It’s impossible to think back with any clarity about what we thought we were in for in March 2020 when the world shut down for this mysterious respiratory disease which began in China and swiftly spread across the whole Northern Hemisphere. We optimistically imagined that we might still be able to host WineX at its usual late October time slot that year.
We were no clearer about how things stood at the beginning of 2021. Vaccination offered the prospect of a return to normal at some stage, though the roll-out was slow and the Delta Variant-fuelled Third Wave hammered what was left of our optimism. Even the return to Level One restrictions has provided very little clarity – at least for now.
What we do know is that it is still impossible to host an event like WineX under the current Covid guidelines. WineX has been the single biggest wine industry magnet, serving to attract new consumers and transforming the Gauteng wine scene. It is not a pop-up event: it requires months of planning, a fully functioning Convention Centre, permission to host at least 3000 people in a single indoor space, certainties around travel and accommodation and over R2m in marketing spend to deliver an audience which justifies the scale and calibre of the show.
None of this was possible in 2021, and though our optimism in 2020 was misplaced, we believe that with high levels of vaccination, new drugs to deal with Covid outbreaks and a compelling need to jump-start the economy, 2022 will provide us with all that we need to relaunch South Africa’s premier wine event.
So we’re getting ready, dusting down the decor, shaking out the moth balls, cranking up the bright lights (Eskom-willing) and polishing the glassware for an all new look, re-invented, better-than-ever-before WineX 2022: Sandton Convention Centre 26 – 28 October 2022.
Watch this space for more details.