Hannah Tovey is taking over as event director at the London Wine Fair after Ross Carter announced he was leaving the post to join Fresh Montgomery.

Tovey has broad experience across the drinks trade and created the trade show Imbibe Live in 2010 while she was publisher at Imbibe.

She served as event director until 2013 and has since been managing director for The Wine Gang, where she has been instrumental in driving growth in visitor numbers to their countrywide festivals.

Tovey said: “Having attended London Wine Fair as both visitor and exhibitor for the last 17 years straight, I’ve clocked up some serious mileage in the aisles. For me the LWF has always been unmissable.

“Professional relationships that can, and have, changed the face of the industry have been formed or nurtured there. It’s the springboard for exciting launches and the place where major deals have been pitched.

“Above anything it is the event for new discoveries. It’s the UK trade’s flagship event for us all to both profit from and celebrate in equal measure and to project outwards to the rest of the wine world with pride.

“So, all told, it is an immense privilege to take up the reins. Ross has done an exceptional job of rebranding and refocussing the LWF in the last four years and for that I won’t be alone in thanking him. But as the world moves ever faster I am conscious that we must keep moving and adapting with it.”

Tovey has also worked at William Reed Business Media, the former owner of Off Licence News, along with Wilmington Publishing and Decanter, all in a sales capacity, and hopes her experience will enable her to see LWF thrive.

“Undoubtedly it is a challenging climate, but having launched a successful trade magazine, website, and large scale exhibition right at the beginning of a huge recession, I know that uncertainty needn’t preclude the continued success and the growth of the LWF if the formula is right,” she said.  “I look forward to working together with the drinks industry to deliver another proud and positive era of the fair.”

She said she leaves The Wine Gang with a heavy heart, adding: “Working with The Wine Gang has been tremendous. The four partners are quite rightly, respected and liked enormously within the wine trade. Their huge consumer fan base is also credit to their talents. I wish them every continued success with their inimitable and rather brilliant partnership and I look forward to keeping in touch and working with them in my new role.”

The Wine Gang’s Joanna Simon said: “We are sorry to see Hannah go because she has been an integral part of our success, but we wish her luck at Brintex where we feel confident that she can rise to the challenges ahead.”

Her successor at The Wine Gang will be announced in mid-June, and Tovey will leave to take up her new role at Brintex on June 22.

Carter is joining Fresh Montgomery, which runs the International Food & Drink Event and Hotelympia, among others.

Bill Butler, managing director of LWF owner Brintex, said: “Ross Carter will always have a special place in the story of London Wine Fair.  His passion for wine extends well beyond the exhibition with a background as both a producer in New Zealand and at PLB as a senior wine buyer.

“Having previously worked at Brintex as sales manager for the fair, Ross returned in 2013 to move the show forward and successfully manage the relocation of the exhibition from Excel back to Olympia. During this challenging period, Ross drew upon his industry experience to keep The Fair fresh and interesting, introducing new features, tastings and sections to the exhibition. 

“Thanks to Ross the London Wine Fair is now a completely different event from the corporate days of Excel. The exhibition is clearly focused on delivering a first-class visitor experience of discovery, education, networking and business. As the fair evolves into the future I would like to thank Ross for his enormous contribution and wish him every success in his new role.”

He added: “I have known Hannah for many years and followed her drinks industry career closely. She is one of the trade’s great visionaries, combining her immense industry insight with creative flair and strategic thinking.  We very much look forward to welcoming’s her to the London Wine Fair team and opening a new chapter in the show’s 37-year history.”