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Trade shows set to go ahead in 2021

Following last year’s cancellation of almost the entire trade show calendar due to Covid-19 organisers are hoping that 2021 will be more successful. Here is db’s guide to the exhibitions and trade shows, both digital and face-to-face that are set to go ahead in 2021.


Pink Rosé Festival/ VINOmeetings, 8-14 March

The Pink Rosé Festival is being incorporated into a wider series of digital events called VINOmeetings for 2021. The new platform aims to connect producers and professional buyers from all over the world through targeted meetings in small groups, focusing on the essentials. “We wanted to rethink the relationship between buyers and wineries to encourage only one-to-one productive contacts,” the organisers say. Six digital trade fairs will be held over the course of a year, offering six weeks of themed meetings. The March edition covers the Pink Rosé Festival, which usually takes place in Cannes in February, with others including AOP Languedoc (held in January), Vins de Provence (22-27 February), the US (19-25 April), Asia (17-23 May) and volume/formats (7-13 June). Registration is free, with buyers creating a personalised sheet of commercial requirements that is matched to registered wineries, allowing them to request samples and arrange meetings.

Packaging of Premium & Luxury Drinks Date TBC

At the time of going to press, PLD, a new entrant in the trade show calendar, focusing on the packaging of premium and luxury drinks, was finalising details of its digital event, which is due to take place in March.


The Wine and Spirits Show in 2019

The Wine and Spirits Show, The Royal Horseguards Hotel, London, 30 April–1 May

The Drinks Business and sister publication The Spirits Business are hoping to bring back the unmissable event for drinks connoisseurs, the Wine and Spirits Show, for 2021, in line with government guidelines. At the time of going to press, the team are planning the annual showcase of exceptional products from all over the globe, which will take place at the five-star Royal Horseguards Hotel in London, where one hall will be devoted to wine and another to spirits. The Wine Hall will host the Global Masters Zone, where medal-winning wines judged by Masters of Wine from the Global Masters competitions will be on pour, with a similar zone devoted to medal winners from the Spirits Masters competitions in the Spirits Hall, encompassing vodka, Tequila, Bourbon, whisky and gin.

Both halls will have a New Products Zone, reflecting the emerging trends in the drinks industry, and beer lovers will be able to appreciate the high achievers in the Global Beer Masters. The organisers will also be bringing back the successful masterclass series, with a schedule released a few weeks before the show. Tickets from the postponed 2020 event will be valid this year.

TFWA Asia Pacific Hainan Special Edition, Sanya, Hainan, 10-13 May

The 2021 TWFA Asia Pacific Exhibition & Conference has been moved from Singapore to Sanya in Hainan, a fast-evolving island off the coast of China, and will combine both physical and digital elements. New initiatives include an on-siteon-site conference that will be live-streamed to delegates who are unable to attend in person, while meetings arranged in hotel suites will allow brands to welcome guests and present their products and latest innovations, instead of at a traditional exhibition stand. The ONE2ONE meeting service has also been updated to allow delegates to meet virtually, as well as in person.

ProWine Hong Kong, 12-14 May

One of the younger shows in ProWein’s international stable, ProWine Hong Kong brings the wine industry to the trading-hub of Southeast Asia, and is held as the specialised wines and spirits section as part of HOFEX, Asia’s leading food and hospitality trade show. Attracting more than 12,700 visitors, and 340 producers from 28 countries, the show offers a first class event programme with seminars, tastings and masterclasses. Details will be released in due course.

Raw Wine London, 16-17 May

At the time of going to press, details for the Raw Wine Show 2021 were still being finalised, with the show pencilled in for 16 and 17 May. International shows in Montreal (26-27 October), Toronto (29 October), New York, (31 October–1 Nov), Los Angeles (7-8 November) and Berlin (28-29 November) are also lined up for the autumn. In the meantime, an audio mini-series has been established, Raw Wine Talks, as a way to “get under the skin of natural wine” and showcase low-intervention, organic, biodynamic and natural wines from winemakers around the world.


The London Wine Fair will return to Olympia in 2022 (Photo: Anthony Upton/London Wine Fair)

London Wine Fair, 17-19 May

The London Wine Fair is going fully digital for 2021, after hopes for a hybrid event at Olympia were dashed in January due to changing government guidelines, a UK-wide lockdown, travel restrictions, and ongoing uncertainty about a Covid-19 mutation.The digital platform will create a fully immersive event that will allow exhibitors and visitors to engage on a one-to-one basis, in larger groups and with the whole London Wine Fair audience, which the organisers hope will recreate the typical buzz of a live show. Hannah Tovey, head of the fair, said the new digital version would be an “unrivalled” event of this type and on this scale.

“It will be fully interactive, allowing 121 meetings, group meetings, Tasting Masterclasses and Industry Briefings, which will allow for Q&As as normal,” she told db.

Exhibitors will have virtual stands that can be filtered into the zones visitors are familiar with, such as Esoterica, Wines Unearthed, the Main Floor and Discovery Zone, and will feature new product launches, winemaker videos, tasting notes, virtual tours of the winery, drone footage of vineyards and meeting rooms. Additional upgrades will allow exhibitors to send samples and mini tasting formats to buyers, key decision makers and wine writers either directly or via LWF. Briefings will cover topics including: Brexit; Covid-19; climate change; recovery strategies for the on-trade; and global trading conditions will all be featured during the fair. Further details will be released in the coming weeks. Visitor tickets cost £20 and will give access to all three days of content and three months of exhibitor listings and sample request opportunities.

For further information on how the digital fair will work, see here.


Wine Paris and Vinexpo Paris, Expo Porte de Versailles, Paris, France, 14-16 June

At the time of going to press, Vinexpo Paris is set to go ahead physically, running alongside the WOW! Meeting, after the show was moved from February to June. According to Vinexpo’s CEO, Rodolphe Lameyse, the theme of Paris will be “reset – how we recover from the crisis and the pandemic”, with an extensive networking programme available in advance, although the detailed schedule, and what sort of masterclasses it will be able to run is still being finalised.

However, the organisers are already seeing more registrations from new regions compared to last year, including California and Chile, as it is one of the few physical shows to go ahead. “They are looking for a platform to express themselves, and Paris will definitely be the right one,” Lameyse told the drinks business. He was excited that incorporating digital elements via the Vinexposium Connect platform had attracted a wider audience than in previous years, for example drinks professionals from Africa, who had tended not to come to Vinexpo in previous years, but who he said had now become part of the Vinexpo community.

Vinitaly, Verona, Italy, 20-23 June

Veronafiere, the organiser of Vinitaly, has announced that the 2021 show will take place slightly later than in previous years, in late June, following the 10th edition of OperaWine on 19 June, and will run alongside Enolitech and Sol&AgriFood, subject to government guidelines. Further details will be released nearer the time.


World Bulk Wine Exhibition Asia, Yantai International Expo Center, Yantai, China, 8-9 July 

With 80% of the international purchases of bulk wine in China being transacted via the port of Yantai, the city was a clear choice for the Asia version of the WBWE. This year’s hybrid show will see a digital trading system in which wineries can conduct virtual business with buyers through a screen at a physical stand at the show, which incorporates promotional support, images and logs, and WBWE staff at the winery’s disposal including an English/Chinese translation service . The WBWE team will also deal with the logistics of samples. Wine & Spirits Virtual Fair, June Date TBC Now in its second version, the Wine & Spirit Virtual Fair, which is organised by UPM Raflatac and YG Branding & Design Experts, connects leading companies and providers in the packaging industry whose innovations are making a positive impact. Its series of webinars cover topical themes including sustainability, packaging innovation and education, and design and trends.


The Wine Show Chelsea is set to return in 2021

TWFA World Exhibition & Conference, Cannes, France, 26–30 September

The TFWA World Exhibition & Conference is planning to return to Cannes in southern France in 2021, although full details of the event are not being released until later in the year.

ProWine São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil, 5-7 October

Currently planned for October, ProWine São Paulo will launch this year after being put on hold last year, to bring together importers, distributors, sommeliers, retailers, and other parts of the trade from all over Brazil and Latin America to do business with international wine and spirits producers over three days. Launched as ProVino in 2019, the show is being transformed by ProWein’s organisers Messe Düsseldorf, attracting around 4,000 visitors, 350 wine and spirit brands from 15 countries.

The Wine Show Chelsea, London, Date TBC

Organised by the drinks business and sister publication The Spirits Business, the Wine Show Chelsea is hoping to go ahead in line with government guidelines. The friendly, relaxed and informative tasting show over three days will return to The Chelsea Old Town Hall, where once again the main hall will be dedicated to wine producers, with a second hall devoted to the Global Masters series, as well as beer and spirits exhibitors. A third hall will host the Masterclass theatre. Like The Wine & Spirits Show in April, The Wine Show Chelsea has a dedicated trade show session from 1pm to 5pm on the Friday, before opening to the general public in the evening. Previous event attendees included tourism body Sud de France, Wines of Hungary, Graham’s Port and Symington Family Estates, distributor John E Fells, Californian wine giant E & J Gallo, the West London Wine School, fine wine merchant Petersham Cellars, and Italian wine group the Consorzio delle Venezie. Masterclass topics are wide-ranging, from wines made by celebrities and a focus on Champagne Pol Roger, to challenging wine preconceptions, and the history behind Australian producer Yalumba.


ProWine Shanghai, 9-11 November

ProWine China was the only international wines and spirits trade fair to run in 2020 after the outbreak of Covid-19, in part due to the effective control of the epidemic in China, as well as a strict hygiene and safety measures implemented by the organisers. The 2020 show saw 400 wine producers and distributors gather from 17 countries and regions and 22,542 trade visitors, laying a firm foundation for the 2021 show. Further details will be released nearer the time.

HKTDC Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 11-13 November

Although the HKTDC Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits fair had been set to go ahead early in 2021, following the cancellation of the 2020 November show, this was recently rescheduled to a November 2021 date due to the tightening of government measures. Further details will be available nearer the time.

World Bulk Wine Exhibition, Amsterdam, 22–23 November 

Following the success of the WBWE Connect platform that replaced the 2020 show, WBWE is set to return in 2021. CEO Otilia Romero de Condes explained that rather than having an online fair, the entirely new platform was created from scratch to focus on direct meetings between buyers and sellers. “We have focused on rearranging the heart of business which is conversations about wine buying and selling and to do so in the most efficient possible way,” she said. “We wanted to implement a personalised meeting system through which a team specialised in wine imports established contact between companies from across the world according to their needs; through this system we succeeded in organising more than 30 meetings per day two weeks in a row.”

The platform has become “a benchmark for personalised meetings for professionals”, the company said. Meanwhile the WBWE has begun working on its on-premises fairs, which will bring cutting-edge developments for the coming year.

And something to look forward to in 2022…

Some of the calendar’s largest shows have been postponed for a year, but are expected to come back with a bang in 2022.

Rodolphe Lameyse, CEO of Vinexpo, said that the 2022 Vinexpo New York, Vinexpo Bordeaux and Vinexpo Hong Kong was still being finalised, but he was excited at the thought of returning. “Business is important but beyond that is human nature, the touch, the fantastic combination of excitement and taste, as we will be able to taste the products again. That’s my light at the end of the tunnel,” he said. The team plans to revamp the trade show in New York and position it differently in the calendar, and is also taking the opportunity to revisit and tweak plans for the Bordeaux show in 2022.

Meanwhile the world’s largest wine fair, ProWein Düsseldorf, is scheduled for 27-29 March 2022, with the third edition of ProWine Asia (Singapore) rescheduled for 10-13 May 2022, where it will be co-located with FHA-Food & Beverage at Singapore Expo. “Exhibitors can now focus on the next ProWein dates and gear their preparations to them. With this move we are ensuring the planning security so indispensable to successful business,” Erhard Wienkamp, managing director at Messe Düsseldorf, said, although show runner Bastian Mingers pointed out that in the meantime, the team would be providing virtual formats, allowing the sectors to gather information, present themselves and network, constantly developing its digital content to help businesses.

Planning is also already under way for the 2022 London Wine Fair, which is expected to be “business as usual”, at Olympia in mid-May 2022.

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