Vinexpo Hong Kong cemented its position and reputation as Asia-Pacific’s most important, must-attend trade event for industry professionals over its three-day show held at Hong Kong’s Convention and Exhibition Centre from May 29–31.
The strictly trade-only event is internationally recognised for the quality of its exhibitors and the depth, range and diversity of its exhibition programme, and as expected, the 20th anniversary edition surpassed all expectations with a strong international presence and a higher attendance of visitors from Mainland China, up 10% compared to 2016, reflecting the country’s remarkable growth in wine consumption.
Overall, exhibitors increased to an unprecedented 1,465 representing 30 countries, this included 305 new exhibitors. In addition, there were 62 exhibitors from 11 countries in the WOW! – World of Organic Wines – zone and this year’s ‘Country of Honour’ Australia made its biggest ever appearance at an international trade show with 225 wine brands.
China was also well represented with 27 exhibitors including the official state wine organisation, Great Wall / Chateau Sungold.
Meanwhile, overall visitor figures were up 2% on 2016 and represented a wide cross-section of Asian markets with Mainland Chinese visitors in pole position, followed in turn by Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Australia reinforcing the show’s position as the wine hub of Asia-Pacific.
South-East Asia’s dynamic market followed with increased representation from Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and The Philippines.
Andreas Clark, Chief Executive of Wine Australia commented: ‘Vinexpo Kong Kong is an excellent platform to meet and build on our existing relationships with importers from all over Asia-Pacific and to connect with influential trade professionals, create leads and break into new markets.’
Once again, Vinexpo’s Academy reinforced the show’s reputation as the global trade event with an unrivalled programme including 50 Master Classes, seminars, conferences and tastings conducted by world-renowned wine experts and aficionados for the benefit of visitors.
The One to Wine Meetings, a new initiative encouraging trade interaction and networking was an integral part of the Hong Kong event this year, building on its introduction in 2016. Deemed a great success with 1,609 scheduled business meetings taking place during the show, the meetings enabled tailor-made business appointments between exhibitors and specifically-targeted trade executives.
Commenting at the close of the show, Vinexpo CEO, Guillaume Deglise, said: ‘The ability of Vinexpo to meet exhibitors’ business objectives by bringing visiting professionals together is second to none. That’s why we continue to attract such a wide variety of countries and why key professionals in the industry consider this a must-attend event.’
Once again, a highlight of the Vinexpo Academy was The China Market Conference, with a panel of leading professionals and experts presenting an insightful overview. This year’s focus was on the exponential growth of e-commerce and its importance to the millennial generation as it relates to the future of wine consumption in China.
Another highlight of the 20th anniversary show was a dedicated Grenache Day, only the second for a grape variety as part of the Asia show. Vinexpo selected top wineries from around the world to create further awareness of this noble international grape.
Australia as the ‘Country of Honour’ created continuous excitement throughout the show with 26 Masterclasses of their own and as hosts of the signature networking event, The Blend.
Next stops: New York March 2019 – Bordeaux May 2019 – Paris January 2020
Next year, following on from a successful inaugural 2018 show, New York shows again in March; Vinexpo celebrates its new start date in Bordeaux from May 13-16 with a refreshed programme of unique B2B events to explore and learn about the latest trends, innovations and new directions being taken in the industry, and a repeat of 2017’s four-day format friendly to overseas and long-distance visitors and exhibitors.
Vinexpo Bordeaux expects some 40,000 international visitors from all five continents. Following that is Vinexpo Paris at the start of the year in 2020: a first for Vinexpo, a first for the industry – as Vinexpo continues to lead the way in international wine and spirits exhibitions for trade professionals.