Vinexpo New York’s 2020 show delivered on its promise to forge meaningful connections between North American buyers and exhibitors from 30 countries seeking to gain a foothold, or strengthen their position, in this crucial market. Attendees and exhibitors alike reported high engagement and positive business results despite tariffs and coronavirus concerns that have impacted travel decisions throughout the industry.
The March 2-3 show drew nearly 2,200 wine and spirits professionals, including: importers, distributors, wholesalers, buyers and e-commerce specialists from more than 41 U.S. states, Canadian provinces, and Mexican states to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center for two days of educational sessions and business opportunities. Vinexpo New York is North America’s leading international exhibition exclusively for the wine and spirits trade.
Oliver Kielwasser, the wine category lead for BevMo!, was among the attendees who reported positive results. “I met with producers from Italy, France, Spain and Argentina for various products that we have a need for and that will be a good fit for our company,” he said. “The energy at the event was excellent and there was a lot of interaction between buyers and winery reps and producers. It’s great to meet winemakers, owners and people who represent their wineries and to learn more about what their companies are all about.”
Steve Melchiskey, President, USA Wine West, LLC, shared a similar sentiment, “This was our first time exhibiting in New York and it exceeded our expectations. We brought 21 producers from eight different countries and we met with a number of top buyers, including those from Lidl and Hannaford. In just one hour at the event we had more success than we’ve had at other U.S. shows.”
“The evolving nature of the tariff situation underscored the importance for the industry to meet in New York last week. Vinexpo New York provided opportunities for stakeholders to discuss the challenges face to face and work together to navigate them,” said Beckie Kier, event director of Diversified Communications, which organized the event. “We are very pleased with quality of exhibitors and attendees at this year’s show and the meetings that took place there.”
Within a highly packed two-day schedule, industry experts led six conference sessions on trending topics from e-commerce and the changing world of wine retail to the impact of cannabis on the beverage alcohol industry and the health halo around low and no-alcohol drinks. Master classes took deep dives into the world of cognac, wines from Moravia and sustainable winemaking. Two classes sponsored by Riedel explored the impact of glass shape on the drinking experience.
The 2020 show saw the debut of The Buzz, a dedicated space for knowledge exchange, networking and group discussion moderated by Advisory Board members. Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) returned as Vinexpo New York’s education partner with a robust schedule of educational content and a new WSET Expert Meeting Lounge for information on educational offerings and credentialing. One to Wine Meetings, Vinexpo New York’s complimentary matchmaking service, connected buyers in advance with the exhibitors they sought to meet so they could make the most of their time at the show.