The idea had been mooted by some producers as a way to refresh the show, held in May at Excel, and maximise the investment of exhibiting.
Event manager James Murray told OLN: “We asked the trade how enthusiastic they were about letting consumers into the show and, if we did, whether we should be focusing on wine clubs, subscribers to magazines, and also whether there should be a separate area.
“Some were in favour, but many were against. We appreciate that the decision will come as a disappointment to some, but it will be a relief to many others.
“Some saw it as an issue of resource and potential additional costs. All of the visitors we asked were vehemently anti consumers coming to the show. They believe it is a valuable platform for them to do business which would be compromised if they were trying to do it alongside consumers.”
Murray added that having the decision finalised would enable Brintex to focus efforts on delivering new show content. “The consumer question was just one option we were looking at. There is a strategy in place and we are currently planning new initiatives to increase the number of independent, on-trade and international visitors.”
He denied Brintex was considering a U-turn on its decision to keep the show at Excel amid concern from industry figures that it was difficult to reach (OLN, August 5). Murray said: “Excel offers better infrastructure and it’s our home for the future.”