The organisers of this year’s London Wine Fair (LWF) have reported a “significant increase” in the number of attendees.

A total of 14,250 visitors attended the 38th LWF, an increase of 17% on 2017.

The 2018 show was the first under the leadership of Hannah Tovey, who joined as head of fair in July 2017. The increase in visitor numbers has been attributed to refreshed content, with new feature areas such as The Innovation Zone, in collaboration with JF Hillebrand.

Investment in the show’s database and a completely revised marketing plan also ensured the targeted audience was “more relevant than ever”, according to the organisers.

Tovey said: “We are thrilled with the success of this year’s show and the support from all quarters of the industry. Our priority was always about delivering the right audience to our exhibitors and our investment in this has really paid off. We have had an overwhelmingly positive response from longstanding, returning and first-time exhibitors, many of which have already reserved their spaces for 2019. We are already working on next year’s show, which will be a critical time for the UK industry as Brexit becomes a reality. More than ever before we will need a Fair that champions the UK as a leading market for wine.”

Fran Draper, head of customer and brand marketing at Boutinot, said: “It has been a fantastic launch platform for our new brand “Wine Chat”. We have had a great reaction with lots of people coming to see us and talk about the brand with lots of really positive feedback.”

Arabella Woodrow MW, director of wine, Broadland Wineries, said: “I felt there was a real buzz about the show and I thought there was a good balance of stands and producers which attract whatever channel you are targeting. The calibre of visitor was good too.”

And Ian Harris, chief executive, Wine & Spirit Education Trust, said: “For me, the one word I would use to describe this year is ‘energy’. There is a great buzz in the place and all the communication was first class. We have been blown away by the success of the WSET Education Zone.”

The 2019 London Wine Fair will take place at Olympia from 20 to 22 May.