LWF 2014 likely to see 'return of major names'
A return to Kensington Olympia and changes to the way the London International Wine Fair is run will entice more exhibitors to the show next year, according to LIWF marketing director Will Broadfoot.
Speaking at the event in ExCeL in London this morning, Broadfoot said talks are already under way with many of the big names not attending the 2013 event.
While no deals have been signed, he is confident the drop in exhibitors to 580 this year from 800 last year is a blip that will be reversed.
Broadfoot said: "It would be very fair to say we will be seeing a return of some of the major names missing from this year.
"I'm not guaranteeing it but it is my feeling based on conversations we've been having.
"I would be surprised if any of them put ink to paper while the show is still running but bar none the reaction is really positive."
Broadfoot added the decision to switch the three-day event's opening day to Monday has paid off with 4,200 visitors yesterday.
He believes the show is now on track to attract the 10,000 visitor target set before the opening.
He added many of the exhibitors who are not attending LIWF 2013 have been driven primarily by a need to keep down costs.
Broadfoot said: "Every exhibitor has a budget to spend on marketing and it is naturally up to them how they want to split it up.
"Events are clearly an important part of the budget but when times are tough and you've got unless money then some things do get left behind.
"What is frustrating is rather than come and talk to us about reducing their costs by taking a smaller space they often prefer to do nothing at all."
He added new guidelines being introduced for exhibitors next year, such as turning off fridges overnight and banning banners hung from the ceiling, will drive down costs.
Meanwhile, the decision to invest more than £40,000 in a strategy encouraging partnerships and subsidies with airlines, hotels and restaurants should cut the cost of attending.
Broadfoot also said the show's return to Kensington Olympia next year will also give it a chance to make a fresh start.
He added: "We've got a blank canvass to negotiate for customers and we can only really do that in a new venue.
"It is important to add Olympia has just undergone a £30 million refit. We're not going back to an old venue, it is in the same location but there's nothing old [about the venue] when people get there."