As many of you are aware, Catavino Marketing will be at the London International Wine Fair with our very first stand called, the Access Zone. This 60 meter stand will host a series of talks, tastings, workshops and seminars focused exclusively on social media and blogging.
However, this entire stand could not have happened without the support and innovation of James Murray and William Broadfoot, the Exhibition Directors of the London International Wine Fair. And in light of this forward thinking approach, we felt it was important to conduct a short interview to give you a better perspective as to why they have taken the grand leap into social media.
Why is the LIWF now supporting and promoting social media at the 2010 fair?
We did our first live blog from the show floor three years ago, but it didn’t catch the imagination as much as we hoped. So much has changed since then, not least with the rise of Twitter, and social media is right up there as a key tool in the comunications armoury. The timing is perfect for us now!
As wine business is slowly transferring online, how do you see wine fairs being relevant in today’s digital world?
As long as people understand and acknowledge the benefits of face-to-face business, which simply cannot be beaten for producing results, trade events remain really powerful. Bringing together entire business communities to debate, challenge, network, experience and learn drives motivation and delivers opportunity. Wine Fairs like any other trade show achieve all this… and in this instance, physically being able to taste at the same time is just fundamentally important.
What do you think the LIWF needs to do in order to leverage the internet more effectively?
It needs to think bigger. LIWF isn’t just an exhibition, it’s a community of tens of thousands of individuals in the trade – we can become an online resource 24/7 for this community to help them to source wines, exchange views, promote special offers.. there’s real opportunity here. Our initiative The List aims to be the world’s largest searchable database of wines for the trade, so we’re already heading in the right direction.
What are you hoping that attendees at the LIWF gain from the existence of The Access Point?
There’s so much about social media that many visitors simply won’t understand. Having a dedicated zone where they can discover, discuss and learn in a relaxed environment will hopefully lead to many embracing the concepts. For the more experienced blogger it offers an area where like-minded others can meet up, exchange ideas and work together.
In the future, what role do you feel social media and blogging will play in wine event organization?
It can only grow. The more interaction and engagement we can drive, the better the relationship with the event overall… The sky’s the limit!