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London Wine Fair to have 'less corporate feel'

Published:  03 February, 2014

London Wine Fair is to have less of a "corporate feel" this year as 25 of the companies that had previously pulled out of the exhibition to return to its new-look 2014 show.

Event director Ross Carter of Brintex, told Harpers that the fair, which has shifted focus away from international markets back to home soil, will have more of a British feel this year.

"The look and feel will be somewhat removed from what it was before. The theme will be along the lines of something much more British in its natural celebration of wine. Ultimately I think in recent years it's been a bit more corporate," Carter said.

It will be working with a major glass supplier, and has listened to criticism of poor food provision at ExCeL to introduce deli stands stocked with Mediterranean style foods at the June show in Olympia.

It's aiming to reach 10,000 consumers with its first-ever London Wine Week, which runs alongside the fair in the capital's on-trade and independent retailers. It has partnered with the organisers behind London Cocktail Week, which has been running for five years, to get the initiative off the ground.

Carter told Harpers he was optimistic that visitor numbers would increase this year, though the peaks of 2008 were unlikely to be achieved as the industry as a whole has contracted since then. Exhibitor numbers have already increased by one fifth on last year and the event is 90% sold out at this stage, Carter said.

Since LWF's organisers have listened to what the wine trade has to say and made changes, he believes this year will be different. "London Wine Fair in recent years was a victim of the economic climate - but there were things it could have done better. Now we've made those changes the future looks much brighter."

London Wine Fair takes place from June 2 to 4 at Olympia.

For more information read our Q&A with Ross Carter.