Visitor numbers to London Wine Fair 2018 up by 17%

The organisers of this year’s London Wine Fair have reported a significant increase in visitors to this year’s fair – the first under the leadership of Hannah Tovey – with numbers up by 17% to 14,250 compared with the 2017 edition.

Credit: Anthony Upton

Tovey, the founder of Imbibe Live, joined the London Wine Fair as its head in July 2017, setting out on a mission to refresh the fair and put it back in the hearts and minds of the UK drinks trade.

Organisers attributed the increase footfall to the fair’s refreshed content, which included a number of new features such as The Innovation Zone in collaboration with JF Hillebrand; The Education Zone in partnership with Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and Drinks Britannia, which celebrated British drinks including wine, beers, ciders and spirits.

“This was our first London Wine Fair; as a platform for launching Black Chalk, it has worked really well for us,” said Andrew Seden, director of Black Chalk Wines. “We have picked up new leads from the indies and on-trade and the WineGB stand has been busy throughout.”

Joe Fattorini, presenter of The Wine Show, added: “What I have liked the most is all the activity around the stands, which there is more of this year. The way The Fair is zoned answers the questions people have: Esoterica is for those looking for something quirky; Wines Unearthed is for totally new wines; the main floor is for seeking out old friends.”

Investment in the show’s database and a completely revised marketing plan also helped toward targeting an audience that was more relevant than ever before.

This included a complete overhaul of its contact list, and the marketing of the fair, which included a Valentine’s Day “love bomb” inviting members of the trade to “save the date” and pre-register their attendance to the fair, which Tovey credited with a 2,000% increase in pre-registrations ahead of the event.

“We are thrilled with the success of this year’s show and the support from all quarters of the industry,” said Hannah Tovey. “Our priority was always about delivering the right audience to our exhibitors and our investment in this has really paid off.

“We have had an overwhelmingly positive response from longstanding, returning and first-time exhibitors, many of which have already reserved their spaces for 2019. We are already working on next year’s show which will be a critical time for the UK industry as Brexit becomes a reality. More than ever before we will need a Fair that champions the UK as a leading market for wine.”

The 2019 London Wine Fair will take place at Olympia from 20th to 22nd May.

Credit: Daniel Henderson

One Response to “Visitor numbers to London Wine Fair 2018 up by 17%”

  1. I hope other visitors to this show got more out of it than I did. There was a lot that was interesting without doubt but I do not give up half a day just out of curiosity. I am looking for wines I can sell and which are readily available in this country. Visiting the Italian wine stand, for example, was not going to be of much help. As far as I could tell, the wines on tasting were all from suppliers looking for representation in this country. There was no brochure as there had been in the past, just a chart on the wall. Nothing beats a trade tasting laid on by individual companies like Liberty, Boutinot and Hallgarten, for example, where the wines are numbered, the tables well marked and the whole easily navigable. I can readily understand why many such companies, which have attended this show in previous years, were not there. All was not lost: Hayward Brothers were there so I managed to do some useful work at their friendly stand. Otherwise, I’m afraid, the London Wine Fair is probably an occasion I could forego next year. Robin Greatorex.

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