n the aisles of the Montpellier exhibition center, this Tuesday, October 25 at the end of the morning, it is far from being a rush and the exhibitors do not hide their disappointment. “We came for the first time this year because we had had good feedback from the previous edition. We took over the estate in 2020, we need to make ourselves known. But in two days, we only had about ten professional contacts. On the other hand, we were approached by many suppliers: bankers, chartered accountants, manufacturers of labels or caps… This is not what we expected” confide Céline and Frédéric Boudes of the Domaine de Blancardy in Moules-et-Baucels near Ganges.
A positioning problem?
Laurent Causin, commercial director of Domaine de Fonsalade in Saint Chinian is equally disappointed. He too has not seen many people “I had less than 10 contacts. There may be a problem with the positioning of this show, which communicates a lot about wine tourism. But we exhibitors, what we expect are buyers. Luckily, I was still on my stand on Monday evening at 7 p.m. and I was able to get in touch with a wholesaler who was very well established in the catering industry. But considering the costs incurred, I can not be content with it. I’m not sure I’ll come back next year”.
Stéphane Molinier, sales manager of the Fontésole cooperative cellar in Fontès, did no better. “I had about ten contacts, including many tasting clubs and business owners looking for their end-of-year gifts. It’s not really our clientele, because it represents small volumes. The only really interesting touch was a Scandinavian importer. It’s not as bad as the Dégustez en VO show held last May, but we can’t be satisfied with this result. Vinisud was not made in a day, perhaps the plasters need to be wiped off. Wouldn’t these two shows be better off coming together to make a big event?
Are trade shows still the right format?
Sales manager at the Domaine de Soustre in Montady, Sylvain Roche took part in the first edition. “I was expecting a rise in power from this show, it’s the opposite. We only had two really professional contacts if we exclude students, wine tourism guides and suppliers. Traveling is expensive! Did the organizers provide the means to bring in buyers? Are fairs the right format to sell our wines? We ask a lot of questions.”
Stéphanie Arnaud from Château Faiteau in La Livinière also noted a drop in contacts compared to last year. “However, this show falls on a good date. After the harvest, it is an opportunity to discuss the vintage with buyers. But this year, the attendance is not at the rendezvous. It’s a pity that we can’t relaunch a big Mediterranean wine fair”. Séverine Bourrier from Château de l’Ou en Roussillon, claims to have worked on the show, but not as well as last year. “There are more exhibitors while the number of visitors is stable. The clientele is diluted. This health crisis may have changed habits. Buyers have found that they can buy wine other than by walking through the salons”.
Vinomed, which had 120 exhibitors compared to 75 last year, welcomed 1,136 visitors over the two days, the same number as last year. “The results are more mixed than last year, recognizes the organizer, Olivier Darras of Break Events Group. However, we managed to bring two major export delegations: one from Korea and one from the USA. For the next edition, we will continue to work with international customers, without neglecting the regional and national,”