Virtual Travel Retail Expo: Review

Championing creativity and commitment, embracing engagement and digital evolution

We review the inaugural Virtual Travel Retail Expo, a concept embraced actively and enthusiastically by the industry, with highlights in words, images and video from the digital event.

When we announced the Virtual Travel Retail Expo event on 27 March, against the backdrop of the COVID-19 crisis, our aim was to bring the travel retail industry together in a year when collaboration and partnership were and are most needed.

The response from the industry (and we’re pleased to say, the reaction during and since) was overwhelming. Our 124 exhibitors hit amazing heights of creativity and commitment, underlining the faith of so many partners in the recovery of the business.

The Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo’s official song – ‘Passcode’ by Jannine Weigel – continues to prove a huge hit on social media

Quite apart from the numbers, the Virtual Travel Retail Expo allowed engagement of a sort that has been difficult to deliver in an industry so traditionally reliant on face-to-face meetings. The Exhibition Hub allowed that engagement in a premium environment that saw many brand owners and other exhibitors bring out their creative best in their latest launches and campaigns. One partnership in which we take special pride is The QDF Factor, our initiative with Qatar Duty Free to champion newness across the channel, and which met with an overwhelming response (see our dedicated page on The QDF Factor).

Designed as a premium event, we are pleased to say we also attracted a premium audience. The five-day live event attract 4,373 unique visitors, many representing the world’s leading travel retailers and airports. Those figures have been swelled during the 30-day ‘encore’ period that continues until mid-November. Exhibitors and visitors are being granted access to all areas of the Expo platform, including the stands and suites in the Exhibition Hub and on-demand sessions of the Knowledge and Experience Hub, without additional charge. Since the encore began, many industry executives have returned to the Expo to pick up from the ‘live’ show.

The House of Somrus, represented in travel retail by Duty Free Global, brought coffee breaks with a difference to the Virtual Expo, courtesy of the amazing Sadekar sisters

The hugely well attended Knowledge Hub sessions (featuring, we believe, the highest quality Symposium and Workshop agenda in industry history) and Experience Hub (an immersive engagement zone that housed some spectacular brand launches and events) were further highlights.

As we noted in the run-up, CSR was also an important feature of this Virtual Expo for The Moodie Davitt Report and our wonderful Stand & Experience Partner FILTR, with the event benefiting three charities: Smile Train, ImpactHK and The Trinity Forest Project.

Power players: Qatar Duty Free and The SEVA Group were Diamond Partners of the digital event, alongside China Duty Free Group

The journey of the past seven months has been an extraordinary one for our company and for our partner, FILTR. With the Virtual Travel Retail Expo we took an unproven concept for a digital travel retail exposition, and, we believe, curated it into a high-class, interactive, efficient and easily navigable experience that has connected the industry and offered a platform to help our channel chart a way forward.

It is, we believe, a transformational formula, one that can serve the needs of the industry long term, either supplementing or – when market conditions dictate – replacing physical events.

So much so that we plan to build on its success with a bigger and more evolved event in the second half of 2021, with timing to be determined after consultation with exhibitors, visitors and wider industry stakeholders.

That event, allied to others planned such as the 2021 Virtual Summit of the Americas, World of Spirits, Beauty Tech and Wellbeing World, will build on the commitment to innovation that is part of our DNA.

More on those events will follow. For now, enjoy our review of a memorable and engaging week at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo.

The week in numbers: Visitor Data




Broad reach: Virtual Travel Retail Expo visitor traffic measured by weekly total, daily tallies and by region

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The Moodie Davitt eZine Issue 285 | 4 November 2020

The Moodie Davitt eZine is published 15 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 and to subscribe, please e-mail

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