IAADFS 2017 closes with success and questions
The final days of this year's IAADFS Duty Free Show of the Americas brought a lot of familiarity. Along with the new education sessions – which carefully included all three Americas associations – came meetings, launches, cocktail parties and the Gala dinner, which a number of people said was the best one in recent memory, for entertainment.
The Gala also held an emotional moment when the IAADFS made a presentation of $50,000 to Alberto "Pancho" Motta's family for the late President's favorite charity, Operation Smile. Motta passed away suddenly last year immediately after the IAADFS event.
Numbers certainly were down and for the second year in a row, with 5% fewer buyers, at 602 down from 634 last year, and an even bigger decrease in the number of delegates: 2074, down from 2,430 in 2016. There were many reasons for this decrease, but it is cause for concern. Watch for an upcoming article which contains some analysis.
While a number of booth operators commented on the quiet trade show floor, most brands told Americas Duty Free that their week was extremely successful, filled with meetings and many new listings or at least prospective new listings. As always, the question with numbers is quantity vs quality.
Some images from the final two days of the event, the very last Duty Free Show of the Americas. See you next year at the inaugural Summit of the Americas.