On the eve of this year's London International Wine and Spirits Fair, organiser Brintex has put paid to speculation that the venue is changing by announcing a move next year to the London International Exhibition Centre (ExCel). There has been some resistance in the trade to the change as it has grown used to Olympia with its high roof and natural light. At least one buyer and several suppliers had no idea where ExCel was. Food show IFE was staged there for the first time this March when visitors and exhibitors discovered that London taxi drivers did't know where it was either. But the success of the Fair has been pushing Olympia to the limit and its idiosyncratic temperature control has meant that on very hot days exhibitors have been seen chilling their red wines down to drinkable temperatures. Exhibition director Andrew Evans said: "For the past 11 years Olympia has proved a first class home for the fair and in that time it has doubled in size and we are now operating at full capacity within the halls. "After discussions with the industry we have concluded we must move if the event is to progress. "ExCel will offer a trading platform with business facilities which are unrivalled in Europe. The move will allow us to implement a development programme. "In 2002 the Fair will occupy Excel's south hall which has an area of 30,000 square meters, which compares with 22,000 at Olympia." The Fair began in 1981 at the Kensington Exhibition Centre with 57 exhibitors and France as the only overseas representation. Last year there were 1,037 exhibitors and representatives from 33 different countries. The London International Wine and Spirits Fair takes place from Tuesday to Thursday (May 22-24) at Olympia, Earl's Court. {{DRINKS }}