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A breath of fresh air for Vinexpo
Interview with Guillaume Deglise, director general of Vinexpo
by Marie-Claude Veillette, www.globalwinespirits.com
A variety of new features and improvements await participants and visitors at this year's edition of Vinexpo. Not only has the event space been refurbished to allow more room for conferences and product tastings, every effort has been made to ensure that the participants are able to maximize their networking opportunities.

« Vinexpo wants to position itself differently. We are not only about doing business; we don't simply sell spaces and carpeting. We want to offer more services, to make the event work for exhibitors and to provide them with a real return on their investment », says Guillaume Deglise, director general of Vinexpo.

« This is why this year's edition of Vinexpo is focused on networking. We are organizing private meetings, one-on-one sessions between producers and buyers to reinforce the business aspect of Vinexpo. The exhibitors already have much to do: organize the booth, handle the logistics, as well as have prepared their offer beforehand by arranging meetings with prospective customers or current buyers. The goal of the networking events is to provide opportunities for exhibitors to develop new contacts. »

Every night, Vinexpo participants are invited to engage with other key players in the wine industry in the relaxed atmosphere of « The Blend » in downtown Bordeaux.

« Participants are invited to have a drink, talk, make new contacts and exchange business cards. These evenings are exclusively reserved for Vinexpo exhibitors », explains Deglise.

The United States honored

« Inside the U.S. Market », a major conference organized by Wine Spectator magazine that features a panel of prominent individuals from the wine industry, provides an opportunity for Vinexpo participants to gain a better understanding of the machinations of the American market.

« Eyes are turning more and more to Asian markets, despite a slowdown in the Chinese market over the past two years. However we are noticing an increasing infatuation with the U.S. market, which is the number 1 market in the world for the consumption of wine. We are projecting an 14% increase in U.S. wine consumption over the next five years, and American wine production capacity will simply not be able to quench this thirst. »

For the first time in the event's history, Vinexpo is honoring a specific country: the United States. Dozens of American importers will be present at Vinexpo to engage with exhibitors and explore business opportunities.

« It's difficult to penetrate the American market - to establish good contacts, find good importers and good distributors. You have to have a good understanding of distribution. This is why we are putting a focus on the U.S. market. Trends are changing, especially on the East Coast. In the past Americans have tended to prefer heavier wines, but now they are turning towards wines that could be referred to as more elegant, » creating a perfect entry point for European producers, concludes Deglise.

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