The undifferentiated criticism of ProWein is remarkable. The fact that the 2023 fair was not ideal from the point of view of the transport strikes should not be ignored. The strike, which was announced in advance, must have kept a lot of people away from the fair. Otherwise, the figure of 50,000 visitors would probably have been reached. Today, there are almost 30% more visitors than in 2022, but 20% less than in 2019.
In the past, visitors were also distributed among more exhibitors, and the previous year the show's registration policy had become more restrictive. As a result, the exhibitor-to-visitor ratio remained virtually unchanged, as the visitors were even more professional than in the years before the pandemic.
Unsurprising criticism from France
Many French exhibitors were dissatisfied with the popularity of the fair. In recent years, Wine Paris has given them a valuable home fair where they are at the center of the action. Those who had been to Wine Paris had little reason to visit their French suppliers again at ProWein.
Austria well established
In particular, German criticism with an altered dialect was commonly expressed. As is often the case in discussions, there are some quiet, calm ones as well as impulsive, angry voices. And we should not forget that many Austrians were completely satisfied. The reference to supposed success figures of individual Austrian exhibitors at Wine Paris should be viewed with caution. There were 29 exhibitors from Austria at Wine Paris and 231 at ProWein. If half of them were to go to Paris, the success figures would be spread over five times as many producers and Austria would lose its exotic status. The country has not had this status at ProWein for a long time. Whereas 15-20 years ago Austrian winemakers were the "new kids on the block", stirring up the German wine trade, today they are very well established.
"ProWein 2023 was a success. Standing still would be the biggest favor Messe Düsseldorf could do for Wine Paris."
Nonetheless, a trip to Paris has tempting aspects, not least away from the pure trade fair action, although this should not be the deciding factor for a trade fair. In some areas, however, Paris has a cost advantage, and not just in hotels. This is where Messe Düsseldorf needs to start to compete with Wine Paris.
ProWein 2023 was a success. Those who see otherwise may have a too narrow view. After long preparations and exciting days, the ProWein staff will be able to relax. But then they have to get back to work. Standing still would be the greatest favor Messe Düsseldorf could do for Wine Paris, because differentiated and detailed criticism is justified.