Just wanted to jump in here since you're discussing my Expo-
There are lots of comments about the issue of sheer numbers of whiskies at the show. Id like you to know that the WoW Expo is a show that really strives to differentiate itself from other whisky events. Our goal is not and has never been to have a longer list of whisky than anyone. Our goal is to bring in as many interesting, unique and new launch whiskies as we can along with a solid collection of the 'traditional' favorites. We make room every year for start up distilleries, artisanal whiskies that have never been shown before and a speakers forum (and our new and very unique Whisky University!) that includes brilliant new voices in the spirits world that are generally unable to speak at other shows because the cost for them to do so is prohibitive.
We started this policy years ago when with our very first Expo we brought in St George and some other small producers which had shown before. Lance Winters was also on our speakers forum that year (back 9 years ago) only because we were more interested in having great new voices than in making an extra 2500 dollars from their appearances.
As the show has grown and developed, we focus strongly on the whisky lifestyle which means, as one example, booths being devoted to artisanal food creators and purveyors so that people can learn more about pairing fine whisky and fine food. We bring in music, hold cigar pairings and always have a selection of Celtic themed booths with various art/craft display. We were also the first show to bring in liquor retailers and continue to do so each year.
The Expo is a show to be enjoyed on its on merits. We have no interest in comparing it to other shows or following anyone elses template. Its a truly great show with an amazing attendee base (has been and continues to be more largely attended than any other show in the US) who appreciate the very personal effort that is the Whiskies of the World Expo.
Our emphasis on independent bottlers and new spirits gives us an incredible range for sampling..but yes, each year we have to 'trade off' space for those exhibitors and a couple 'traditional' exhibiotors will be left out and will return in a following year.
We keep things fresh, exciting and different and work hard to keep the Expo educational and truly fun...not a drunk-fest.
I hope you'll join us and experience this show for itself. Any of you who are on this posting board and who would like to come to the show are also invited to join our best Dram Whisky Club gathering Friday early evening after the seminars and Whisky University are over. You can email me when you buy your tickets and Ill tell you where the gathering is being held this year.