|Business as usual for LIWF despite drop off|
|Monday, 06 April 2009 14:01|
The organisers of next month's London International Wine Fair remain bullish despite an expected drop of up to 10% in exhibitors.
The year's flagship event for the UK drinks industry looks set to be hit by the economic downturn in terms of stands booked, but James Murray, the show's director, is confident it will still be the place to do business in the UK in 2009.
He told Harpers Wine & Spirit that things were "tremendously tough" and that many exhibitors were leaving it even later than usual to confirm bookings.
"The Wine Fair is always a barometer for the industry and this year is no different.
He admitted he was disappointed to lose some big name exhibitors from the 2009 show, but at the same time was buoyed by the arrival of new agencies such as Gruppo Italiano Vini and Viginia Wines and new country stands from Czech Republic, Bosnia and Croatia whilst Macedonia will have an increased presence this yea and Switzerland is returning to the show this year.
New features this year include a top 100 wines from indigenous grapes chosen by the Wine Gang, featuring national wine writers Tim Atkin MW and Anthony Rose among others.
The show will include a full seminar and masterclass tasting programme, including the Harpers Wine & Spirit debate which this year will focus on how to make a profit in a recession with advice from leading figures from both the on and off-trades. "Education is going to be even more important than normal this year," added Murray.
"The good news is our budget is up so we are all set on producing a cracking show."