French Directrice Jeanne Peron and President Jeremy Benson recently attended Prowein 2016 in Dusseldorf. They share a few observations from the largest wine trade fair below.
- Bigger than Texas. Prowein is now the worldâ€™s largest wine-focused trade fair with 55,000 attendees and 6,200 exhibitors (99% of which are wineries).
- Wineries Bring Their â€œAâ€ Game: The larger wine companies had immense booths with tastings, offices, couches and lots of espresso for guests; the marketing investment is substantial. But the sheer number of booths by small and medium-sized wineries was also impressive. This isnâ€™t just for the â€˜big guys.â€™
- Virtual Reality Comes to Wine: Castel had a VR bike route through Paris; weâ€™re not sure if it was effective branding, but it was fun.
- A 59 Nation Army (couldnâ€™t hold us back): Fifty-nine nations were represented, and just one of the many buildingsÂ was home to upcoming wine regions in Slovenia, Turkey, Bulgaria and other Eastern European countries. There was wine from China, England, New York, South Americaâ€¦you name it.
- Culturally Appropriate: The regional associations did an excellent job designing their spaces to reflect their culture and personalities. Champagneâ€™s section was luxuriously carpeted in all white, Vinho Verde had a fresh and youthful feel, while Californiaâ€™s wooden frame booths and faux fireplace were inviting and contemporary.
- Mood: Like at other conferences, you see old friends and make new ones at Prowein, but the mood is all business at the same time. Event organizers did an excellent job ofÂ providing the tools to facilitate both, including a useful app with maps, summaries and a meeting scheduler (all grounded with sturdy Wi-Fi).
- Prepare NOW for 2017: Next yearâ€™s Prowein takes place March 19-21, 2017. Get your comfortable shoes ready and reserve your hotel rooms eight months in advance (and close to the 78 or 79 metro lines, which connect downtown Dusseldorf to the Messe Exhibition Center). Weâ€™ll see you there!