Vinexpo CEO unveils dynamic new vision for 2020 and beyond

Reinventing Vinexpo Bordeaux as a more efficient event and joining forces with Wine Paris are key pillars in Rodolphe Lameyse’s global strategy

On Wednesday evening, Vinexpo’s recently-appointed CEO Rodolphe Lameyse unveiled a strategic blueprint designed to consolidate the company’s position as global leader in the wine and spirits exhibition business. In an exclusive interview with Vinexpo Daily, he unveiled a three-pronged strategy that will involve a strategic alliance with Wine Paris, closer relationships with the chateaux of Bordeaux and the reimagination of Vinexpo Bordeaux from the next edition in 2021. We started by asking him about the decision to work with Wine Paris.

From 2020, Vinexpo and Wine Paris will engage in a new strategic partnership designed to draw on the strengths of both organisations. The reason for this is that we expect the market for mid-range and premium wine to grow both in terms of volume and price, so we need a robust commercial model to support this. Between Vinexpo and Wine Paris, we believe we can now provide a platform for all wine companies from the mid-range to the very best.


How exactly will the partnership with Wine Paris work?

In 2020, Vinexpo Paris and Wine Paris will both hold their exhibitions from February 10-12 at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles. We believe this unprecedented initiative between the organisers (Comexposium and Vinexpo) will consolidate France’s wine expertise and strengthen its international reputation. Both events, however, will have their own characteristics. Vinexpo, for example, will boast new services such as WOW! and Be Spirits. We think this partnership sends out a message to the wine industry that we are evolving Vinexpo so that it is the most efficient business tool it can be. With events in the US, Europe and Asia, we want to get as close as possible to our clients so we can really understand and help deliver their strategy.

This was your first Vinexpo Bordeaux – what were your first impressions?

I’ve been really impressed this week by the volume of business being done in the booths. For me, the clear message is that there is room for a compact, effcient Vinexpo Bordeaux that brings buyers and sellers together. But we are not trying to turn Vinexpo Bordeaux into a mega-event; we want it to have a human scale that supports a high quality and personal experience.

How would you summarise its overall strengths?

I’ve been really impressed with several elements – aside from the brisk business being done on the stands. The symposium was amazing and it will continue to be part of our plans in the future. Climate change is such a fast-moving subject that we will need to keep revisiting it, but there are also opportunities within this format to get closer to the people on the front- line of the production process, the kind we don’t always see here. I was also surprised by the quality of the e-commerce conference and the level of interest. The fact that there were 400 people in the room says to me that this is an area that the industry wants to know more about and we can help them with that. And I loved the Grande Degustation on the eve of the exhibition. It’s a great way for producers from markets like Chile and Argentina, for example, to connect with people who understand and love wine. And it’s good for Vinexpo to connect with consumers.

How do you see the relationship between Vinexpo and Bordeaux evolving?

Vinexpo has a strong connection here but my sense is that we can work even more closely with Bordeaux. For example, there is potential to align more effectively with the Châteaux on the entertainment experience. I also think there is room for deeper collaboration with the Primeur wine- tasting events that take place in earlier in the year – as long as that also makes strategic sense for them. And there is room to attract more of the Châteaux that currently don’t attend.

Is there anything missing from the Vinexpo offering that you want to add?

Vinexpo should be the leading force in wine tourism, so that’s something we are keen to expand. The Bordeaux wine-makers are also thinking in a similar way, so there is a potential partnership with the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce.

Rodolphe Lameyse, CEO, Vinexpo