Various big names have decided against attending the event, but show director Ross Carter was keen to stress how many leading suppliers will be there.
He said: “We are undeniably disappointed that some agents won’t be taking part this year, but we still have a broad spectrum of exhibitors signed up, including a number of the UK’s best agents and importers.
“In addition, there will be many hundreds of smaller producers coming – many seeking UK representation for the first time – and who collectively reflect what the show has always been about, that sense of discovery.
“Come May, we will see over 10,000 buyers and key influencers descend on London’s ExCeL, many of them from the independent and on-trade sectors that exhibitors are increasingly keen to court. We are working hard to ensure their attendance through a combination of providing strong content whilst assisting with travel bursaries, Oyster card incentives and voucher giveaways.”
Liberty Wines was the latest to announce it would not attend.
It said in a statement: “Liberty Wines has been present at the London International Wine Fair every year since 1997. However, after much internal debate, we have decided that we are going to take a break from the London International Wine Fair this year.
“We remain committed to the idea of a London Wine Trade Fair that focuses on quality wine and is held in a more central venue. If such an event returns, then we will consider returning.”
But Carter pointed out that those attending include 10 International, Awin Barratt Siegel Wine Agencies, Argento, Bancroft, CyT UK, Copestick Murray, DGB, Distell, Gonzalez Byass, Hatch Mansfield, J E Fells, Lanchester, Les Grands Chais de France, Myliko, Off Piste, Seckford's and Treasury Wine Estates.
He added that more suppliers would soon confirm their attendance.
Jeremy Rockett, marketing director at Gonzalez Byass UK, said: “The team at Gonzalez Byass UK is already busily planning for another successful London Wine Fair.
“With the expansion of our portfolio we always have something new to show, this time the excitingly different Chilean wines from Undurraga, especially their innovative T.H. range.
“The show is what you make it – we pack the diary with appointments, organise exciting events on our stand, attend seminars and talks, and we keep an eye out for those opportunities that always seem to pop up from being at the show.
“With the new format, we’re looking forward to welcoming more on trade visitors as well as our usual customers and friends.”