Fundamental to the changes is a desire to a focus on UK businesses. Brintex says a key goal is to ensure the fair becomes a ‘must attend’ event for the core UK domestic visitor sectors, namely: the on-trade; independent retailer; wholesaler; multiple buyer and key influencer, and that visiting the show is directly beneficial to their business.
Exhibition director, James Murray, said: “We are committed to cementing the show at the core of the UK wine industry for 2013. Whilst, as a leading industry event on the global stage, we will continue to welcome the international audience, our priority will be on the domestic market, and acknowledging the importance of the UK buying community.
“2013 will be all about connecting the visitor journey; bringing buyer and seller together more effectively. There will be other initiatives coming on-stream in the run up to the fair, including plans for a new restaurant and briefing sessions, with high profile keynote speakers, designed to ensure wider media coverage for the industry. We are really excited about our development plans and delighted with the involvement and impact of our new advisory board.”
A new feature is: My Wine Fair a centrally-located hub created to provide visiting buyers with the opportunity to tailor their experience. A new system of gathering and storing exhibitor and wine data will be introduced to allow the creation of personalised, interactive trails around the event. Hosted by “LIWF Ambassadors”, the feature will act as a focal point for visitors looking to maximise their time at the event. Itineraries containing seminars, feature tastings, right down to specific wines can be created and printed bringing a practical, connected experience to the visitor. The My Wine Fair area will also provide the opportunity for pop-up tastings, innovation displays and mini-master classes.
The off-trade will be served by a series of initiatives, including: travel bursary schemes for independents, networking drinks within My Wine Fair and business advice clinics addressing key topics such as on-line retailing, supply chain and merchandising. In addition, bespoke programmes will be set up with individual multiple and specialist retailers.
In terms of on-trade initiatives, top sommeliers will be offered pre-paid Oyster cards to travel to ExCeL; free bespoke stemware will be available for on-trade buyers; a networking drinks event will be hosted within My Wine Fair and there will be partnership activity with key associations and media. With a new opening time of 10.30am on the Monday, a later closing time is also being researched to encourage more attendance from the on-trade.
LIWF now has a UK Advisory Board, comprising opinion formers from the UK industry, representing importers, independents, multiples, the on-trade and generic bodies. The board, which met earlier this month for the first time, has helped formulate initiatives for 2013 and will continue to assist in shaping the Fair moving forward. Members include: Mark Calver, Hatch Mansfield; Anne Burchett Sopexa UK; Fiona Cochran, Bibendum Wine; Chair, David Cox, former director-Europe at New Zealand Winegrowers; Claire Harris, Mitchells & Butlers; Martin Lam, Ransome’s Dock; Carolyn D’Aguilar, Codorniu UK; Yvonne May, Wine Australia; Emily O’Hare, The River Café; Christopher Sherwood, Bottle Apostle; Matt Smith, Waitrose; Xavier Rousset, Texture/28°-50°; Jo Willett, CyT UK; and Hal Wilson, Cambridge Wine Merchants.
London International Wine Fair (LIWF) and Distil 2013 opening times:
10.30am to 6.00pm Monday 20th May 2013
9.30am to 6.00pm Tuesday, 21st May 2013
9.30am to 5.00pm Wednesday 22nd May 2013