London Wine Fair announces virtual event for 2021

The London Wine Fair 2021 will now take place virtually between 17-19 May in light of the ongoing uncertainty around the Covid-19 global pandemic.

According to the organisers, London Wine Fair 2021 will be the most advanced digital show of its kind and will take place 14 months since the last live trade tasting of any scale in the UK.

Head of London Wine Fair, Hannah Tovey, said: “Since we already had to postpone the 2020 show, we have had contingency plans in place for 2021, so that the entire event could switch from a hybrid one or to fully digital as necessary, and we have had to keep an open mind on this.

“We are already turning our thoughts towards the 2022 event, which we fully expect to be ‘business as usual’, hosted at Olympia and within our regular mid-May dates.  We expect there may be several elements of the 2021 digital show which will only enhance the live 2022 edition and will be looking to incorporate these where they can add value.”

The organisers have been working with Bottlebooks, which runs the show’s database, to implement a digital platform where exhibitors will have a virtual stand which can be tailored for individual companies or as a generic pavilion for associations.

Each stand can feature imagery, tasting notes, news of launches, videos of the winemaking team, virtual winery tours and access to bookable one-to-one meetings.  Added upgrades will also allow exhibitors to send out samples to specific visitors including buyers, key decision makers and wine writers.

The London Wine Fair virtual layout will replicate the live event with different ‘rooms' featuring industry briefings, seminars and masterclasses.  Exhibitors can also be filtered by ‘zone’, such as Esoterica or Wines Unearthed, to recreate the sense of the live event.

Industry briefings will be live, with real-time Q&As, and visitors will be able to access recorded editions in their own time. A programme of hosted tasting masterclasses will be also be accessible, with pre-booking essential to ensure samples can be delivered in advance.

Tickets cost £20 and will give access to all three days of content and three months of exhibitor listings and sample request opportunities.  All those applying for tickets will be verified to ensure the audience is 100% trade and relevant.