Thursday, November 15, 2012

Record Crowds Turn Out for 5th Annual Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival

6th annual festival returns to DeVos Place-Steelcase Ballroom: Thursday, November 21 thru Saturday, November 23, 2013

Organizers of the Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival are reporting a record of more than 17,500 individuals for the 5th Annual event, which was held this past weekend in the Steelcase Ballroom at DeVos Place – a 31% increase over 2011’s attendance of 12,000. Original projections for this year anticipated attendance at about 14,000.

“Grand Rapids is the perfect community for this event,” says Henri Boucher, Show Producer. “It is large enough to support it with interested people; it is an emerging dining and entertainment destination for the region; and yet small enough that most attendees run into friends in every aisle. We truly love working on an event that is so well received – and new ideas just keep on coming.”

According to Show Manager Dawn Baker, nearly every inch of exhibit space was utilized to offer festival-goers the best possible culinary experience. More than 1200 wines, beers and spirits; a dozen area restaurants; local producers of food products, accessories and home décor; and a dozen featured presenters made this year’s event bigger and better than ever before.

“The Convention Arena Authority is proud to co-host this event with Showspan,” says Steve Heacock, Chairman of Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority. “We thought that we had a good idea from the start but have been overwhelmed by the event’s success and how it has become part of the electric atmosphere that is downtown Grand Rapids. We look forward to the 2013 International Wine, Beer and Food Festival next November.”

Attendees, exhibitors and sponsors are all reporting back with positive feedback about this year’s festival.

Meijer – who has been an ongoing sponsor since the first year of the festival – plays an active role in the marketplace, as well as providing countless hours on the workshop and seminar stages.

“The show was a perfect place to showcase the many holiday solutions that Meijer has – food, wine and entertaining décor!” according to Shari Steinbach, Meijer’s Healthy Living Manger.

“This year was the best show and had the largest selection that would rival any wine and beer festival in the country,” says Ray Sierengowski, Meijer Corporate Research Chef.

Dates for 2013 have been announced for November 21-23.


We have been involved with this event since its inception and we feel that it is one of the premier events in West Michigan. Our customers appreciate that we are a part of such an upscale event in the community. Every year we see more and more of our customers at this annual event. – John M. Leese, President Harvey Automotive Group

The attendance was fantastic again this year. The Showspan staff was very helpful in meeting our needs. I would highly recommend the Grand Rapids Wine & Food Festival as an exceptional way to exhibit your company's products to the public. Congratulations on promoting another great event. – Greg Morano, Morano Foods, Inc.

The Wine, Beer and Food Festival is such a fun event for West Michigan - with all the great food and drink choices, it represented Grand Rapids well. And the complimentary vendors (like Old World Olive Press) made the event complete! – Shasta Fase, Old World Olive Press

The Grand Rapids Wine Beer and Food Festival is a great opportunity for us to connect with new customers as well as other business owners. – Lindsay Coonan - Lindsay Truffler, LLC

Once again, nice job to all for a fun, interesting and well organized event. – Bill Koski, Gilmore Collection Wine Club

We were delighted with the turnout for the show and also the wide range of attendees. In three days we met people from all over the Midwest, had them taste our delicious product and then gave them coupons for them to purchase at one of their local Meijer Stores. We were successful with the sales we had as well as the promotion we desired. We CAN'T wait to be back for next year! – Mike Freestone, Good Life Granola

This was our second time at the show and once again it was a great success for Great Lakes Pierogies! We were thrilled with the excitement from everyone to see us back again and all the positive feedback on how much people love our pierogies! – Theresa Arkesteyn, Great Lakes Pierogies

Best show yet…Great food with plenty of options for beer wine and even Jimmy Luv’s Bloody Mary’s, which the line never ended. Great job by both Show Span and SMG on truly professionally run event. – Tom Zuiderveen - Wine Brand Manager, Kent Beverage Company Inc.

One of the best opportunities we have every year to link to our existing customers and make new contacts in a fun and professional setting. Congratulations again to Show Span. – Don Coe - Managing Partner, Black Star Farms

Each year the Wine Festival gets bigger and better. This event also helps us learn more about what our Customers are looking for. – Tim Sanders, Henry A Fox Distributors

As a made-in-Michigan manufacturer, we were very excited to be a part of the Wine, Beer, & Food Festival. It was a great venue for spreading the word about our products and local dealers...and right in our own back yard! – Duane Gilbert, Marketing Manager - AGA Marvel

It has been great to watch the GR International Wine, Beer and Food Festival grow over the past few years. Like a good wine, the event just seems to get better and better with age! – Paul Stansbie, Grand Valley State University Department of Hospitality Education

This festival offers an incredible opportunity to meet true local foodies; to discuss food preparation, trends, and flavors; and to share stories and laughs with like minded people. It's an event we look forward to every year, and we are always energized and excited by the great people we've met, the tremendous foods we've eaten, and the fabulous drinks we've shared. – Drew McLean, Bear Boy Gourmet

Chateau Chantal experienced another great GR festival this year, providing us the opportunity to mingle with our fans, make new friends, and share our new release wines with an important market. – Marie-Chantal Dalese – Chateau Chantal

It was great to meet so many consumers enthusiastic about Michigan wines. People were excited to try our bubbly or to introduce friends to our brand which is what makes the festival so important to me. – Mike Laing Assistant Winemaker - M.Lawrence Sparkling Wines

For more information about the Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival: or 800-328-6550.

Wine and Food Festival, LLC
2121 Celebration Dr NE
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49525
616-447-2860 • FAX: 616-447-2861

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