Vinexpo CEO: ‘I don’t want to experience that ever again’

As another Vinexpo closes, CEO of the exhibition organiser, Guillaume Deglise, expresses his frustration that this year’s show coincided with a heat wave in Bordeaux.

Vinexpo CEO Guillaume Deglise was very pleased with the many successful initiatives added to this year’s fair in Bordeaux, but frustrated that these were, to some extent, overshadowed by the extremely hot weather

During a discussion with the drinks business at the end of the penultimate day of the exhibition, Deglise said that the extremely high temperatures during this week’s Vinexpo were at risk of overshadowing the success of the exhibition – something he doesn’t want to see happen again.

After Deglise was asked whether he would make any changes for the next edition of Vinexpo Bordeaux, which will take place in 2019, he initially joked, stating, “The weather”.

Then he said in a serious manner, “I don’t want to experience that any longer.”

With the region seeing temperatures reach almost 40 degrees Celsius during the fair, which ran from Sunday to Wednesday last week, visitors and standholders had to suffer extreme levels of heat outside the exhibition.

Indeed, the hot weather made travelling by tram to the show an uncomfortable experience, while also hindering the enjoyment of diners who opted to do meetings at the lake-side restaurants, which front the exhibition space.

The high temperatures also proved testing for the air conditioning in Hall 1, the main show area housing the majority of exhibitors, although this vast indoor show space was still significantly cooler than outside.

Of course, the weather is completely beyond the control of the exhibition organiser, but Deglise intimated that holding the fair earlier or later in the year could be one solution, because it would reduce the likelihood of Vinexpo Bordeaux coinciding with very high temperatures in the region – a problem that has affected past fairs, particularly the 2003 edition, when Europe suffered one of the hottest summers ever recorded.

“I don’t want to experience that any longer, and I don’t think the exhibitors and visitors want to experience that any longer, but this does not only depend on me, so I can’t give you any answers now, but we need to act, whether it means changing the time, or whether things need to be improved,” he said.

In terms of improvements, Deglise was referring to the main exhibition space for Vinexpo Bordeaux, Hall 1, which was built in 1969. However, this vast space will, he assured, be renovated over the coming years after €70 million was committed to the Parc des Expositions by the city of Bordeaux – €40m for updating Hall 1, and €30m for building an entirely new Hall 2 – a space that was demolished last year.

Meanwhile, Hall 3, which was built this century, requires no improvements, containing modern cooling systems that have been designed to handle the high temperatures of summertime in Bordeaux.

Weather aside, Deglise told db that he was “happy” with the show in Bordeaux this year, recording the enormous amount of work done to raise the profile of the show internationally, as well as attract key buyers, while enhancing the content of the fair.

“We have never organised as many events as we have done this year, we have never talked to as many buyers as we have this year, and in as many countries, and we have never communicated as much as we have done this year”, he said, adding, “And we have never taken into account the demands of our exhibitors as much as we have done this year – and this is what we should do, we need to provide a service, and bring efficiency.”

Deglise also said that he was “very pleased” with Vinexpo’s inaugural World of Organic Wines (WOW) initiative, which attracted as many as 2,300 people in a single day, proving that it was an important addition to the fair, and tapped into a major growth area in the wine trade.

Then he recorded that the conferences and masterclasses at the fair were “very well attended”, and expressed his satisfaction that Vinexpo Bordeaux had attracted key organisations in the industry, such as the Institute of Masters of Wine, which co-hosted the Lifetime Achievement Award with ourselves.

“We are very pleased to have everyone on board, because it is important for us to have the wine world united at Vinexpo,” he said.

Noting other successes of the fair, such as the high number of Chinese visitors, the return of a major company such as Moët Hennessy to the exhibition, as well as the agreement between Vinexpo and Alibaba, Deglise commented, “I want to insist on the work done this year.”

However, he added, with some frustration, “Sometimes I feel that all we have implemented has been a bit hidden by the weather.”

Read more:

VINEXPO AND ALIBABA SIGNES MOU

VINEXPO STEPS UP ORGANIC WINE FOCUS

MOËT HENNESSY RETURNS TO VINEXPO AS A GROUP

MIGUEL A TORRES GIVEN LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD BY DB AND IMW

4 Responses to “Vinexpo CEO: ‘I don’t want to experience that ever again’”

  1. Charles Crawfurd says:

    It will happen again just as it has happened before on several occasions. It was successive scorching Vinexpos in the mid/late 1980s that lead to a ‘revolt’ by some exhibitors, led by the Aussies that ‘forced’ the city council to install aircon in the first place. Until then the only way onf cooling it down was to spray water on the roof which they did courtesy of the local sapeurs-pompiers! Essentially Hall one is a huge tin shed built in the 1960s under very different circumstances and there is only so much you can do with it. Long term the options are hold it at a cooler time of year or rebuild the hall. The latter would be the better option because it is always likely to be hot on Bordeaux in June.

  2. Joe Jensen says:

    This show is way too late in the season which also means you are competing with tourists for airfare and hotels in France.
    The building is horrible and should be torn down, like they did not know they had a problem with that building.
    It will be highly unlikely that I will return to Vinexpo with Prowein being held at the right time of the year and run better. There are
    also many other smaller fairs like Vinisud, etc that are better organized and more relevant.

  3. Rex Stults says:

    Having just returned from Vinexpo, I concur that the awful heat cast a shadow on an otherwise excellent exposition. It would make sense to update the air conditioning in Hall One. Another big improvement would be to better plan the tram for the busy arrival and departure times. As in- many many more of them! I rode one Sunday evening that was unsafe. Perhaps the most uncomfortable 40 minutes of my life, with sweltering temps inside the tram and incredible overcrowding. I nearly passed out and felt nauseous and light headed for an hour afterwards. Seems like a simple fix.

  4. BRIAN RAUE says:

    AS PART OF THE AUSTRALIAN GROUP OF EXHIBITORS IN 2005 WE AND THE NZ EXHIBITORS WERE PLACED IN A ‘TEMPORARY’ PAVILLION WHERE THE AIRCONDITIONING BROKE DOWN ON DAY ONE. THE TEMPERATURE REACHED 43 DEG. AND CONTINUED LIKE THAT FOR THE DURATION OF THE SHOW. THE ORGANIZERS NEVER BOTHERED TO FIXED THE AIR CONDITIONING SO THE SHOW WAS A TOTAL DISASTER. CORKS WERE POPPING DUE TO THE HEAT AND NOBODY CAME NEAR THE PAVILLION DUE TO THE CONDITIONS
    THIS IS WHY THERE HAS NEVER BEEN AN ‘OFFICIAL’ AUSTRALIAN STAND SINCE.

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