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Leading figures from across the duty free and travel retail sector and beyond will be sharing their knowledge and experience at the TFWA Asia Pacific Conference 2018.
The theme of this year’s event, which will be held at the Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre on Monday 7th May, will be #TRevolution. Delegates will hear how technological advances are changing the rules of retail, and have the opportunity to discuss how duty free and travel retail needs to evolve in line with consumers.
President of TFWA, Erik Juul-Mortensen, will open the conference with a look at the latest available data on the ever-important Asia Pacific region and the wider global market. Erik's speech will be followed by a welcome address by APTRA President Andrew Ford.
Two keynote speakers in the opening plenary session will explore how new technologies will shape the industry’s future. Co-founder of Siri and Viv Labs, Adam Cheyer, one of the world’s leading authorities on artificial intelligence, will explain how AI and other advances will revolutionise customer behaviour and experiences, as well as challenge existing business models. Shivvy Jervis, meanwhile, is one of Britain’s leading digital influencers and was voted one of Europe’s 30 leading women in the tech business. She will look at the next wave of digital pioneers with a particular focus on travel and tourism.
The second plenary session will look in detail at how business practices in duty free and travel retail have evolved over time, benchmarking the concession model against that of other comparable retail markets, and exploring how improvements could be made. The session will present key findings of a study commissioned by TFWA on the evolution of the business model in duty free and travel retail from leading business analyst Boston Consulting Group, followed by a discussion featuring leading industry executives among brands, retailers and airports.
Three workshop sessions will offer delegates further food for thought. Workshop A, called ‘Seamless shopping: travel retail’s frictionless future’, will explore how advances in payment and other technology will transform the duty free and travel retail experience just as they are transforming the shopping experience elsewhere. Among the speakers in this session will be Matthew Brennan, Expert on WeChat and cofounder of China Channel.
Workshop B, entitled ‘Call of Duty Free: gamifying travel retail’, will analyse the implications of gamification for our industry, looking in particular at customer communication, marketing and brand engagement. It will also explore how technologies such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality can offer a memorable experience for customers.
Workshop C, ‘Safeguarding our industry’, will look at a broad range of challenges facing the industry, including the World Health Organization’s Illicit Trade Protocol for tobacco products and packaging regulations affecting all categories. It will also look at current and future travel trends in Asia Pacific, and analyse changes to passenger profiles.
“The aim of this year’s conference is to help provide members of our industry with the insights they need to keep moving forward in our digital age,” said Erik Juul-Mortensen. “As an industry, we still have much to do if we are to thrive in the technology-centric world in which we live and our industry needs to look at how to evolve to ensure its continued success in the digital age. The dynamic Asia Pacific region remains a priority for all with an interest in developing their business in duty free and travel retail, and growth of over 8.1% in the first half of 2017 (according to preliminary figures from Generation Research) can only be described as impressive. We are delighted to be returning to Singapore for what I’m sure will be another inspiring event.”
Changi Airport is the diamond sponsor of the conference, and China Duty Free Group is a platinum sponsor. The business networking coffee break in the morning will be sponsored by Leonidas, the business networking lunch will be sponsored by Neuhaus and the afternoon networking session with refreshments and workbook will be sponsored by Incheon International Airport Corp. Mondelēz International will be sponsoring the conference web app, Pourchet will provide the conference hostess outfits and the charging station will be sponsored by SKROSS.