Millésime Bio 2020: positive results... even for the furniture!

All the indicators are positive for the 2020 edition of Millésime Bio: the number of exhibitors, the number of visitors and even the exhibition furniture that caused a sensation!

Olivier Goué, project manager, tells us a little more about these new counters, designed by AB Structures, a specialist in custom-made professional furniture based in Montpellier.


Why did Millésime Bio change its exhibition furniture? 

Until last year, there was no exhibition furniture as such. Exhibitors presented their products on tables of normal size: 80 cm high. This was rather uncomfortable for both visitors and exhibitors. So we wanted to improve the comfort for everyone, while taking a sustainable approach. 


How does furniture improve visitor comfort?

Visiting a trade fair can be tiring. We therefore designed a more comfortable visit for the 6,850 professionals (+10% in 2020) who come to Millésime Bio. By replacing the tables with counters, we have put the bottles at man's height (1 metre high). Visitors no longer have to bend down to view the bottles. He can also easily put down his notebook to take notes. 

The signage has been designed at the same time as the furniture. With the visitors' comfort in mind too. Previously, a Plexiglas display was placed on each table. This year, AB Structures has designed a signage system that is placed high up. Visitors no longer have to lower their heads or look over the shoulders of other visitors to see the estates' names. Each exhibitor is visible: attached to the counter, the signage is 2.5m high. A colour code makes it possible to quickly identify whether it is a producer from Occitania, France, abroad or of other alcoholic beverages. The visitor navigates more easily.


And for the exhibitors?

In the past, with low tables and chairs that were not very ergonomic, exhibitors spent their time standing up and sitting down. This year, they were able to lean on stools adapted to the height of the counters. It's more restful. It's also more pleasant for everyone to be at the same height during exchanges. In addition, the counters are designed to display the bottles not only on the top but also on a side shelf. Under the top, a shelf allows exhibitors to store their personal belongings. 


How is this new exhibition furniture durable? 

Our new furniture is eco-designed on all levels. We have favoured wood: a noble and recyclable material. The body of the counter is made of triply, which is a very natural product that consumes little glue. For the tops, AB Structures recommended compact because it has this major upside: wine stains do not penetrate, which is important for durability. The top is white to facilitate the observation of the tasted wines' colours.

By durability we also mean "reuse". The aim is to be able to reuse this material for the next 10 editions. Therefore, AB Structures has designed counters that can be easily assembled and, once disassembled, take up little space. The furniture is now stored until the 2021 edition, protected from dust and in a temperature-controlled shed even during the hot summer months. 


Why did you choose uniform counters? 

Ah, it's the very philosophy of Millésime Bio! We want all exhibitors to be on an equal footing, to have the same opportunities to meet visitors. It's not uniformity, it's an invitation to discovery. 


And why did you call on AB Structures? 

We issued a call for tenders with very strict requirements, as we have seen, in terms of sustainability. AB Structures proposed 3 prototypes, one of which met our criteria. We optimised it together. We also needed to work with a reliable service provider: able to deliver 1300 pieces of furniture, without even half a day's delay. 

See you in January 2021, for a new edition... but with this durable furniture!


Interview by the Novelus agency