ProWein appoints new fair director

ProWein has appointed a new director of the fair in Düsseldorf – who also assumes the role of ‘global head for wine and spirits’ – it has been announced this morning.

Effective April 1 this year, Bastian Mingers will be the new global head for wine and spirits and director of ProWein at Messe Düsseldorf in Germany

The news follows the decision by the fair organiser, Messe Düsseldorf, to promote the current ProWein director Marius Berlemann to the position of general manager of Messe Düsseldorf Shanghai Co. Ltd., with project and HR responsibility for the entire Messe Düsseldorf portfolio in China.

With Berlemann moving to Shanghia in April, the company has had to find a new global head for wine and spirits and director of the fair in Düsseldorf, and they have promoted someone from within the company – Bastian Mingers, who has worked for Messe Düsseldorf since February 2011.

Mingers will officially take up the role on 1 April, ensuring that Berlemann will oversee this year’s ProWein, which runs from 17 to 19 March, and marks the 25th edition of the fair.

Berlemann will then move to Shanghai in April, where he will take charge of all the group’s exhibitions in Asia, including ProWine China and ProWine Asia (Hong Kong).

Meanwhile, Mingers, who is 35 years-old, will continue to work towards improving the fair in Düsseldorf, particularly a project of redevelopment that will see a new hall layout for ProWein by 2021.

Speaking exclusively to the drinks business last week, Mingers stressed that the transition from Berlemann to himself would be smooth because he already had extensive experience of the ProWein fair, even though his most recent role at Messe Düsseldorf saw him manage an exhibition called Energy Storage, which is an international conference and trade fair for renewable energies.

“In my previous role from 2011 to 2015 as senior project manager for ProWein, I worked on five shows, before taking the lead for a new trade fair for energy storage, so I am familiar with the wine and spirits industry,” he said.

He added that he has a background in hospitality, having started his career in hotel management, ensuring he has an understanding of the on-premise.

“I know the topic, and I have a background in gastronomy and the hotel business, so this industry is close to my heart,” he explained.

In terms of any changes he is planning for the German-based fair, he assured db that it would be business as usual, and that he would continue a project of improvement put in place by Berlemann.

“Marius has been a great project director for ProWein, so it is very well set up, and I will continue to work on a new hall layout, and I will continue to work on visitor growth, along with service quality and capacity, because these are things where we can do more to make ProWein still the number one fair for wine in the world,” he said.

When asked about his intentions to improve “service quality and capacity”, Mingers said that he was looking at measures to ease the pressure on “gastronomy and other facilities”, including public transportation, to make the visitor experience better considering the huge number of people attracted to the exhibition each year.

He also mentioned the positive impact of using “hotel ships”, which are moored on the River Rhine, right alongside the fairground, to provide accommodation for visitors that is both convenient, and relatively inexpensive compared to the major hotels in central Düsseldorf.

Regarding a redesigned hall layout, he told db that ProWein would soon benefit from a rebuilt Hall 1 (pictured below), which would make it easier for visitors to come and go from the fair, while allowing more space for stand-holders.

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An image of the new Hall 1, which is nearing completion, and forms part of a major project of rennovation for the fair ground due for completion in 2021

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