I am on my way to Prowein again. Covid cancelled Europe’s biggest wine trade fair in 2020 and 2021 and packing my bags for the 2022 edition felt like now, we are at last getting back to business. I think everyone embraces a touch of normality, but what can we expect from this year’s fair with its more than 5500 exhibitors? Will it be the same as in pre-Covid times?
With a yearning to get back to life as we know it, I guess Prowein will keep to much of its successful format. Some things will obviously be different in keeping with the health and safety protocol we’ve become accustomed to in the past two years. While most of the Covid-related restrictions have been lifted, the organisers recommend that medical face masks be worn on the premises and that a 1.5 m distance to other persons be maintained. Sanitizer dispensers will be available, contact surfaces will be cleaned frequently, distance markings will avoid crowding and doors will be left open. While high performance ventilations systems are in use, the premises have been extended to allow even more spacious stands. The 13 exhibition halls will have 70 points to empty spittoons and glasses will be washed at 60°C. No countries are currently classified as high risk by the German government, so participant only have to comply with the entry regulations for Germany which is a negative Covid test or proof of vaccination/recovery.
For those of us traveling from South Africa, there will be one big difference this year. There will be no Wines of South Africa pavilion. Earlier uncertainty along with economic commitments discouraged en-masse participation from South Africa. Although socialising is not the reason for attending a wine fair on the other side of the world, I will miss seeing familiar faces and catching up with old wine friends. Some of us will join our importers and if you want to catch up, you will find me at the stand of our EU brand ambassador: Villa Huesgen Stand: Hall 1 E129.
The 2022 fair is themed, Let’s reunite for Business, but I think the title of the popular Prowein trend show, Same but Different, also applies to this year’s show. What can we expect other than a return to wine tastings in person? What can we expect from the attendance of producers, buyers, media? Are we more eager, perhaps more hesitant?
In order to get the most out of the fair and to make it easier to align interests, Prowein has introduced something similar to a dating app – the Prowein Matchmaking Tool. “By matching those with common interests, the Matchmaking Tool already very selectively brings together supply and demand in the preparatory stages of the trade fair,” said Bastian Mingers, Prowein project director. “Both sides benefit from this and trade fair participation becomes even more efficient.” (Read more)
Efficiency is a key term. It was always of the utmost importance to plan and prepare if you want your trade fair experience to be successful. Now, with the post-Covid challenges and the imminent economic consequences of war in Europe, it is even more important to get all you can from your participation in Prowein. Follow this link for some general guidelines for trade fair success.
While I have a list of interests that I want to explore during the show, what does Prowein identify as the latest trends in the business of wine? (Read more)
- “A common theme to be found among this year’s Same But Different exhibitors will be shared values of ‘gentle, sustainable and creative’ processing of raw materials, craftsmanship, know‐how, and a ‘strong passion’ for the product and new trends.” (Read more)
- While non-alcoholic spirits and ciders will be a focus in the trend hall, the low and no alcohol category for wine also stays relevant. It is still a challenge to make low and no alcohol wine at the same quality and taste profile as regular wine, so I can’t wait to taste and see how we are progressing.
- No one can afford to ignore the influence of climate change on the world of wine. What do we have to do to adapt when it comes to variety, aspect, altitude and rootstock?
- Pandemics and lockdowns lead to new ways of thinking. There has been attempts at co-fermentation, hard seltzer (flavoured sparkling alcoholic water), new categories of hybrid drinks and inventive packaging.
A fair of this magnitude is a wonderful place to do business, but it is also a platform to explore trends and to see what is new and happening. Your goal might be to meet existing and prospective customers, but it would be foolish to not use the opportunity to gather information and to be inspired.