It’s a mark of the new found confidence spreading through the Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris trade show team, that it’s owners, Vinexposium, should announce new plans to switch its annual trade fair from Hong Kong to create a new Vinexpo Asia show in Singapore immediately on the back of the end of ProWein 2022 in Dusseldorf. Chief executive, Rodolphe Lameyse even talked about the end of a “cycle” in terms of what the future might mean for drinks trade shows and how he is increasingly confident about the international success of Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris and the impact Vinexpo Asia can have on this still vital part of the global wine industry.
Singapore’s position in the global wine sector continues to rise as it waits to host the inaugural Vinexpo Asia in May 2023, as Vinexposium’s Rodolph Lameyse explains to Richard Siddle.
Rodolphe Lameyse was in a bullish mood today as he announced plans to move Vinexpo away from Hong Kong and launch a new Vinexpo Asia show in Singapore in May 2023 in what will be a crucial year for how all global wine trade shows shape up post the pandemic.
He said the decision to switch the show was made for two reasons. Firstly the on-going uncertainty in Hong Kong and China over how it is handling Covid and how long it will be before they truly open up again makes it hard for trade show organisers to plan.
Secondly Singapore has emerged as the region’s fastest growing and potentially important wine “hub” and is now home to a booming premium and luxury wine market and is the Asian headquarters for so many major wine producers and businesses.
Vinexpo Asia will be held in the Marina Bay Sands complex in Singapore between May 23-25 and is likely to be a little smaller than its usual Hong Kong show in year one, with around 1,600 exhibitors, 15,000 sq metres and up to 7,000 visitors. Lameyse says he has not ruled out going back to Hong Kong in future years, but is “very serious” about the potential that Singapore has and is keen to see how well the shows goes there. It is also a city he knows well having lived and run trade shows there in other sectors, before moving over to wine and spirts.
“We have been keeping a close eye on what is happening in Hong Kong and China,” says Lameyse and it feels the right decision to take now and make the move to Singapore. “Everything in China is on hold and we have limited visibility over when the situation is going to change.”
He adds: “We are really pleased to be going to Singapore. It is another change in the evolution strategy of Vinexpo. It is where so many of our clients want to do business.”
The country also has strong ties with China and is confident that when it does open up it will attract strong interest from Chinese companies and buyers.
Boost for Paris
Lameyse also had a spring in his step as he had just returned from the first ProWein trade show in three years and came back with renewed confidence that Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris is well set to establish itself even more as a healthy, growing and ambitious rival to ProWein in the years ahead.
It was also Lameyse’s first opportunity to visit and experience ProWein for himself, having taken on the role as head of Vinexpo in 2019 and subsequently become chief executive of Vinexposium in charge of all its trade events.
The challenge and opportunity for Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris, he says, is to do all it can in the coming months to turn it from a largely French wine show, to a true intentional event with producers and visitors from all over the world.
“ProWein was intriguing for me. It seems to me the smell of Paris was in the air from the conversations I was able to have,” he says. “It feels like the end of the cycle.”
Which is potentially good news for Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris if it can broaden its appeal to more New World producers.
“That is my number one priority. To be international, international, international,” he stresses. The challenge now is to manage the demand for the event and, if you like, make sure that “cycle” starts pedalling in its direction.
He believes it is good for the wine industry as a whole if it has two strong competing trade events in Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris and ProWein. “I have enormous amount of respect for them and what they do. We are competitors but we have that respect too.”
Lameyse says it was also good to get back to the United States earlier in the year and a “positive” return to New York. “It is definitely the beginning of something in the US. It is a difficult country to penetrate, but we were very happy with the outcome and it is a show that will grow from year to year.”
Vinexpo is also returning to its spiritual home in Bordeaux next month with its new conference-based format being held at the Cité du Vin. Between June 20 to 21, part of Bordeaux Wine Week, Vinexposium will be organising the ‘Act for Change’ Symposium – a series of forward-looking debates as well as industry briefings and meetings. The sessions will include debates on:
- Changing consumer patterns: which new flavours and production guarantees will consumers expect by 2030? How must wine and spirits producers adapt to these new expectations? Hosted by Jane Anson.
- Winegrowing and climate change: what are the current consequences and what can we expect in 10 years’ time? Chaired by Tamlyn Currin MW.
- Production and agroecology: what innovations can we expect in the future? Hosted by Rupert Joy.
- E-commerce or ultra-local: how will wines and spirits be distributed in 2030. With Patrick Schmitt of the Drinks Business.
- It will also be running Wow! meetings on June 22 and 23 and chance for buyers and producers to get together and look at steps being made to follow wine production that is dedicated to producing environmentally certified wines and spirits.
Lameyse says he will go into its Bordeaux event with a very clear focus on “what has to be done” and where it needs to focus its attention.
“But I feel a lot better in my shoes,” he adds.