• Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris expects surge in overseas visitors

    2022 will go down as a pivotal year for Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris in proving itself as a major international trade fair and is now ready to cement that position in 2023 with a big increase in the number of producers from outside France taking stands and visitors from around the world signing up to attend its next show in February. Event chief executive, Rodolphe Lameyse, explains why and how Wine Paris and Vinexpo Paris is ready to play its part on the world stage.

    2022 will go down as a pivotal year for Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris in proving itself as a major international trade fair and is now ready to cement that position in 2023 with a big increase in the number of producers from outside France taking stands and visitors from around the world signing up to attend its next show in February. Event chief executive, Rodolphe Lameyse, explains why and how Wine Paris and Vinexpo Paris is ready to play its part on the world stage.

    mm By November 17, 2022

    Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris is set to take place in February 13-15 with up to up 40% of its visitors and 20% of its exhibitors coming from outside France for the first time.

    Slowly but surely Wine Paris and Vinexpo Paris is now in a position to really open its doors to the international wine industry as the lure of the French capital and an event offering a new platform for producers to show their wines is capturing the attention of more high profile buyers. That’s the pitch that Rodolph Lameyse is making for its February 2023 show.

    Rodolphe Lameyse chief executive of Vinexposium at this year’s pivotal Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris event that has done so much to convince more international producers and visitors to attend

    “The focus for 2023 is international,” he stressed, both for the show as a whole, but also in terms of exhibition space being taken by international producers and looking to attract more global buyers to attend. Next year’s show, which runs from February 13-15, will be 25% larger than in 2022.

    The figures help do the talking for him. In 2022 there was 25,000 visitors to Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris of which 25% came from outside France and 13% of the exhibitors were from around the world. In 2023 Lameyse is expecting international visitors to be around 35-40% of its total 30,000 plus attendance, coming from 100 countries, and up to 20% of its 3,5000 exhibitors will be from outside France.

    Key country pavilions include Italy, Spain, Portugal, Georgia, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, California, Oregon, Washington State, Japan, Lebanon, South Africa, Canada, Germany, Greece, Switzerland, Turkey and Romania.

    Put its foot down

    Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris has worked hard to build its profile and reputation with leading wine figures through its rich conference and talks programme

    Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris, is now in a position to really put its foot down and make the most of a position it had always wanted to achieve. To be seen as a new alternative international trade fair in its own right and not just primarily a French trade fair, with interesting wines from around the world bolted on, explained Lameyse at a trade press conference in London this week.

    “The work we have done and what we have put in place is now paying out,” he said.

    He said it still has a long way to go and is at the start of its “journey” but it has made huge strides in turning “doubters into believers”. “Three or four years ago there was a lot of people who really doubted our ability to turn around the [Vinexpo] business and that is now really happening.”

    A key factor in 2022 was that it was able – “against all odds” – to make sure Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris happened in its original date of February 2022 when many other shows were moved or cancelled. Even though it was only a few days before that the French government finally gave approval that the show could go ahead. All of which meant producers and buyers alike were able in 2022 to re-assess which trade show is the most important and relevant for them, said Lameyse.

    Whilst Lameyse is keen to play down any direct comparisons or competition with ProWein he confirms it has always been the intention of Vinexposium – the umbrella business that owns Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris, along with all its other related trade shows, including the World Bulk Wine Exhibition – to provide a credible alternative to the German show for producers and buyers alike from around the world. The fact it was able to go ahead as planned in February struck a chord with many in the trade, he claimed.

    A new platform

    There will be close to 40% of visitors from around the world at Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris in 2023

    There will be a “choice to be made” for more and wine businesses in the years to come as to whether they go to ProWein or settle on Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris, said Lameyse.

    “I don’t think we are competing against ProWein. We are competing with ourselves,” he said, but admitted it will be “interesting” to see what the situation is in three or four years time.

    It has proved its case, captured the imagination of the international wine industry and it was now down to itself to make sure it performs and delivers to the highest possible standard at its February 2023 show, he argued. Only by doing that can it expect its international audience and market to grow. But the fact it will have three dedicated halls at Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris just for international producers is “a significant increase and key turning point for the future,” he added.

    Clearly a number of major producers, wine countries and their generic and organising bodies have been following Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris closely since it officially launched as a joint event in 2020 after the initial launch of Wine Paris in 2019.

    They have now gone from visiting the show, taking out a small stand to see how it goes, to booking their own pavilion. The next stage, said Lameyse, is to get more producers buying space on those pavilions and committing to the show in that way.

    2023 also sees the return of many big names to the show, including major Champagne houses like Piper-Heidsieck.

    Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris is working hard to expand the show to include producers from all over the world and not just its stronghold in France

    A key factor in attracting more international buyers and producers has been the steps Vinexposium has taken to engage with key players on a regular basis. To make it relevant to them as not just an exhibition business, but a platform producing and providing relevant business content, debates, talks and conferences. Like at its ‘Act for Change’ symposium in Bordeaux in June.

    “Our team has never stopped talking to our clients, visiting them, communicating with them.”

    Vinexposium wants to be seen as a “partner” of the global wine and spirits industry and not just there to sell “exhibition space”, he said. “The borders of Vinexposium are larger than just a trade show. We are also creating quality content to keep our partners engaged.”

    Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris, for example, will include a press conference and presentation from the ASI Best Sommelier of the World Competition that is taking place in Paris the week before. It has also signed up legendary French chef, Guy Savoy, as a patron, who will be joined by his sommelier, Sylvian Nicolas to host their own personal masterclass.

    It is also working hard to identify and work with close to 200 restaurants and bars in Paris that it believes can offer guests to the show a quality wine and food experience whilst relaxing after the show. All of which is a key part of a trade show’s perceived success, stressed Lameyse.

    Spirits push

    There will be 40% more spirits brands taking in Be Spirits section in 2023

    2023 will also be a key year for the Be Spirits side of the show which also stepped up to a new level at the 2022 event. To help everyone attending Wine Paris to experience Be Spirits it is being kept open until 8pm, after the rest of the show is closed.

    Lameyse admitted he had been surprised by just how successful Be Spirits has become and said there will be 40% more distillers and brand owners taking place in 2023. Its Infinite Bar will next year include ladling bars and bartenders from venues in Paris, across France and Europe. If the spirits side of the show continues to grow at this pace it could end up being a standalone event by 2025 or 2026, said Lameyse.

    He said Paris also has an important part to play in the success of the show and it is the job of the Vinexposium team to give its exhibitors and visitors alike the “key to the city of Paris” so that they can go out and enjoy what this beguiling city has to offer. By linking up with the capital’s best food and drink venues he hopes people will go away with long lasting memories of not just doing good business at Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris, but having a “great time”  in a wonderful city at the same time.

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