LIWF to relaunch as UK focused show in 2014
The London International Wine Fair is to announce radical changes for its 2014 event which will see it rebrand itself as domestic wine and spirits show primarily for the UK multiple and independent on and off-trades.
Official plans are to be announced to the trade on May 7, but Harpers can reveal that Brintex, the exhibition company that owns LIWF, is looking to create a show that better meets the needs of the changing UK wine and spirits industry.
The news follows a series of high profile pull outs from the 2013 event set to take place at London's ExCel exhibition centre between May 20-22. Many of those not going to the show this year, which include high profile names such as Bibendum, Enotria and Liberty, have blamed the fair's location at the ExCel exhibtion centre in east London as been unable to attract the numbers of independent and on-trade buyers their investment requires.
Ross Carter, the LIWF's show director, said it had been a steep learning curve, but it had listened and spoken to key players right across the trade and was confident its new plans to turn the event into an essentially domestic show will meet their demands and see a completely relaunched show for 2014.
Carter said no firm decision has yet been made on the location for the 2014 event due to tenancy issues for a wine and spirits event both at ExCel and any potential alternative venue, thought most likely to be Earls Court. He said it was arguably more important to get the format and content of the event right first.
But he stressed the focus for the next few weeks was firmly on making the 2013 event as successful as it can be. "It is all about investing in this year's show. We are still by far the number one business event in wine and spirits in the UK."
LIWF, he added, was also one of the biggest trade events held at ExCel through the year with around 500 exhibitors showing over 12,000 wines.
"We have got great heavyweight exhibitors coming and we want to deliver for them," added Will Broadfoot, Brintex's marketing director. He said he was confident LIWF 2013 will still attract well over 10,000 visitors, and was hoping it would be nearer 13,000.