Spread over two levels of the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre, the Exhibition provides a natural focus for the week as the place where brands and buyers meet formally. Buoyant passenger traffic across Asia Pacific is driving strong sales to travellers, so exhibitor numbers and floorspace are both expected to reach record highs this year. There’s more to the industry’s annual gathering in Singapore than the Exhibition however.
Monday’s Conference mixes industry-focused analysis with authoritative commentary on the business and political environment. A new format features one morning and two afternoon plenary sessions. At the first of these, The Economist’s Foreign Editor, Robert Guest, will share his take on regional geopolitics and their impact on commerce, while Kate Ancketill, CEO of retail trend consultancy GDR Creative Intelligence, will discuss the factors behind successful retailing today. 3Sixty Duty Free, Incheon International Airport, Lagardère and Nestlé are just some of influential industry players fielding speakers at the afternoon sessions, where delegates will also hear from Pernod Ricard on sustainability and learn more about the Duty Free World Council’s Academy. Audience interaction via the TFWA App will be welcome.
In addition to doing business at the Exhibition and tapping into speakers’ expertise during the Conference, visitors will have daily opportunities for networking throughout the show. Sunday morning brings the Golf Tournament plus the Welcome Cocktail that evening, both at new venues (the Laguna National Golf & Country Club and historic Fort Canning respectively). The TFWA Asia Pacific Bar, a short walk from the Exhibition, opens on Monday afternoon. Tuesday evening is when delegates can take a break at the Hawaiian-themed Chill-Out Party beside the Mandarin Oriental Hotel’s rooftop pool, courtesy of sponsors Lacoste, Korea Ginseng Corporation and Patchi. The Singapore Swing Party on Wednesday will transform Ola Beach on Sentosa Island into a retro carnival-cum-fairground as a final flourish to the social programme.