Revamped Vinexpo America to open doors next month
Making its debut this March, Vinexpo America is set to cause a stir, promising the ultimate and most comprehensive experience for exhibitors and buyers in North America.
The show –a relaunch of Vinexpo New York, which ran in 2018 and 2020 – is dedicated exclusively to wines from around the world. However, to broaden its appeal and attract an even wider array of buyers and international drinks experts, it now includes the all-new Drinks America.
This show will focus on alcoholic drinks products beyond wine, including spirits, beer, sake, ready-to-drink (RTD) and hard seltzers, as well as complementary products and services.
The two shows will take place at the Javits Center in Manhattan on 9 and 10 March, with one ticket giving entry to both shows.
The aim, say organisers Diversified Communications and Vinexposium, is to provide a one-stop sourcing service for one of the fastest-growing markets in the world that will attract more buyers in a variety of drinks categories.
“The events support the entire beverage-alcohol industry, creating an efficient format to connect, conduct business and to showcase and discover products,” Beckie Kier, event director at Diversified Communications, says.
This broad platform is more important than ever before as the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines continues, travel bans across the world start to be lifted, and venues that were shuttered for much of last year, get back to business and welcome customers in greater numbers again.
“We feel optimistic and excited to return to meeting in person in 2022,” Kier adds, pointing out that last year the US and Canada beverage alcohol market grew by 2%, with the projected CAGR of Global Wine Value between 2020 and 2024 set to reach 24%.
Although the Vinexpo America and Drinks America teams have produced digital content and events since the onset of the pandemic, and its partner, Vinexposium, launched Vinexposium Connect, a digital portal dedicated to the global wine and spirits community, it was decided that the North American shows would be fully physical rather than hybrid events.
“While we certainly see the value and benefits of digital and hybrid events, and recognise this format is here to stay, we also feel there is no replacement for conducting business and meeting with partners in person,” Kier says.
“We are just as excited as our exhibitors, attendees and partners are to connect again face to face.”
This optimism appears to be well-founded. According to Global Recovery Insights 2021 from the UFI, 72% of visitors and 62% of exhibitors plan to attend in-person trade shows with the same or increased frequency in the future.
After a two-year absence, it seems the physical drinks show will be coming back to North America with a bang.
“We have a growing exhibitor list for both Vinexpo America and Drinks America including US importers, producers, distillers and brewers representing 22 countries, and showcasing thousands of products,” the organisers have promised.
Major pavilions at the 2022 event include Business France, which has nearly 300 square metres and 60 exhibitors, Japan, with nine brewers and distillers, and Castilla La Mancha, which returns to Manhattan with a dozen producers.
Other countries represented include Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Cyprus, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Romania, South Africa, Spain, the UK and the US.
Demand looks likely to be strong. Attendees who have registered so far include top buyers and industry professionals from the US and Canada, along with importers, distributors, retailers and on-premise decision makers. Some of the show’s highlights include The WOW! World of Organic Wines and Spirits pavilion in the centralised exhibit and tasting area, as well as a new Key Buyer Programme, which will support high-volume drinks buyers, and a comprehensive business-matchmaking service.
This system will allow attendees and exhibitors to identify and schedule meetings with suppliers and buyers over the two days.
And no show would be complete without a full schedule of masterclasses, conference sessions, and The Buzz roundtable discussions.
Confirmed masterclasses include presentations from Crus Bourgeois du Médoc, two classes by Inter Rhône (one featuring the Southern Rhône Valley and the other on the Northern Rhône Valley), Romanian winery and distillery Alexandrion, and the ever-popular Riedel Winewings glass seminar, with more classes to be revealed in the next few weeks.
Meanwhile, the conference programme will include sessions on Wine and Spirits Sales in a Post-pandemic World, US Beverage Alcohol Trends and the Drivers of Future Consumption.
Despite the return of the physical event, the organisers are taking no chances, and strict procedures will be in place to protect exhibitors and visitors.
Proof of a Covid-19 vaccination is required for admission for all events at the Javits Center; which recognises all WHO-approved Covid-19 vaccines.
Regardless of vaccination status, face coverings must be worn to gain entry to the Javits Center, and in all areas within it.