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Vinexpo CEO on the significance of Vinexpo Asia in Singapore

Vinexpo Asia was successfully staged in Singapore from 23 to 25 May. We talked with CEO Rodolphe Lameyse to learn more about his vision in shaping the show according to the Asian market needs, as well as some of the emerging market trends in the region.

Vinexpo, one of the leading international wine and spirits trade shows, recently concluded its event in Singapore, marking a significant comeback to Asia. The event exceeded expectations, with a diverse attendance of 9,989 professionals from 64 countries. According to the organiser, the show “attracted top-quality buyers, providing exhibitors with numerous business opportunities. The tradeshow also welcomed prestigious institutional visits, including ambassadors from 19 countries”. As the first physical show of Vinexpo in Asia after the pandemic, the event strived to be a catalyst for business growth, creating meaningful connections and expanding opportunities for the wine and spirits industry in the region, particularly in countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

Vinexpo CEO Rodolphe Lameyse, who shared his thoughts on the show’s success and the importance of the Asian market, shed light on the strategies implemented by Vinexpo to strengthen its position in the region and cater to the evolving demands of the industry.

When asked about the decision to hold Vinexpo in Singapore, Lameyse emphasised the immense potential of Southeast Asia as a thriving market for the wine industry. He expressed his satisfaction with the outcome of the event, stating, “We are very happy with the outcome of Vinexpo in Singapore. Southeast Asia was a big potential for the wine industry, and with this event, we made it a reality.”

He highlighted the importance of covering both the Chinese and Southeast Asian markets and acknowledged that Southeast Asia had been underdeveloped and overlooked in the past. He stated, “We are in Southeast Asia now, and I see the potential that we can have.”

Looking ahead, Lameyse revealed that Vinexpo Asia would alternate between Singapore and Hong Kong. He expressed delight at Hong Kong’s resumption of activity, particularly its strong focus on mainland China. Lameyse stated: “Hong Kong has been our base, and we will go back to our second home in Asia, which is Hong Kong.” Regarding the target audience in Singapore and Hong Kong, Lameyse acknowledged the differences in opportunities between the two cities. He highlighted the increased number of Southeast Asian buyers in Singapore and emphasised the need to be geographically closer to specific markets. Lameyse stated, “If you are in Singapore, you will reach Southeast Asian buyers. If you want to reach certain buyers, you better be nearby them.”

During the interview, Lameyse also shared his excitement about the emerging market trends in Korea, where the young generation is showing a strong interest in wine consumption. He mentioned that the Korean Wine and Spirit Importer Association had requested Vinexpo to organise a business meeting event in Seoul. Lameyse described Korea as a “young market booming by more than double-digit growth” and expressed his eagerness to explore opportunities in this region.

Furthermore, Lameyse shared Vinexpo’s commitment to expanding the spirit section of their shows. Recognising the growing interest in cocktails and spirits, particularly in Singapore and Hong Kong, he stated, “There is an opportunity for the spirit producers that live in Asia, so we will make a room for them.”

Regarding the newly formed partnership with Bettane+Dessauve, Lameyse highlighted the successful debut of grand tasting event before the show started, which witnessed double the expected attendance. He valued the importance of maintaining a strong relationship between winemakers and consumers, which the grand tasting facilitated.

In conclusion, Lameyse focused on the importance of adapting to challenges in the industry. He stated, “Our job as CEOs is to be managing crisis. Yes, there is a challenge at this time, but we had challenges before, and we found responses.” Lameyse’s optimism and proactive approach highlight Vinexpo’s resilience in navigating the ever-changing landscape of the wine and spirits industry.

With Vinexpo Asia’s successful comeback and the future prospects it holds, Vinexpo remains poised to further strengthen its foothold in Asia and beyond.

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