London Wine Fair to charge some trade visitors

The London Wine Fair has announced a remodelling of the visitor registration system, which means trade visitors not exhibiting and who are considered competition to those companies who do, will be charged to enter.

Brintex Event group said: “Following initial investment in the database last year, which resulted in a rise of 17% in attendees, the second phase will see visitors better categorised and an introduction of a charge – for some – for the first time.

“Members of the trade who will be charged to attend, will include importers, excluding buyers, who have elected not to exhibit and who are considered competition to those companies who do.”

Head of London Wine Fair, Hannah Tovey, said: “The decision to charge a small section of visitors is something we have considered very carefully, and we feel it is the right thing to do.

“We have listened to our exhibitors – particularly the UK agents – who feel their significant investment in the show is being undermined when other non-exhibiting agents subsequently attend – often en masse – with the specific intention of doing business or benefitting from the valuable, high-level networking opportunities.

“I want to stress that all members of the trade are welcome, and we are not introducing this charge as a deterrent; rather, it is about protecting our exhibitors and their investment and underlining the inherent value of attending the show.

“In the context of rising venue and supplier costs it represents the most even-handed way to continue with a more sustainable and equitable LWF for the whole trade to benefit from. UK importers or agents not exhibiting but legitimately attending in a buying capacity, will be most welcome and offered a free pass as our guests.

“As a corporate partner of The Benevolent we are delighted to have agreed with them that 10% of all ticket revenue will be donated to the charity as part of our ongoing partnership with this vital industry life line,” says Tovey."