ProWein 2018 to be biggest ever

ProWein 2018 will be the biggest show ever staged by the Germany-based fair organiser, Messe Düsseldorf – and it’s already sold out.

ProWein covers around 71,000m2 comprising almost 7,000 exhibitors

The exhibition, which takes place in Düsseldorf from 18 to 20 March, will cover cover an area around 71,000m2, which is around 2,000m2 more than last year’s ProWein – itself a record-breaker in terms of scale.

According to Marius Berlemann, who is the global head wine and spirits for the exhibition, ProWein has grown due to an increase in the number of exhibitors as well as the addition of a new space bringing an extra 1,200m2 exclusively for ‘craft’ beers, spirits and ciders.

Significantly, the entire 71,000m2 is already fully booked, he told the drinks business at the end of last year.

Comprising around 6,800 exhibitors, the number of stands at the show is also at its greatest extent ever, and, as previously reported by db, this will be the first ProWein to feature beers and ciders.

Using an existing name for a section within the fair called ‘Same but Different’, ProWein 2018 will contain a new area, Hall 7.0, dedicated to ‘craft’ products, comprising 49 spirits brands, 15 beers and 6 ciders.

This section not only takes over its own hall, but will also be branded differently from the rest of the exhibition, with its “own appearance, its own logo, its own entrance and its own catalogue”, said Berlemann.

Meanwhile, the organic wine area in Hall 18 will be bigger and more comprehensive this year with almost double the number of producers on show, and an Organic Lounge offering food and organic wine matches, along with a series of seminars on the organic wine category with the support of Ecovin, Biodyvin and Demeter.

db can also exclusively reveal that ProWein will feature China’s COFCO Wine & Wine, which is the first time this major Chinese wine producer and importer has taken part in a European drinks trade fair.

Owner of the Great Wall wine brand, COFCO is a key player in the Chinese wine market, and the company will join the Changyu Pioneer Wine Company at the fair, owner of China’s other major wine label, Changyu.

Berlemann also told db that there was demand for yet more space from exhibitors, with a waiting list of companies keen to take part in the annual show.

However, he explained that he only wanted to expand the fair further if there was a corresponding rise in the number of visitors.

“We are always being asked for more square metres, with exhibitors wanting us to open another hall – and we could, our exhibition space is huge, and we have 80% more space than ProWein currently occupies,” he said.

Continuing he explained, “Although ProWein is not the largest show run by Messe Düsseldorf in terms of exhibition area, it is the largest according to the number of exhibitors, and we have to be careful, because every new exhibitor expects visitors, and if we open more halls, then we might not get the best feedback.”

He added, “We are protecting our exhibitors by growing carefully, and only when we feel that the visitor side is strong enough to accept more exhibitors.”

He also said that he didn’t want to put too much strain on the infrastructure of the German city, and expressed his concern about the increase in the cost of accommodation in Düsseldorf during the show, as hotels raise prices when demand is at its greatest.

“We are in regular contact with the hotels about prices, and we have got to be careful, we don’t want to grow to fast, we want to take it step by step, but the hotels need to understand that if they push up prices, then people will be pushed out of Düsseldorf, it is not good for the hotels of Düsseldorf and it is not good for us.”

Berlemann stressed that ProWein is doing everything possible to make visiting the fair as easy and inexpensive as possible, and, among the measures being taken, the show organiser is working with the Düsseldorf tourism board to offer accommodation at nearby cities Duisburg and Essen, where room rates are cheaper.

He said that packages are currently on offer through ProWein that include free transport to and from these places, adding that if there is further demand for hotels outside Düsseldorf, such offers can be extended to further areas within easy commuting distance.

Meanwhile, for a detailed guide to this year’s major wine and spirits trade fairs, please click here.

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