ProWein preview

23 February, 2023

Shay Waterworth takes a look at what can be expected from this year’s leading international wine and spirits trade show in Düsseldorf.

The biggest change at ProWein this year is the introduction of Peter Schmitz, who will be making his show debut as director having taken on the role in February. For the nine previous months Michael Degen had been acting director and has now returned to his role on the board of management for Messe Düsseldorf, the organisation behind ProWein.

“I am absolutely passionate about networking with people and maintaining business relationships all over the world,” says Schmitz. “This is exactly what ProWein is all about and I am delighted to be able to contribute my long-standing experience here.”

It’s safe to say that networking is the heartbeat of ProWein and, speaking with Wine Enthusiast earlier this year, Degen is expecting a full-strength show after some troubled years.

“Last year the response was already very positive despite the pandemic,” says Degen. “At ProWein 2023, we will increase our numbers again and definitely reach the mark of 6,000 international exhibitors. The range of products will again be very international. The exhibitors will come from over 60 countries. We are very proud to be able to present such an international and comprehensive range to the entire industry. That is what we stand for and what sets us apart. That is the unique selling point of ProWein.”

Degen adds that a recent conversation with an importer from New York revealed that he appreciated ProWein so much “because he can work very efficiently here and can meet all the important people”. These include all his suppliers from California, Washington and Oregon, so he goes to Germany rather than travelling in his own country.

In terms of themes for the show in 2023, ProWein has six key areas of focus. The ‘same but different’ show explores the latest trends in craft spirits, beer and cider, while ProWein will also have Organic World for wines invested in the organic movement. The Champagne Lounge will this year take over three halls and there are also areas dedicated to packaging & design and low/no brands. The final theme is spirits, of which the presence has continued to grow at ProWein, and this is expected to have around 500 exhibitors this year from all corners of the world.

While Düsseldorf remains the flagship event in the calendar year for the wine business, the organisation is once again growing its international presence. ProWine Shanghai was the first expansion of the brand in 2013, followed by ProWine Singapore, ProWine Hong Kong, ProWine Mumbai and ProWine São Paulo. The latest member of the international ProWein family is ProWine Tokyo, which is due to take place next year.

Under the new management, it would be easy to fall on a cliché such as the ‘beginning of a new era’ or a ‘new direction’ for the show. However, Schmitz has been responsible for Messe Düsseldorf’s contract business for public clients as well as for the participation in trade fairs abroad for more than 20 years. So in fact there are few people better suited to grow the show both in Germany and around the world.

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