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ProWein has to turn away exhibitors for 2014 show as waiting list grows

Published:  28 January, 2014

ProWein, the international wine trade fair, is having to turn away an increasing number of exhibitors who are keen to get in to the show as it is looking to "consolidate" on its strong 2013 performance by not increasing stand or hall space in 2014. 

ProWein, the international wine trade fair, is having to turn away an increasing number of exhibitors who are keen to get in to the show as it is looking to "consolidate" on its strong 2013 performance by not increasing stand or hall space in 2014.  

It concedes it is a "difficult balancing act" trying to keep up with the needs and demands of existing exhibitors whilst also keeping a growing waiting list of companies happy waiting in the wings.

Michael Degen, executive director of Messe Dusseldforf , the exhibitions business behind Prowein, confirmed to Harpers. that plans were already in place to expand the number of exhibitors and halls for the 2015 show, but things will remain "as they were in 2013" for this year's event, which will be the 20th anniversary  of the show.

He said it is important that the improvements made to the show last year, which included a 20% increase in space and the introduction of two new halls, were built on again this year, even if that meant a growing number of wine companies will be left disappointed by not finding room at the 2014 event in March which runs from March 23-25.

Degen said it was important to manage the expectations of exhibitors and whilst the 2013 event saw an increase of 10% in visitors, some companies had complained about there being less people on the show floor, but his, he added, was due to the fact the floor space had been increased by 20% which meant there was less visitors per square metre than in 2012.  "We have to balance that," he said.

"Yes, we would always want to have more visitors, but they have to be quality visitors," added Degen.

But he stressed the one big difference between ProWein and all the other, much larger,  industry events organised by Messe Dusseldforf, is that visitors are on site from 9am to 6pm ever y day of the show.

Full seminar programme

There will again be a full seminar and tastings programme at ProWein 2014 with over 300 events planned around the show ground. This will include Koshu tastings on the expanded Japanese stand which will see Japanese wineries for the first time. "We feel that is about the right amount of events for a three day show. There would be too much competition if there were many more," said Corinna Kuhn ProWein's manager of press.

Degen confirmed ProWein continues to reap the benefits from a number of countries deciding to switch its focus away from what was the London International Wine Fair and consolidate their efforts in Dusseldorf. But he stressed there was still "very much space" for a successful UK wine fair and does not see any direct competition between the revamped London Wine Fair show and ProWein 2014.

More Asian visitors

ProWein hopes to attract more visitors to the show from the US and Asia and is particularly hopeful that its first event in China, ProWine China held in Shanghai last November, will encourage more buyers and visitors from the country to come and visit the main ProWein in Dusseldorf.

He said its first event went as well as could possibly have been expected with 90% of the 7,500 visitors all coming from China or the Shanghai region.

It was clear, he added, that to really understand and service the Chinese market it was important to host events on the mainland and not regard Hong Kong as the gateway to the rest of the country. "People learnt that Hong Kong is not China. In the past a lot of major international events have been held in Hong Kong thinking they would meet Chinese buyers there. But to really meet Chinese buyers you have to be somewhere like Shanghai."

The next ProWine China will take place in Shanghai between November 12-14.

Degen said it had no immediate plans to expand ProWein in to other countries, but that the United States or North America would be "the most logical" place for it to look next, but did not feel the time was right to explore those options until its Chinese event was firmly established.


ProWein 2013 the facts:

  • ProWein 2013 attracted 4,792 exhibitors, 82% of which (3,934) came from outside Germany
  • ProWein 2013 had exhibitors from 48 different countries.
  • Total space rented by exhibitors in 2013 was 51,919m2 - compared to 2,914 m2 in its first year in 1994.
  • ProWein 2013 attracted 45,168 visitors, 43% of which came from outside Germany, compared to 14% in 2002.