November 11 2020  |  Industry News

KOL Ambassadors select top picks from Virtual TR Expo

By Laura Shirk


KOL Ambassadors, a line-up of leading social media influencers who attended the Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo last month, have selected their top picks of new products submitted to them by exhibitors at the pioneering digital event. With key platforms from Weibo to Instagram, Yurina, international beauty influencer, Karen Lee, China Hong Kong actress, Josue Romero of the Garnish Guy, leading cocktail menu consultant and prestige bartender & drinks industry mentor and Paul Kristoff of The City Lane, photographer and writer, had access to the 41 Engagement Lounge sessions at the Expo. Covering main travel retail regions including China, Asia Pacific, Americas, Australia and Europe, the line-up offered influential voices in the global perfume and cosmetics, wine and spirits, and fashion and lifestyle categories.

Developed in collaboration with partners FILTR and QINRIVE, the KOL Ambassadors were tasked with discovering exhibitors’ key offerings through a dynamic, month-long immersion program, which included product sampling, one-on-one video calls and access to webinars, workshops and masterclasses. Following the Virtual Travel Retail Expo, votes were tallied from each influencer based on which products he or she believed followers would be most attracted to when returning to travel post-COVID-19.

Top product picks:

  • Rituals: the Ritual of Jing Sleep Pillow & Body Mist

Enhancing the quality of sleep, this product is enriched with sacred wood and lavender to help clear the mind and offer some cozy & comfortable shut-eye

  • CAMUS Cognac: XO Borderies

From one of the last remaining independent family-owned Cognac producers, this item is the most awarded XO in the category and offers a one-of-a-kind floral drinking experience from a single-estate in the family vineyards

  • Butlers Chocolates: Café Chocolate Collection



Made up of the following assortment: Milk Chocolate Collection, Caramel & Nut Collection and Salted Caramel Collection, this collection is designed to appeal to international shoppers seeking a special gift

  • Furla Fall Winter 2020 Collection

Drawing inspiration from the structural elements of Italian architecture and the plumage of the hummingbird, Furla’s FW2020 collection is characterized by details that transform each item into an object of desire

KOL workshop:

As part of the Virtual Travel Retail Expo’s Knowledge Hub program, the KOL Ambassadors also took part in an engaging and informative workshop to discuss the key trends in the KOL marketing channel.

Co-moderated by James Brown, Communications Director at FILTR, Kelly Gao, Founder & CEO of QINRIVE Asia, and Hannah Tan-Gillies, Fashion, Beauty & Social Media Editor at The Moodie Davitt Report, theis session examined the impact of COVID-19 on consumer engagement trends online and the rise of monetization in the KOL sphere. This webinar is now available to watch on-demand at Symposium Theatre or directly here.

“Alongside The Moodie Davitt Report and QINRIVE Asia, I would like to thank our KOL Ambassadors again for their participation in the Virtual Travel Retail Expo and for sharing their insights with us during the KOL workshop. It is extremely encouraging to see consistent themes across the KOLs’ top picks and rules of engagement with their followers – authenticity, aspiration and creating a personal connection.”

With any crisis comes the opportunity to reflect on our current marketing activities and to reconsider how to better reach our target consumers, and it is promising to report such a marked jump in confidence among Expo delegates with regard to running a KOL marketing campaign in the future. Coupled with the increased digital acceleration we are seeing across all forms of business, this shift presents a huge opportunity for the rise of KOL marketing in the travel retail space as we work together as an industry towards recovery,” comments Brown.

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