LWF returns to Olympia

The London International Wine Trade Fair is returning to Olympia in west London in 2014 and is going back to being the London Wine Fair.

Ross Carter, Brintex’s new event director, announced a new direction today (May 7.

Brintex says the changes are a result of several months lobbying the UK wine industry – including current and past exhibitors – to establish their requirements for a national show.

The changes will see the show go back to its roots as the “’London Wine Fair’, the national wine event for the world’s leading import market.

The London Wine Fair 2014 will return to London’s Olympia. Carter said that the fair needs to make a “cultural change” to the way exhibitors take part and visitors experience the show.  Carter said: “While the new venue and name are important changes for next year, what is really core to making 2014 a success is value and relevance.”

In 2014 the fair will launch two new areas of the event, designed to better reflect the current UK wine business. Bulk wine will have its own stand-alone section, with bespoke branding; and Boutique wine will be an area for small UK wine importers. This table top tasting area will be open only to the smallest UK importers, with participation costing just £1,000 for the three days of the event. This will encourage niche importers, representing hard to find producers into the fair.

The issue of cost has been high on the list of exhibitor concerns.  For 2014, there will be a 20-25% decrease on the 2012 price for stand space. There will be an overall stand restriction, meaning no double height stands, no banners and a maximum floor space. This will help to make the show a more level playing field and also remove the sense that stands have to be big and expensive to be eye-catching, says the organiser. Carter is confident that exhibitors will spend between 50% and 60% of costs in previous years.

The process of revamping features at the wine fair is already underway for 2013. 2014 will see master classes and industry briefings delivered by leading voices in the trade, with both compelling and provocative content. Key industry issues will be addressed and representatives from production, logistics, importation and government will be asked to debate the subjects that are changing the wine business. Workshops will be introduced that address the everyday needs and issues of on-trade and independent retail professionals – the key audience for 2014; effective buying, stock management, supplier relations and credit control.  The fair will partner with Wine Intelligence to deliver a “State of the Nation” document which will offer valuable category insight into the multiple and Iindependent retail sectors and on-trade. This research will be in-depth and available only to LWF visitors.

Exhibiting and visiting the fair from 2014 will require all participants to be members of MyWineFair. Launched earlier this year for 2013, this online portal will help to clarify the needs of visitors and allow the fair website to become a more effective portal in delivering the details of the exhibitors and wines to the visitor, says the organiser. Through the development of the bottle neck collar scheme the fair hopes to provide a clear method of classifying the wines on offer to visitors. Channel strategy is of increasing importance to the wine business and the fair will continue to provide the focus that buyers require.