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Wine Show a success

Published:  23 July, 2008

Exhibitors and consumers alike gave the thumbs-up to the inaugural Wine Show London - which took place in Islington last weekend - with the calibre of attendee and the organisation of the show particularly praised.

According to Tim Etchells, the managing director at organiser Consumer Exhibitions, almost 12,000 visitors turned up for

the event, held at the Business Design Centre (already booked for next year). We are absolutely delighted with the response we have had. Consumer attendance was very high, with everyone showing a genuine desire to learn. The floor space is nearly booked up for next year already.'

Chris Stroud, events manager at FGL Wine Estates, described the event as excellent'. He said: We were very, very happy about the type of consumers we saw: it was a refreshing change from the BBC Good Food Show. They were relatively young, very keen to learn and not just interested in getting drunk; it was obviously well marketed. It was more of a sampling and brand-building exercise than a sales one, however. We didn't really sell as much wine as we were expecting, but overall we were very pleased. We've already booked for next year.'

Bob Ratcliffe from Stevens Garnier, which used the event to relaunch Sandeman Sherries and Ports, was also positive: We were pleasantly surprised, and we sold quite a lot of stock as well - certainly more than some people did. I think it helped being the only Port company there. Friday was a little quiet, but Saturday was packed and Sunday was busy as well. We've provisionally booked for next year.'

The events and masterclasses - Lounge with the Experts,

Wine Talks, Wine Walks and Tasting Theatre - were also judged to be successful. Wine communicator Sarah Jane Evans said the Wine Walks (where an expert takes a group of consumers to a number of different stands and talks on a theme) were particularly good. It was really good fun,' she said. You really got to build up a relationship with the people you were talking to, and they were genuinely interested and enthusiastic.'

Wine-brand consultant Lynne Whittaker, who attended the show on the Friday, said: The whole thing was very well targeted at the average visitor. It didn't patronise, but nor did it alienate by being too lofty.'