Sep 11: After shifting of dates, postponing and finally cancelling Prowein 2020 and 2021, Messe Düsseldorf is sticking to the dates we announced in delWine in its 865th edition on 3 December 2020 and has reconfirmed that the next edition, Prowein 2022WILL be held on the already announced dates of 27-29 March, 2022 as the first physical event held in the last two years, writes Subhash Arora who marvels at the discipline and value for life assigned by the Germans
I had just returned to India during the last week of February, 2020 after visiting Italy for Tuscan Wine Tasting followed by judging at MundusVini2020 in Neustadt am der Weinstrasse. There were not many cases of Covid noticed in either in Tuscany or in Frankfurt though I remembered feeling foolish wearing a mask at the airports and the city as we had heard about those initial few cases in Milan of something called Covid brought by Chinese returning from the Chinese New Year.
I was ready and packed to go to Düsseldorf to attend Prowein 2020 when I heard the shocking news barely two weeks before the event scheduled for March 15-17 that due to Coronavirus scare it was being postponed, with new dates to be announced in close coordination with all partners involved. Were the Germans being too ‘cautious’ was the common refrain- till a friend informed me that things were in fact quite serious with over a dozen people had contracted the disease in a village near Düsseldorf and had died (if my memory serves me right). The precise intelligence and the disciplined action came to the fore, because the organisers and exhibitors must have lost hundreds of thousands of Euros due to the seemingly hasty decision that saved the lives of potentially hundreds of lives thousands in the following weeks.
As I had penned in delWine then- "This decision was not an easy one for all concerned," said Thomas Geisel, Mayor of Düsseldorf and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH. "But the postponement at the present time is necessary for Messe Düsseldorf and its customers in view of the increasingly dynamic developments. We will re-evaluate the situation in good time in consultation with health authorities and partners in order to make the appropriate decisions,” he had said.
Also Read : ProWein 2021 postponed by a Year due to Covid-19
The organizers who had also postponed other shows in Europe like Wire, Tube, Beauty, Top Hair and Energy Storage Europe must have suffered heavier losses but the life has high value for the government and the people in Germany where the lockdown was announced overnight abruptly, making thousands rushing to the home towns by any mode and losing lives in the process.
Once again in October 2020, after being obliged to cancel ProWein 2020 Messe Düsseldorf, declared that the Show must go on and learning to live with Covid, re-designed ProWein 2021 to make it Corona safe, with several precautions in place, including extending the Show from 3 days to 5 days, 19-23 March, 2021. This was duly reported in the 860th edition of delWine on 7 October, 2020.
However, it appears that the government did not give permission for this Show either with rising number of Covid cases and keeping in mind the health and safety of the exhibitors, staff and the visitors. The organisers then issued a Press Release that was published by delWine on 3 December, 2020 in its 865th edition reporting on 3 December 2020. that the Show will be held on 27-29 March, 2020 following all the existing Covid Protocols.
Also Read : ProWein 2021: Living with Covid ProWein extended to 5 days
Date with Prowein on 27-29 March, 2022
It is heartening to note that in the latest Press Release dated 9 September, 2021, Messe Düsseldorf has once again reiterated the same dates and said that ‘the outlook for ProWein 2022, the world’s biggest and most relevant trade fair for wines and spirits in Düsseldorf, is promising in every respect’.
Preparations are in full swing for the first physical event to be held after two years. Additional tailwinds for ProWein come with the recently adopted Covid-19 Protection Ordinance (updated last month) which provides the legal framework and prerequisites for holding a trade fair.
“Over the past few weeks our planning that included stand space allocation for exhibitors, the organisation of tastings, limitation of visitor numbers, aisle width or possible registration for tastings was primarily determined by a very restrictive Covid-19 Protection Ordinance,” explains Michael Degen, Executive Director of ProWein. He says that now they can FINALLY get down to the concrete planning and organisation in the interest of the sector.
Three new halls
ProWein 2022 will be extended to include three more halls – taking the total to 13. This extended space will allow the aisles between stands to be widened from the existing 3 meters to 4- 6 meters so that the legally required social distancing of 1.5 m may be maintained.
‘The rented exhibition space will not be increased; we are only making three additional halls available’, asserts Degen. ‘At the end of the day it’s like in a vineyard where the distance between the individual rows would be increased to improve ventilation of the vines,” he explains.
‘With this move we strike the necessary balance between pandemic-related minimum distances and a sufficiently high attendance figure – thereby laying the foundation for a successful trade fair- many contacts and leads for our exhibitors,’ he clarifies.
Also Read : ProWein in March by Messe Düsseldorf postponed due to Coronavirus
Covid-19 Protection Ordinance
Another benefit comes because of the current Covid-19 Protection Ordinance. Tastings can be organised now easily and without any red tape. Registration is no longer required at each stand. Tastings will be allowed only at the assigned places. Tastings at the stand peripheries will also be permitted subject to compliance with specific rules. In summary the registration and compliance will be strictly with the VRT-rule (Vaccinated, Recovered, Tested) thus ensuring a smooth ProWein 2022.
Essentially the structure of ProWein will appear this year as follows:
Halls 1, 4 and 5: Germany
Hall 5: Austria and Europe
Hall 7.0: same but different
Halls 9 to 11: France
Hall 11: Europe and spirits
Hall 12: Overseas
Hall 13: Portugal
Halls 13 and 14: Spain
Hall 15: Europe
Halls 15 to 17: Italy
Hall 17: Europe
So if you are an exhibitor from India or are looking for an exporter from India, head straight to Hall 12. But if you are interested in Italian wines, you may have to traverse a linger distance, visiting Halls 15,16 and 17. In any event, everyone would need to be doubly vaccinated to visit the Show.
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