May 22 2020  |  Industry News

Duty Free Magazine serves as a Preferred Media Partner at The Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo in October

By Hibah Noor

An exterior view of the Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo

The Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo Association Lounge in the atrium

As the travel retail industry battles the devastating impact of the COVID-19 crisis, including the cancellation of its key annual TFWA World Exhibition, a new, first-of-its-kind event is set to take place this October allowing business to be done and people to connect. Only this time, it’s virtual.

The inaugural Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo, to be held from October 12-16, is an international digital trade show and symposium designed to replicate a real conference and exhibition event, complete with reception zone, networking lounge, exhibition halls and auditorium. It will feature a variety of stands where exhibitors can showcase products and services. Online visitors (buyers and other retail management) will be able to view video, read and download literature and chat with exhibitors in real time, as well as attending keynote presentations and networking with other visiting delegates in the virtual auditorium.

The five-day live event is scheduled for October 12-16 with a 30-day follow-up showcase running through into November 2020. After the live event, all exhibitor stands will remain open and active for 30 days and will be available online 24 hours per day. Delegates to the event will still be able to access material and downloads.

Registration is now live along with its official website

This pioneering online expo is organized by The Moodie Davitt Report, with our leading regional titles Americas, Asia and Gulf-Africa Duty Free & Travel Retailing magazines serving as a Preferred Media Partner.

Saving time and money

The Moodie Davitt Report Founder & Chairman Martin Moodie explains the rationale behind the event: “Any trade show must reflect the austerity of our times and the need to deliver proper returns on necessarily restricted investment. That assumption underlines the inaugural Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo. It is an event for its times. No exhibitor or buyer will spend a cent getting there. No travel, no hotels, no entertainment, no taxis, no stress, and no lost time from the office. Buyers and retailers will enjoy free registration. Only exhibitors pay – and even then the fees are extremely accessible.”

He is quick to emphasize that the initiative will not take the place of well-established industry events such as the TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes, but will be complementary. “Face-to-face shows remain vital. In fact, we are offering the trade associations complimentary promotional opportunities to ensure they benefit from the global awareness we create. We’re a big fan of the various associations’ shows (they are important to our business) and believe that face-to-face events will remain relevant long into the future. TFWA’s Cannes show, for example, is vitally important to the travel retail industry… But physical events, both now and in the future, need bolstering in a virtual format, we believe.”

Hibah Noor, Editor-in-Chief of Americas, Asia and Gulf-Africa Duty Free & Travel Retailing magazines (pictured above), describes the expo as “a pioneering initiative”: “Because of the COVID-19 restrictions and the cancellation of TFWA World Exhibition show in Cannes, we have joined The Moodie Davitt Report’s Virtual Expo as a Preferred Media Partner. We will be promoting this event because it’s a great initiative, plus we will be distributing our three regional titles there. We continue to fully support TFWA and all the other duty free associations in their day-to-day activities and we’re looking forward to meeting up with everybody – virtually – during and after what promises to be a full five-day live program.”

Travel retail’s first digital expo and symposium is being driven by a long-established virtual event platform. The well-proven technology allows the organizers to leverage flexible virtual space to customize exhibitor booths, offer on-demand content, provide chat forums and generate optimal prospect engagement. Visitors don’t need to download or install any software to participate. They only need to have access to the internet.

Visitor and exhibitor benefits

For buyers, entry is free of charge. They will be able to visit every exhibitor’s stand; click on promotional material and videos to view their latest products; and set up private meetings inside a private chat room during the five live days. They can place orders, either during or after the event.

For exhibitors, the advantages are many. The expo will be zoned and will include areas such as digital and technology; health & wellbeing; beauty; wines & spirits; hospitality (F&B to lounges to airport hotels); fashion & accessories; confectionery and fine foods; and watches & jewelry.

Each exhibitor will have their own Account Manager, care of The Moodie Davitt Report’s Singapore-based Virtual Stand & Experience Partner FILTR, to guide them through all the technical aspects and the Virtual Stand & Experience creation. To visit, buyers simply register their details on the stand, allowing exhibitors to know exactly who wants to see them. Exhibitors can make appointments and host live chats throughout the five-day live part of the show. They can showcase anything, such as new launches, campaign plans, prototypes, ideas for travel retail exclusives, and videos, etc.

One-to-one interaction

Other services available include a range of PR and communications services and preferred video partners who can create striking presentation material.

Additional notable features of the event include:

• Interact one-to-one with suppliers, vendors and other delegates

• Exchange contact information and interact with travel retail buyers and executives

• Download product information, research, data and videos for further reference

• Connect with industry peers through an in-built audio, video and text messaging system

• Attend live/recorded webinars and keep up-to date with the newest products and technologies

• Each exhibitor will receive complimentary advertising in the official Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo Guide

• A full Press Office service will be provided, ensuring press material is available to a wide range of industry and consumer media.

Conference and awards

A number of educational and conference elements are planned. The conference will feature a range of presentations and discussions all themed around shaping the travel retail and airport landscape of the future. Outstanding speakers have been lined up already, enabling participants to watch and listen without leaving their work or home office desk.

In addition, two awards ceremonies will take place, both initiated and hosted by The Moodie Davitt Report: The Airport Food & Beverage (FAB) Conference & Awards for F&B operators and the inaugural Sight Lines Airport Advertising & Communications Awards, recognizing the best airport activations and campaigns across the brand world.

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