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New Vinexpo chief offers something completely "different" for 2015 show

Published:  29 January, 2014

Vinexpo 2015 will be something "completely different" from previous shows, according to its new chief executive, Guillaume Deglise.

Whilst it was too early to give precise details, Deglise was clear he had listened to the concerns and feedback from exhibitors and visitors and was ready to put on a show that now only addressed those issues but be a show that stood out from rest of the international competition.

He told a UK media briefing this week that whilst 75% of those attending Vinexpo were happy with the show and what it offered, he wanted to better "understand" the concerns of the "the other 25%".

"We want to build a totally different type of show. We want it to be a new experience for the industry," said Deglise. "We have listened to our customers and where we need to be in the future."

Deglise, he added, was only too aware of some of the transport, logistical and food and drink issues related to the show as he had been visiting it for years as an exhibitor and a visitor and been "stuck for two hours" trying to get to and from the exhibition.

He was also aware of the growing importance and significance of the Prowein show to both buyers and producers, but stressed Vinexpo remained the number one international event where you could meet not only the "world's most important buyers", but the owners of the wineries, producers and companies involved. "Vinexpo is the only place where all the top buyers in the world will be there. That is the strength of the Bordeaux event."

As for Prowein, Deglise said he does not see it as a "threat", but as "market leader we always need to challenge ourselves to be better".

"You come to Vinexpo to see the trends of the future and we need to do more of that over the years to come," he explained.

In particular Deglise is keen to make food and the importance of food and wine matching a bigger feature of the show and is out to attract big name chefs and restaurateurs to the event.

He also wants to explore ways in which he can help bring back some of the big names from the United States, Australia and New Zealand who have not been present at the show in recent years.

Deglise was also aware of the need to attract more bigger players and buyers from the UK to Vinexpo and said he was looking at different ways in which he can do that. "The UK is an important market for wine, and also for Vinexpo."

Another key focus will be to build up the spirits side of the show from its current 15% share with more interactive features to encourage more spirits producers to attend.

Deglise has been in his new position for six months, following the retirement of previous chief executive, Robert Beynat. He promises to offer the show a different perspective having moved to Vinexpo direct from a trade position where he has spent most of his career working in Champagne, previously with Bollinger and most recently at Laurent Perrier.

The 2015 event will be greatly helped, he said, by the fact Bordeaux's tram system will be able to take visitors direct from the centre of Bordeaux to the exhibition centre.

He remained committed to keeping Vinexpo as a two year event, at least for the near future, despite calls from some exhibitors to make it an annual show.

It will also work harder to put on more bespoke Vinexpo events in the evenings of the show and offer a wider package of activity for exhibitors and visitors to get involved in.

As well as building its presence in Asia, Deglise said there were other opportunities for Vinexpo to explore in other key markets around the world. It was "keeping an eye" on the possibility of running an event in the US, but would mean a different model to how it works everywhere else in the world.

* You can read a Q&A with Delgise in the People section of