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Where to Spend Your Marketing Budget – The Differences Between Exhibiting in Top Cities and Non-1st-Tier Cities

June 29, 2016


Many international wineries and wine merchants are on the crossroad on how to choose in which cities to exhibit, and run the wine-tasting event, especially to those new entrants to the China wine market.  Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou (top-tier cities with population between 12 to 20 million) or other non-first-tier cities (even these cities having a population between 5 to 10 million).


Below are the pros and cons of exhibiting and promoting in these two classes of cities:


Top-Tier Cities (Beijing, Shanghai & Guangzhou)



  • Professional: many international winery and wine merchant exhibitors (usually up to a hundred or more)

  • First class facilities (exhibition venue, decoration and fixtures, accessories, i.e. wine glasses, ice bucket, wine spitter, … etc.)

  • Comprehensive service on importing wine for exhibitions

  • High publicity (media and press release)

  • Better service and support (by the organizer)

  • Visitors with better wine knowledge

  • Meet more potential customers



  • Very high cost

  • Very competitive

  • Price sensitive


Other Cities (usually Provincial capital cities)



  • Less competition

  • Lower cost to exhibit

  • Less price sensitive

  • Very helpful and more impressive if attended by a Westerner, e.g. winery owner, wine maker (establishing connections, brand promotion, … etc.)



  • Visitors with poor wine knowledge

  • Poor on-spot service and support (especially on accessories)

  • Almost no support on wine import service

  • Less publicity (very local profile)


The common concern and issues applicable to both are:

  • Without a QUALITY Chinese interpreter (strictly speaking, a China wine business practitioner), your exhibition investment and effort are in vain;

  • Well-prepared Chinese literature and materials of the producer (winery) and the product (wine) are a must to communicate effectively to all potential customers;

  • Domestic service and sales follow-up support (after the exhibitions) would greatly enhance your sales result and assure higher success rate.

  • An efficient and effective supply chain solutions (import, quarantine, Chinese back labelling, logistics, … etc.) for your wine products to your customers.


CWB Advice:

  • New entrants should start by participating in the top class exhibitions;

  • Developing business in non-first-tier cities needs a commitment and consistent work for generating result


For further support or any queries, please contact ChinaWineBusiness.com for advice and solutions.


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