Leading the way out of crisis

Virtual becomes a reality as Moodie Davitt launches breakthrough travel retail event

As leading travel retailers commit to bringing their entire management and buying teams to the inaugural Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo this September and October, we explain the thinking behind the event, and how it meets the needs of an industry in transformation.

While the fallout from the COVID-19 crisis will be felt for a long time, perhaps years, after it passes, it is becoming clear that the way people work, travel and interact is being transformed. If that means the travel retail world changes (as it undoubtedly will), then we must change with it.

As announced last week, in the face of the crisis and its transformative impact on the industry, we decided that it was inappropriate to hold the annual Airport Food & Beverage (FAB) Conference & Awards (due to be hosted in Istanbul on 2-3 September) as a physical event this year. We have replaced it with a wide-ranging Virtual Travel Retail Expo, embracing travel retail, F&B, and airport advertising.

Elements include:

  • The Moodie Davitt Travel Retail Expo
  • The FAB Expo & Awards
  • The Sight Lines Airport Advertising & Communications Expo & Awards

Since we announced the move, we have had a uniformly positive reaction from the wider trade.

Some of the world’s leading travel retailers have committed to attending, among them China Duty Free Group, Dubai Duty Free, King Power Group (HK), King Power International (Thailand), King Power Traveler, Ontario International Airport (California), Qatar Duty Free, and Shenzhen Duty Free with others set to be announced soon. ARI CEO Ray Hernan said the event would be “timely and relevant”.

Seva Group is a landmark partner

Alongside some confirmed exhibitors such as SEVA Group and William Grant & Sons, The Moodie Davitt Report is in discussions with many more – places are limited so early booking is advised.

Retailer and airport delegates from all over the world will be able to visit exhibitors; enter a private chat room with them; view new launches and existing products in brochure, video and pictorial form; and much more besides in a private business format.

A new event for a new world: The Virtual Travel Retail Expo will help unite the industry at an unprecedented time

All exhibitors will receive a full ROI analytics and lead report detailing all attendees who visited their virtual stand. An auditorium will host the award ceremonies and conference presentations for each sector, all themed around the theme of ‘The Road to Recovery: How the new industry landscape needs to look’.

Crucially, delegate attendance will be free to airports, retailers and other commercial service providers, and brands, thus ensuring that these key sectors of the travel retail community can get together without having to leave their desks.

“I think this idea is unique, and will help to unify the duty free industry. I look forward to it and advise that the Dubai Duty Free management team including our purchasing team will be in full (far off) attendance.”

– Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman & CEO Colm McLoughlin

China Duty Free Group President Charles Chen also told The Moodie Davitt Report via WeChat that he and his full team would attend.

King Power Group (HK) Managing Director and Chief Merchandising Officer of King Power International (Thailand) Antares Cheng commented, “It is a very nice idea. We will bring the whole Hong Kong and Thailand teams to ‘see you’ at the event.” King Power Group (Hong Kong) Chief Executive Officer Sunil Tuli added: “I will be bringing a team of at least five or six buyers with me.”

King Power Traveler President Rakhita Jayawardena, the first travel retailer to confirm attendance, said that the virtual and cost-free format was ideal for the hard-pressed inflight retail sector and said he would be participating along with “four or five of his team”.

Thabet Musleh, Vice President Operations of Qatar Duty Free, said, “I think it’s a brilliant idea. For FAB, for example, I can usually only afford to bring along two people, now I can bring the whole team.”

Ontario International Airport Chief Commercial Officer Dan Cappell said, “We will have a minimum of ten from my team with you at the event.”

What you will NOT see at The Moodie Davitt Travel Retail Virtual Expo: There will be a strong symposium element featuring a range of discussion papers, video presentations and two key industry awards components. But you will be able to watch and participate from your own desktop.

About The Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo

Travel retail’s first Virtual Expo, Symposium and Awards event is being driven by VFairs, a long-established 5-star rated virtual event platform. The Moodie Davitt Report has entered into an agreement with VFairs and is currently planning a major second event with key partners to follow in 2020 and 2021 as the business climate improves.

Several media titles have also signed as official Media Partners. They include Globuy, “the KOL of Chinese travel retail”, which has a monthly audience of 1 million views for its WeChat social media platform promoting new launches, product availability, promotions, and special offers. Globuy will work with The Moodie Davitt Report to ensure maximum brand visibility in China to Virtual Expo exhibitors.

Others are Lois Pasternak’s Travel Markets Insider, an invaluable and trusted information source for travel retail in the Americas; and Vane Media, Cristina Alcivar’s innovative North American media house which focuses on airport wellbeing services (from spas to therapy dogs) and will give particular coverage to exhibitors from the wellbeing space. Travel retail’s leading filmmaker, Peter Marshall of Marshall Arts and TRUnblocked, will be providing bespoke services to those seeking additional video collateral for the Expo at a special exhibitors’ rate.

Welcome to a new kind of trade exhibition experience


What is the Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo?

The Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo is a virtual 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.

When will it take place and how long will it last?

The Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo is a three-day live event scheduled for September and October 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 and exhibitors can continue to receive visitor analytics across the entire period.

As a buyer or retailer visitor what can I expect from the Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo?

Well, firstly, you won’t need to spend a cent getting there. No travel, no hotels, no entertainment (though we think you’ll find it fun), no taxis. No stress, and no lost time on flights. Oh, and entry is free!

Free? Really?

Yes, the only charge is for sponsors and exhibitors (see below) and even their rates are highly accessible. You’ll 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 two live days. And of course you’ll be able to place orders – either during or after the event.

As an exhibitor what can I expect from the Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo?

Plenty. As in plenty of ‘foot’ traffic. The Expo is open to retail buyers and managers from all over the world. A buyer at say, Auckland Airport in New Zealand or a retailer at Anchorage Airport in Alaska can pop in to check out your stand after registering. And you’ll know exactly who wants to ‘see’ you. Remember, they don’t pay a cent, all they have to do is register their details on your stand to visit. It’s the ultimate in buyer-seller democracy! The Moodie Davitt Report team will be working intensively in the months before the Expo to ensure maximum attendance by retailers, buyers and airports. You will also be able to incentivise visits through intensive pre-Expo marketing, promotions and correspondence. The Virtual Expo also provides accountability for your investment. You will receive a comprehensive analytics report on how many (and which) buyers/retailers have visited your Virtual Stand.

So I can access the key buyers who are attending directly? Can I connect with them through the Virtual Expo system? Yes, this is pivotal to the virtual buyer-seller relationship. You will know exactly who is coming, set up meetings and of course engage with them via your stand for 30 days after the live show concludes – and then hopefully long into the future.

What can I show them?

Whatever you like. New launches, campaign plans, prototypes, ideas for travel retail exclusives, videos, pdfs, you name it. And you can make appointments and host live chats throughout the two-day live part of the show.

What kind of stands are available in this brave new virtual world? There are 3 options available (Silver, Gold and Platinum), all highly cost effective, with size and positioning of stand being the key differentiators). You will have no costs relating to travel, hotels, entertainment, taxis etc. No stress, and no lost time away from the office.

So that’s the total cost? Yes, that covers registration, your own account manager (provided by The Moodie Davitt Report and our official Virtual Stand & Experience Curator partner, Singapore-based Retail, Marketing & Design agency Filtr*) to guide you through all the technical aspects (they are not complicated) and your Virtual Stand creation.

Any other notable features of the event?

Plenty. You can:

  • 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.

When can I register?

Registration for the Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo will open on 15 April with an early bird offer for exhibitors. To register your interest in advance as either a delegate or as a potential exhibitor, please contact Gemma Aldridge at Gemma@MoodieDavittReport.com and/or Martin Moodie at Martin@MoodieDavittReport.com

What educational and conference elements are planned? Can all delegates attend these? The Virtual Symposium will feature a combination of presentations and award ceremonies. Excitingly, the 2020 Airport Food & Beverage (Awards) – due to be held in Istanbul but cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis – will be hosted in real time in the auditorium, with simultaneous broadcasting all over the world via our B2B and social media platforms. The same applies for the inaugural Sightlines Airport Advertising & Communications Awards. Regarding the conference components, these will feature a range of presentations and discussions all themed around shaping the travel retail and airport landscape of the future. We’ve got some outstanding speakers lined up already and, again, you’ll be able to watch and listen without leaving your work or home office desk.

Where will the event be held?

Planet earth! This is an online event. You do not have to travel to any specific location. You can participate anywhere that offers Internet access. The event is accessible from desktop, mobile and tablet devices.

Do I need to download or install any software to be able to attend this event?

No. You do not need to download or install any software to participate in our event. You only need to have access to the Internet. The technology is driven by VFairs, a long-established 5-star rated virtual event platform.

Why a Virtual Expo and Conference?

  • Crisis management: We cannot pretend that the COVID-19 outbreak has not changed the world. But once it passes it is critical that our sector kick starts as quickly and efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. In an almost definitive global sector such as travel retail, a Virtual Expo will help that.
  • Sustainability: Not only does the virtual model significantly reduce the overall carbon footprint on the front end, but it also eliminates the production of materials that will go to waste after an event.
  • Lead generation: Virtual trade show platforms make it easy to provide prospects with downloadable materials, offer built-in tracking, lead management, and attendee profiles so you know exactly who is interacting with your stand.
  • Cost: A Virtual trade show delivers many of the benefits of a physical trade show, for a fraction of the cost.
  • Time management: The Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo houses your virtual booth for 30 days after the actual event. Meaning your stand represents a longer-term marketing platform than just a few days at a physical event.
  • Extended reach: Companies can interact with a global audience to generate a high volume of leads and prospects.

Is this designed as a replacement for ‘physical’ events – by Moodie Davitt (Trinity, FAB), ACI, ASUTIL, IAADFS or TFWA etc?

  • Most certainly not. It complements them. 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. Some of them, such as ASUTIL and ACI, have already taken up the offer. We’re a big fan of the various associations’ shows (they are also 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. So is our annual Trinity Forum (held in association with ACI and ACI Asia-Pacific), which was scheduled for late October, and our Airport Food & Beverage (FAB) Conference & Awards – the latter cancelled this year because of the COVID-19 crisis so we’re including it in the Virtual Travel Retail Expo. But physical events, both now and in the future, need bolstering in a virtual format we believe.

Anything else new?

Yes, we’re hosting the inaugural Sight Lines Airport Advertising & Communications Awards, launched by our sister title Sight Lines. Never has the role of airport communication to consumers been more important we believe.

Can, say F&B companies, advertising concessionaires and other service providers other than retailers also exhibit?

Most certainly. The Virtual 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 & jewellery.

When can I register?

Registration for the Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo will open on 15 April with an early bird offer for exhibitors who book by 1 June with a 30% deposit (Refundable up to 30 days before the event). To register your interest in advance as either a delegate or as a potential exhibitor, please contact Gemma Aldridge at Gemma@moodiedavittreport.com and/or Martin Moodie at Martin@MoodieDavittReport.com


Filtr will be on hand as your individual account manager to lead you through all aspects of preparing your stand; including additional curation (VR etc) if required.

Virtual stand curation: Account management • Filtr will liaise with exhibitors and support you in curating you stand experience and delivering the project schedule. • Filtr account managers will handle the interface with the VFairs system (uploading content/features etc). • Filtr account managers will be trained to be highly knowledgeable of the VFairs system. • The team will have a structured and constant communication stream with The Moodie Davitt Report to ensure maximum visibility for each exhibitor.

For further information please contact Martin Moodie at Martin@TheMoodieDavittReport.com

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The Moodie Davitt eZine

Issue 278 | 7 April 2020

The Moodie Davitt eZine is published 12 times per year by The Moodie Davitt Report (Moodie International Ltd). © All material is copyright and cannot be reproduced without the permission of the Publisher. To find out more visit www.moodiedavittreport.com and to subscribe, please e-mail sinead@moodiedavittreport.com

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