Lameyse: Vinexpo Bordeaux has lost its momentum

Rodolphe Lameyse, the new CEO of Vinexpo, has admitted that “the old days are over” for the Bordeaux wine fair, and that it needs to adapt in order to survive.

Vinexpo’s new CEO, Rodolphe Lameyse, is looking to move the Bordeaux show to April to coincide with primeurs week

Speaking to the drinks business during Vinexpo Bordeaux in France this week, Lameyse was honest about the fact that the show had “lost its momentum”. “People have to realise that the old days are over and that there is competition from trade shows all over the world, not just Germany.

“The model has changed now and Vinexpo needs to be bringing its exhibitions to its visitors. We need to adapt to the times. Vinexpo Bordeaux has lost the momentum with its clients for many reasons and we have to adapt. We would be foolish not to accept that we have to evolve. The reality of this year’s figures shows the need for a radical change of strategy to relaunch Vinexpo Bordeaux.

“Bordeaux has been a bit too arrogant as a region. We have to welcome the rest of the world instead of just accepting them.”

Rather than keeping Bordeaux as Vinexpo’s flagship wine show destination, Lameyse wants to create a series of smaller more targeted shows around the world.

Vinexpo’s new CEO, Rodolphe Lameyse, has bold plans for the brand

As reported yesterday by db, Vinexpo has created a new Paris show – Vinexpo Paris – which will join forces with Wine Paris.

The first joint show will take place on 10-12 February 2020, and will have a strong international focus, attracting exhibitors, buyers, importers and press from around the world.

“Before I started the job a lot of people were talking about Vinexpo Bordeaux going downhill and my colleagues were asking me if I was crazy for taking on the job, but I know what I want to do with the show.

“My plan for Vinexpo is to make it a global offer of smaller shows that are more effective in terms of business. If you want to be a premium show you can’t be the largest. I’ll leave the Tesco approach to the Germans.

“You have to consider timing when it comes to wine trade shows and Vinexpo Bordeaux happens a bit too late in the year at the moment, as people usually buy their wine for the year from February to April.

“We have to run shows that follow the proper calendar of the wine market. We moved Vinexpo Bordeaux from June to May this year but it wasn’t bold enough. You can’t make half-hearted decisions,” he said.

As for Vinexpo Bordeaux, Lameyse wants to turn it into a local show focusing on French wines in general and Bordeaux wines in particular.

“Vinexpo Bordeaux will have to be very different to what it is today. We have to look at what the region has to offer. The fact that the show is so near to the vineyards is seen as both a good and bad thing as it can take the buyers away from the show and to the chateaux. You can either fight that or embrace it.

“With Vinexpo Bordeaux I want to recreate the spirit of happiness around Bordeaux wine and will be looking to revive World Wine Week. I want to move the show to April to coincide with primeurs week if the UGC are happy with the idea,” he told db.

Lameyse welcomes the challenges ahead and is keen to make big changes to the Vinexpo model. “I wouldn’t have taken this job if all it would have involved was running two trade fairs. I have bold ambitions for the Vinexpo brand. I want to bring it back into the game as a serious player.

“Some people will complain that there are too many wine trade shows now, but I want to create a global platform with the same core elements of business, intelligence and experience,” he said.

Founded in 1981, Vinexpo organises wine shows in Bordeaux, Hong Kong, New York and Shanghai, and will launch a Paris show next year.

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