Comexposium and Vinexpo partner to become ‘world’s leading organiser’ of wine events

Wine Paris founder Comexposium and Vinexpo Holding are to create “a new joint venture entity” that should be complete by summertime this year, it was announced today.

The JV follows the decision in May last year by two companies to work together for an upcoming Paris-based wines and spirits event

In a press release sent to the drinks business this morning, it was stated that the two events organisers would join forces to become “the world’s leading organiser of events dedicated to wines and spirits, with annual figures of over 78,000 visitors from 140 countries and 5,900 exhibitors.”

The new entity will see each business have an equal stake, and together host 10 events: Wine Paris (Vinisud/Vinovision Paris), World Wine Meetings and World Bulk Wine Exhibition (Amsterdam and Asia) from Comexposium; Vinexpo (Bordeaux, Paris, Hong Kong, Shanghai and New York) as well as the Vinexpo Explorer events from Vinexpo Holding.

It was also stated, “The new business will look to create new events and developments to support the international growth of the wine and spirits industry.”

The JV follows the decision in May last year by two companies to work together for an upcoming Paris-based wines and spirits event, which takes place from 10-12 February, and sees the first ever Vinexpo Paris.

On the back of this joint project, the organisers said that they wanted to take their partnership a step further by creating a new structure based in France – which db has subsequently learnt will in fact comprise three offices in different locations: Bordeaux, Paris and Madrid.

This new entity, it was announced, will organise events geared to three market segments: bulk wines; entry-level to premium wines and spirits, and super-premium to luxury wines and spirits.

A name has yet to be decided for the JV, and db has been told that a CEO will be nominated when the alliance is finalised before this summer. In the meantime, Rodolphe Lameyse from Vinexpo and Laurent Noel from Comexposium will jointly lead the project.

Commenting on the partnership today, Vinexpo board chairman Christophe Navarre described the agreement between the two companies as “a significant turning point for the world of wines and spirits.”

He also said, “It will allow us to extend our influence, develop a portfolio of must-attend events and meet the expectations of markets throughout the world.”

In an interview with db at the end of last year, Vinexpo CEO Rodolphe Lameyse had said how the partnership between Vinexpo and Comexposium had worked well for the Paris show.

The existing union sees Vinexpo take 40% of the show, but lend its name to the event, so Wine Paris, which has existed for three years, is now combined with Vinexpo Paris, and will take place from 10-12 February.

The event will be 24,000 sq m, with Comexposium taking charge of two halls, and Vinexpo a third. Lameyse described the partnership as “complementary”, with Vinexpo bringing an “international” exhibitor to what was mainly a show filled with French stands – after all, Wine Paris was born out of two French shows, Vinisud and Vinovision.

The union also avoided the two exhibition organisers going into competition, as it had been announced that Vinexpo would hold a fair in Paris in January, just days before Wine Paris. “It would have been silly for the French to be fighting each other rather than being unifying forces,” said Lameyse.

Also, hinting that this inaugural joint venture event might be a test-bed for a bigger union, he told db in 2019, “There is the opportunity to deepen the relationship if it works well; there is a lot to be gained from this trial event in Paris.”

Vinexpo Holdings is owned by the Bordeaux-Gironde Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIBG), and has historically held its biggest event in Bordeaux – a biennial wine and spirits fair in the Congrès et Expositions de Bordeaux.

However, its largest show is now in Hong Kong, which is also a biennial event, with the old Vinexpo Bordeaux due to be reimagined as a different event in 2021, and one that db revealed would turn its back on its longstanding home in the Congrès et Expositions de Bordeaux, and embrace the beautiful sites of the urban centre.

Lameyse told db last year, “The 2021 fair will happen in the city, across fantastic venues, from the city hall, to the Palais de la Bourse, and the Grand Theatre, all of which are within walking distance, all of which are in the magic triangle of Bordeaux, and near the banks of the river, so it will have a completely different atmosphere.”

He added, “It won’t be a trade fair as you know it, but somewhere between an Exposition Universelle and a wine fashion week.”

Comexposium is one of the world’s leading event organizers, hosting more than 135 B2B and B2B2C events across many different sectors, significantly in agriculture, construction, fashion, food, health, leisure, real estate, retail, security, students, tourism, and works council.

With events in over 30 countries, Comexposium welcomes more than 3.5 million visitors and 48,000 exhibitors annually. Headquartered in France, Comexposium’s employees and sales network operate in 22 countries.

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