by Juel Mahoney
Faced with 20,000 wines from over 25 countries, you may be wondering, where’s the best place to start at LIWF? Here’s our insider’s guide to one of the world’s biggest wine trade fairs.
1. Comfortable shoes
First things first. The ExCel site is 100 acres (400,000 sqm). Whether you want to amble from stand to stand or spend the three days madly rushing around from one appointment to another, your feet will thank us later.
2. Register beforehand
You have already elbowed a wine writer or two getting off the DLR at Customs House. Avoid more queues by registering your visitor badge online.
3. Wear Your Badge
The Wine Fair is where people put a name to a face. Don’t waste this chance to meet people and taste something new. Introduce yourself. (See point 4).
4. Business Cards
Are you a master networker or simply disorganised? Running out of business cards on Tuesday afternoon is not a good look. Bring a bag full.
5. Set Appointments
Brazil, Australia, Argentina, Russia – a lot of people have travelled a long way to get to Excel this week. Most have organised their appointments well before arriving. If you have not organised who you want to see, get in early on Tuesday and set up appointments.
6. Plan in Advance
Where is the Wi-Fi? What’s the latest in Turkish wine? Where can I have lunch? With so much to choose from – seminars, tastings, debates, masterclasses – the website can help you manage your time. Check out What’s On and the LIWF Timetable before you go. There is also a free LIWF app you can download.
7. Attend Seminars
The seminars are an excellent opportunity to brush up on what’s new in the world of wine and hear what industry leaders have to say about the state of the market.
The Boulevard inside ExCel has coffee and as many £9 sandwiches as you can get your hands on. The Fox is the pub just outside the entrance and is mostly good for beer after tasting hundreds of wines.
9. Use #LIWF on twitter
You can often find out what’s hot and what’s not from checking twitter. This year the hashtag is #LIWF. The Wi-Fi can be patchy in Excel at the best of time. The Access Zone on Stand K70 has free wi-fi and also offer tips and tricks on social media.
And of course, Bibendum is there! Come visit us on our brand new stand. We are in the same position in the hall but with a new look and new wines. What will you find this year?
The Taste Test wall is back – find out why you like what you like and discover an unique way of communicating with consumers about wine. There’s also the latest from our Market Insights team, 20 producers (including d’Arenberg’s 100th birthday celebrations) and the best English wines as part of our British Summer Time campaign.
Find us on stand L30 & L21 (closest entrance S5).
Have you any essential tips to survive London’s biggest wine fair? Share it below.