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LWF event director to step down as new venue rumours circulate

Published:  09 May, 2017

Some major changes are due to be announced ahead of this month’s London Wine Fair (LWF). 
Harpers can confirm that following this year’s show, Ross Carter will be leaving Brintex – the company which runs the LWF. 
He will step down as event director, a role which he has held since moving the fair back from ExCeL at London Docklands’ to the Kensington Olympia in 2014. 
The issue of venue is also believed to have formed part of discussions surrounding the LWF over the past week. 
Harpers’ has heard that the possibility of a new venue has been floated for 2018, with Battersea Power Station being identified as a possible new location. 
Speaking to Harpers this afternoon, Carter said he would be leaving Brintex after this year’s fair, and that his successor is expected to be announced in the next few days. 
On the topic of venue, he said that the location of the fair is one of a “wide range” of strategies which are regularly debated by organisers. 
The trade was instrumental in the decision to bring the fair from the ExCeL back to the Olympia, he said, adding that organisers are in “regular consultation with the trade – both exhibitors and visitors – about the future of the London Wine Fair”. 
Rising costs and some major agents taking the decision not to exhibit this year, may also be forming part of discussions around a new location. 
Harpers believes that the cost of exhibiting at the Olympia could rise by around 5% before 2018.
A number of regular faces opting out of this year’s show has also generated discussion. 
The future of the fair and the role it plays in protecting and promoting the UK wine industry is something we discuss in this month’s print edition of Harpers. 
In the LWF preview, we speak to members of the trade about how the fair’s role as a domestic fair serves the industry, and how support is crucial for its longevity. 
Read the full review in print when it is released this Friday, May 12.