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Vinexpo changes face in 2015


World Bordeaux

Vinexpo changes face in 2015

Interview of general manager Guillaume Deglise

Since you arrived at the head of Vinexpo, what have been your main areas of work?

I arrived one and a half year ago. I came from the wine world, I first had to get familiar to this new metier of trade fair organiser, with the team and the stakes. We focused on two subjects. First the fair in Bordeaux with the will to renew. Then the Asian editions* where a real demand has been identified.

What stock did you take to decide the renewal of Vinexpo?

Before managing Vinexpo, I was at the other side. I already had noticed things as an exhibitor. Nowadays there are other important trade fairs. Vinexpo has to remain a special appointment, it has to offer something else than just business. It has to enable networking. Vinexpo is the only platform to be so international. Professionals from 120 countries meet on the fair. Several months before the trade fair, we communicate a lot in different countries through our IWSR surveys. We really focus on importers, important for our exhibitors.

What will be the greatest new features of the new version?

What motivated our actions was to provide our exhibitors with more services in terms of hospitality, transport, welcoming, and more business. We created the Wine to Wine Meeting service: the goal is to set up meetings between exhibitors and prospects. This work is done before the fair. A team of 20 persons gets in touch will each exhibitors to collect their needs and propose appointments directly on the stands. We get good reactions. People are sensitive to this approach and it is a free service. We total 700 direct exhibitors. The visitors/buyers are also concerned. We really wanted to work our exhibitors' return on investments. A fair is a considerable budget.

Another strong aspect: networking. Visitors were left aside in the evening events. We created the concept The Blend, a way to continue the spirit of the trade fair in a more convivial context.

At last it was important to make a link between with gastronomy. Wine and gastronomy did not meet often enough on Vinexpo. That is why we implemented the Chefs' Workshops were Chefs and their sommelier will come to present food and wine pairings.

In a parallel, we wanted to renew the catering offer. This service is now integrated in the trade fair.

You cemented a partnership with the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale. What stock do you take after this first year? Are you satisfied?

I am really satisfied. I come from the wine world, I have always been working with sommeliers. They are a fantastic relay with the producers and the brands. The metier is getting more international and professional. This partnership was obvious.

What we provide to A.S.I. is our international status. Vinexpo attracts 1,250 journalists of all nationalities. Networking is something we set forward. We would like to attract enough sommeliers as they have no dedicated trade fair.

We have heard of a project about the organization of the next Contest of the Best Sommelier of the World in 2019 …

Indeed it is possible that the Contest comes back to Europe, to France, and I suggested to co-organize this great event.

* Vinexpo Asia Pacific du 24 au 26 mai 2016 (Hong Kong); Vinexpo Nippon le 15 et 16 novembre 2016 (Tokyo).

Propos recueillis par Sylvia van der Velden

Guillaume Deglise