Millésime Bio expects a record waiting list, but also lots of uncertainties for 2021

Monday July 20 2020 by Vitisphere

 No conferences, masterclasses or official launch parties have been slated as yet for Millésime Bio as the organisers have decided to wait until the autumn to weigh up the possibilities depending on health guidelines. No conferences, masterclasses or official launch parties have been slated as yet for Millésime Bio as the organisers have decided to wait until the autumn to weigh up the possibilities depending on health guidelines. - Photo credit : Millésime Bio

With the exception of the odd stand, around one thousand exhibitors have already signed up for the next Millésime Bio trade fair. “Registrations opened on June 22 and we witnessed a huge outpouring of interest, which took us by surprise. We very quickly started a waiting list, which will end up at a record level”, says Olivier Goué, Millésime Bio project manager at the SudVinBio marketing board. In just two days, stand quotas allocated to winegrowers from the Rhone Valley and the rest of France (excluding Occitania) were filled. There are currently a few places left for exhibitors from Occitania, though bookings for foreign wines and other alcoholic beverages (beers, ciders, spirits...) are slower. After numerous trade show cancellations compounded by the impact of lockdown, Goué says “we can feel the need for winegrowers to take part in a trade show and do business”. Goué also points out that 15% of exhibitors who have registered are new to the show – a wave of switch-overs has fuelled extra business requirements. The event’s organisers have widened the aisles and expanded tasting areas to accommodate for social distancing and capacity has therefore been capped at 950 counters. Further adaptations could raise the number of exhibitors to 1,000, but the organisers prefer to err on the side of caution due to continued uncertainty over future health recommendations.

It remains to be seen how the coronavirus pandemic will evolve, prompting Goué to stress “we don't know at this time whether visitors from all countries will be able to attend”. Complementary plans for a virtual exhibition are therefore being developed so that export visitors who cannot travel to the show can still establish contacts with exhibitors.

Organisers of the twenty-eighth Millésime Bio exhibition, which is due to be held from 25 to 27 January 2021, are keeping a very open mind, which includes the eventuality of a postponement. If the show cannot be held at the end of January, two alternative dates at the exhibition centre in Montpellier have been booked, in early March and late April, to avoid coinciding with Wine Paris and Vinexpo Paris in mid-February and Prowein in mid-March.

 

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