Promising future for show scene

27 August, 2008
Page 3 
May was another hectic month of exhibitions and events with exhibitors hastily packing up stands at one to race across the globe to another. While exhibitions are losing their appeal in some industry sectors, drinks shows - where buyers have the unique opportunity to meet winemakers from across the world and discover and

taste as many varieties as their palates can endure -

seem to be flourishing.

Positive reports have come from the TFWA show in Singapore and also the London International Wine Fair. The LIWF, together with the new spirits show Distil this year, attracted a record number of visitors - just short of 16,000, of which over a quarter were from overseas. Previous numbers have never capped 14,000.

The inaugural Distil show proved successful. The hall was positively buzzing with activity, especially when the bartenders flooded in to participate in the tutored category tastings and cocktail competitions. This was the first show of its kind dedicated to spirits. Guests could visit not only key brand owner stands, such as Diageo, but also generic stands representing a specific region or category of drink - for example, tequila, pisco, rum or Armagnac - to sample a range of brands from a number of different producers. And there was no shortage of new products to discover. This show definitely has something worth building upon for the future.

Other events taking place this past month included: the Angostura Cocktail Challenge in Trinidad (see p49); the International Wine Challenge (p6); the Drinks International Gin Challenge (p28); and the Drinks International Cocktail Challenge finals, which took place at Distil - the results can be found at and will be featured in full in next month's issue.

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La'Mel Clarke

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La’Mel Clarke, front of house at London’s Seed Library, looks at the forgotten art of hosting and why it deserves the same respect as bartending.