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Changes at London Wine Fair draw over 11,000 people

Published:  09 June, 2014

As last week's London Wine Fair 2014 wrapped up, the initial visitor estimates show numbers up 11% overall, signalling the format changes and return to Olympia injected some much needed life back into one of the UK's biggest wine exhibitions.

"We couldn't be happier with the results this year. The trade called for change, we listened, and delivered beyond even our high expectations. The buzz around the halls was incredible and the feedback so far has been nothing but positive. Exhibitors put their faith in our ability to host a world-class trade event, and I'd like to think we achieved that and more" said London Wine Fair event director, Ross Carter.

Visitors to the LWF totalled 11,247. The number of on-trade retailers present increased by 30% and independent retailer visits were boosted by 25%, suggesting that the financial subsidies offered to these channels paid dividends.

Dan Jago, UK and group wine director for Tesco, said: "I was delighted that the Fair was back at Olympia, people were much more energised about talking and selling. It felt edgy. There was a real vibe of energy and passion for product and good old fashioned selling - literally hand to mouth - and it showed.  For me, I had proper meetings all the way through and yet it didn't feel over corporate."

Adrian Bridge, chief executive of Taylor's, said: "The London Wine Fair listened and responded to what the trade was demanding. The changes made really reflect that. Bringing the fair back to Olympia really brings the personality back to the show. People are here really showing their wines."

"This year's London Wine Fair was a refreshing change for me as I have been visiting the fair for the past 19 years and have seen many ups and downs along the way. I loved the fact there were so many smaller suppliers there that I deal with. It's a long time since I enjoyed the fair this much and looking forward to next year," said Ruth Yates from Corks Out.

The show had mostly positive feedback, but a number of exhibitors and retailers said navigation was challenging, identifying it as a potential area of improvement for next year.

Next year's 2015 show will be held on Monday May 18 to May 20 at Kensington Olympia in London.