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Prowein 2015: Wine tradeshow off to a strong start, says show director

Published:  16 March, 2015

Prowein 2015 is off to strong start with visitor numbers on the first day up an estimated 10% on last year, according to Prowein's executive director, Michael Degen.

"It is a very good start. We saw the start had a good frequency in visitors," Degen told

However, more importantly, Degen wanted to see if the new location and concept was going to work with visitors and exhibitors. This year the tradeshow changed locations, moving from Halls 1 to 7.1 to Halls 9 to 17 to accommodate a 14% increase in exhibitor space.

It is early in the show but the location changes have been successful according to Degen. "Working means that from the very first moment of the show all visitors would be going into all spots of the show and not just in one direction or one hall. So when we saw that even in Hall 17 for example, at 9.15am there were already large numbers of visitors, we knew that 'ok this is working fine'."

So far the only complaint Degen has heard is that the schedule of meetings for everyone is tight, which he argues demonstrates the business focus that Prowein has become known for.  

"Sunday and Monday tend to be the main days of the show. Everyone has been saying that the schedule of everyone is so tight. Prowein is the only trade show at Messe Düsseldorf where the visitors arrive at the show at 9am when the doors open. If you go through the halls at 6 pm in the evening when the show should be finishing all exhibitors are busy still. It is a sign of the intensity that the show has," he said.

The success of Prowein and the perception that it has become 'THE meeting place' - as one exhibitor stated - for business in the wine trade has been built on a strategy of attracting the right exhibitors.

"We stick to the concept we made a long time ago," he explains "We didn't want to be a single German show, but a truly international show. All our work has been focused on bring international exhibitors to Düsseldorf, but also international visitors. Of course we invested in good organisation, infrastructure and logistics - and it worked because Messe Düssledorf is skilled in hosting industry trade shows."

But don't think these means that Degen has finished growing the show - Degen admits he would like to see more US and UK visitors, but is pleased with the quality of those in attendance this year.

Degen said: "At the moment for us it is more crucial to develop the visitor side. We have a waiting list for exhibitors. With the new space this has been what we addressed and our focus now is stronger development on the visitor side. That means more US buyers as it is the number one consumption market, as well as more buyers from the UK and Asia, of course."

Although Degen is pleased about the positive feedback about on Prowein  2015, he is not complacent or someone who rests on his laurels.  

"It is good for us to have competitorsm," he argues. "It is one of the things that I am most afraid for and stress to my team is that we don't get too comfortable about our success. We have a good momentum, but it is permanent work  to keep it growing."