Hannah Tovey to take over as head of London Wine Fair

Hannah Tovey, the founder of one of the UK’s biggest drinks shows – Imbibe Live – is to take over from Ross Carter as head of the London Wine Fair, after it was announced yesterday that he would be stepping down from the role.

Hannah Tovey

Tovey worked as publisher of Imbibe Magazine before launching Imbibe Live in 2010. Prior to that she worked at William Reed Business Media, Wilmington Publishing and Decanter, all in a sales capacity.

For the past three and a half years, Tovey has consulted on The Wine Merchant magazine and worked with The Wine Gang on its series of nationwide festivals and consumer wine events.

Announcing her appointment this morning, Bill Butler, managing director of Brintex, described her as one of the trade’s “great visionaries”, combining her “immense industry insight with creative flair and strategic thinking”.

Tovey will remain with the Wine Gang until mid June, when she will take up her role with Brintex to oversee the London Wine Fair.

“For me the LWF has always been unmissable,” said Tovey. “Professional relationships that can, and have, changed the face of the industry have been formed or nurtured there. It’s the springboard for exciting launches and the place where major deals have been pitched. Above anything it is the event for new discoveries. It’s the UK trade’s flagship event for us all to both profit from and celebrate in equal measure and to project outwards to the rest of the wine world with pride.

“So, all told, it is an immense privilege to take up the reins. Ross has done an exceptional job of rebranding and refocussing the LWF in the last four years and for that I won’t be alone in thanking him. But as the world moves ever faster I am conscious that we must keep moving and adapting with it.”

Yesterday, it was confirmed that Ross Carter would be stepping down from the role, having first been appointed to run the show in 2013 when the event moved from ExCel in east London to Olympia in West Kensington.

Carter will be joining Fresh Montgomery – another events business specialising in food and hospitality – in July.

Praising his achievements in reviving the London Wine Fair, Butler said that Ross Carter would “always have a special place in the story of London Wine Fair”.

“His passion for wine extends well beyond the exhibition with a background as both a producer in New Zealand and at PLB as a senior wine buyer,” he said. “Having previously worked at Brintex as sales manager for The Fair Ross, returned in 2013 to move the show forward and successfully manage the relocation of the exhibition from Excel back to Olympia. During this challenging period, Ross drew upon his industry experience to keep The Fair fresh and interesting, introducing new features, tastings and sections to the exhibition. Thanks to Ross the London Wine Fair is now a completely different event from the corporate days of Excel.”

Tovey will be at this year’s London Wine Fair, and will officially start at Brintex on 22 June.

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