Vinexpo Hong Kong 2016 reinforced its renown as Asia’s premier wine and spirits event, from May 24-26 this week. The three-day exclusively trade exhibition – recognised for its quality exhibitors, buyers and diverse program – continued to exceed all expectations with 1,300 exhibitors representing wine and spirit brands from 33 countries.
With a rebound of China, the world’s fifth largest wine consuming market, as well as a dynamic overall Asia-Pacific presence, both exhibitors and buyers were in a buoyant mood.
Overall visitor numbers surpassed expectations with over 17,000 visitors through the doors. This was further reflected as Vinexpo estimates a 9 % increase of visitors from mainland China, compared to 2014 show figures. This strong growth meaning Mainland China now holds prime position as the shows number one visiting country.
Demonstrating its firmly-established position as the ‘wine hub of Asia-Pacific’, Hong Kong holds second place in terms of visitor representation. Taiwan accounted for the third-largest number of trade visitors from Asia, followed by South Korea, Japan andSingapore. South-East Asia’s dynamic market was hot on their heels, with increasing representation from Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Australia holds the seventh rank, even before Vietnam.
At the closing press briefing, Vinexpo Chairman, Xavier de Eizaguirre announced that the show saw exponential growth in terms of international visitors, with over double the number of visiting countries attending 2016 vs. 2014. The Chairman also highlighted that Australian visitors to the show grew by 24% as compared to the 2014 edition.
With a specifically targeted invitation policy of top buyers only, the quality of those present at this year’s show is seemingly unmatched on the global scale. And Vinexpo is known world-wide as the only wine and spirits trade event to host such an impressive panel of renowned speakers. Within the AcademyVinexpo welcomed visiting business professionals and exhibitors to experience 75 quality masterclasses, seminars, conferences, and tastings.
The ‘One to Wine Meetings’, a new initiative encouraging trade interaction and networking was introduced to Hong Kong this year. Deemed a great success with over 1,500 scheduled business meetings taking place during the show, the meetings enabled tailor-made business appointments between exhibitors and specifically-targeted trade executives.
“With visiting professionals just as important to us as the exhibitors, this service added a superior degree of professionalism to the trade show,” said Vinexpo CEO Guillaume Deglise.
A topical headline event organised by Vinexpo, included a China Market Conference, which saw a panel of leading wine experts across a range of business categories presenting an insightful look at the wine market in China, discussing e-Commerce in the region as well as the importance of embracing millennials and further brand building in China.
The 7th Hong Kong edition of the three-day ‘shop window’ to the Asian market is unparalleled in showcasing the latest trends and a large variety of developments within the industry. For one, this year Vinexpo hosted a Shiraz/Syrah Day – the first dedicated day for a grape variety as part of the Asia show – partnering with wineries to create further awareness of this noble international grape.
Another first for the Hong Kong show was the spotlight on Italy as this year’s dedicated ‘Country of Honour’. A large number of Italian producers were represented at the show, of which 60 participated for the first time. Vinexpo provided a platform for both well-known and emerging Italian brands offering the country the opportunity to gain global exposure. Italy was further highlighted through a series of dedicated seminars and tastings.
The strong visitor statistics for 2016 teamed with the well-attended quality programme of events solidifies Vinexpo as a key partner for the wine and spirits industry internationally.
Next stops – Tokyo & Bordeaux
Vinexpo will return to Tokyo on November 15-16, taking place in the heart of Tokyo’s business district in the prestigious Prince Park Tower hotel. The two-day showcase will connect the industry to one of the fastest growing markets in the world. Japan is the No. 1 Asian market for imported spirits, and second for wines, with a total of 178,000 sales outlets.
Mr. Deglise highlights that Vinexpo Tokyo enables exhibitors, buyers and guests alike to optimise on a mature market. The event is a networking hub for key importers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers and sommeliers. It attracts a high calibre of quality visitors and offers exhibitors the chance to penetrate an exhilarating, yet demanding Japanese market.
Attending buyers include importers, wholesalers, hospitality industry buyers and on-trade buyers, off-trade, duty free and airline & cruise. Vinexpo Tokyo also opens doors to specifically targeted wine lovers recommended by Japanese importers.
Next year, Vinexpo will take place in Bordeaux from June 18-21 2017, with a new programme of unique B2B events to discover the latest trends and innovations, and new four-day format friendly to overseas and long-distance visitors and exhibitors. Vinexpo Bordeaux expects some 48,000 international visitors from all five continents.