The restrictions to stand size made the show more affordable; new features were created to bring back the buzz of its heyday; and the return to Olympia was at the heart of a strategy to bring the UK show back to its roots. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with the fair’s organiser Brintex reporting a 50% increase in exhibitors (780) and an 11% increase in visitors compared to 2013.

Highlights of the 2014 show will also feature in 2015 and include Esoterica, the “show within a show”, which focuses on the portfolios of niche importers, with new exhibitors signing up for this year. Once again there will be a dedicated section on bulk wine – one of the fastest growing sectors of the wine industry. Likewise, Brewhouse – a feature area for small batch, specialist and craft beers – will return with new exhibitors.

In addition to this, there will be new features which are currently in the development phase, but will be announced in the next few months, along with a packed schedule of industry briefings, masterclasses and the ever- popular Speaker’s Corner.

2015 will see the London Wine Fair move into Olympia’s Grand Hall, an easier to navigate area, offering an additional 10% of available space within which the fair can grow, although organisers are keen to stress that any growth will be “organic”.

The 2015 London Wine Fair will run from Monday, 18 May to Wednesday, 20 May.


Founded in 1981, the Vinexpo exhibition has grown over the years to become one of the largest gatherings for wine and spirits professionals in the world.

Vinexpo is held in Bordeaux in uneven years and after 17 exhibitions it has developed into one of the world’s leading shows for the wine and spirits trade, as demonstrated by the increase in its attendance figures. In 2013, 2,400 exhibitors from 44 countries, 48,858 visitors from 148 countries as well as 1,290 journalists attended the event, and this year yet more are expected.

This will be the 18th edition of Vinexpo, and it is as ever a major event in the industry calendar that, according to its organisers, no wine and spirits professional can afford to miss.

The Academy will provide a full programme of 80 events in five days, with exclusive conferences and tastings hosted by internationally renowned speakers.

This year, every participant will be able to enjoy easier access to the show thanks to a direct tramway from the city centre to downtown Bordeaux. Furthermore, Vinexpo will present some new areas: free tasting areas, Spiritual (a bar dedicated to spirits and cocktails), a new premium venue benefitting from an indoor stand and a lakeside terrace called Les Terrasses, with food and wine matching workshops thrown in too.

Networking parties called ‘The Blend’ will also be held at the Hangar 14, a prime area with outstanding views over the Garonne on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings of the show.


Undoubtedly a key event, the global nature of TFWA World Exhibition & Conference means exhibitors can reach buyers from around the world. Over two- thirds of the 6,701 travel retail professionals visiting the 2014 event were operators or distributors, and over half came from outside the European Union, making this event vital to those wishing to increase their presence in the lucrative travel retail sector.

Thousands of key duty free and travel retail buyers, landlords, agents and distributors will again converge on Cannes’ prestigious Palais des Festivals, the venue for TFWA World Exhibition & Conference 2015 to explore new markets, exciting new styles and innovative drinks companies and brands.

The success of the event is testament not only to the health of the global duty free and travel retail industry, but to the awareness of all stakeholders that the opportunities for future growth in this sector are vast.

“Nowhere else can you view so many international products designed for the travel market, including the very latest launches, all under one roof,” says TFWA.


In order to get a sense of the growing importance of the HKIWSF, just look at last year’s event, which was the 7th edition of the global fair organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and welcomed more than 1,000 different exhibitors from 38 countries and regions, along with around 20,000 trade buyers from 75 countries and regions.

Overall attendance was comparable to the previous year, while buyer attendance from individual countries and regions recorded significant growth, including from Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Spain and the US. On the open public day, the event attracted over 30,000 wine lovers, an increase of more than 30% over the previous year.

Returning to the same venue with the intention of making the event bigger and better than ever, HKIWSF 2015 promises to be an unmissable exhibition, both for those in the wine and spirits trade and passionate consumers alike.


2014’s WBWE exhibition was attended by more than 250 producers from 19 countries and almost 6,000 professionals from 59 different nationalities, an increase of 30% compared to the previous year. If this is anything to go by, 2015 will mark another landmark year for the commercially vital event.

The World Bulk Wine Exhibition is the biggest worldwide trade fair devoted to large volumes of wine. The 2014 exhibition enjoyed the presence of record numbers of visitors and wineries to the RAI in Amsterdam.

However, the importance of the World Bulk Wine Exhibition does not lie solely in the number of participating winemakers, but in the amount of wine that changes hands and in the turnover generated at the fair. It is in terms of volume that the WBWE has become the largest fair in the world devoted to commercial wine trading.

Among other objectives, the World Bulk Wine Exhibition was created to offer not only visibility to the bulk wine sector but also to encourage it. With this same aim, the International Bulk Wine Competition was also conceived, which is already taking place independently from the trade fair and where more than 100 samples from nine different countries participated in 2014.

It is innovations such as this which, when combined with a history of being friendly to business and trade, make WBWE an event of growing interest.

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