Top wine and spirit trade fairs of 2019

London Wine Fair, Kensington, London

20-22 May

2019 will see the 39th edition of the London Wine Fair – the biggest wine and spirits exhibition in the UK – attracting a range of exhibitors, from generic bodies and UK importers of all sizes, to individual brands seeking representation Last year, the newly revamped show, the first with ex-Imbibe Live founder Hannah Tovey at the helm as director, saw attendance increase by 17% on 2017, with 14,250 visitors attending. Of those attendees, 26% were first-time visitors, which organisers attributed to major investment in data management and a new marketing strategy. The 2019 event will build on this success with a series of new initiatives and enhanced feature areas, as well as refreshed content across its programme of industry briefings and masterclasses.

A new theatre will be constructed, to accommodate demand, and sessions have already sold out. New feature areas are in development, but to date, content for 2019 will include: Drinks Britannia, which launched last year to celebrate the best of British made drinks from the wine, spirits, beer, cider and soft drinks categories; Esoterica, the “show within a show”, which features the portfolios of niche importers, will be enhanced with “Esoterica+” – a new area that has been designed for those importers who have outgrown Esoterica but remain niche players. Meanwhile, The Education Zone will double in size for 2019, with content set to appeal to all sectors of, and career levels within the drinks industry.

The Innovation Zone, which launched in 2018, will return with new exhibitors and content from the world of design and technology; while Wines Unearthed will celebrate five years since it launched at the London Wine Fair, during which time it has showcased several hundred wineries targeting the UK market for the first time. Tovey said: “In terms of exhibitors, within the main floor of the show a number of UK agents will be returning after a gap of a few years, which is particularly gratifying. When it comes to stands booked, we are 20% up in confirmed revenue on where we were this time last year – a ringing endorsement from the trade for 2019’s event.”

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