“A great addition to the TFWA showcase” … “The future of the industry” … “A one-stop shop that makes it easier for us” – visitor feedback for the inaugural TFWA Digital Village in October was overwhelmingly positive. A new initiative by TFWA, the high-tech event had one simple objective: to encourage the industry’s adoption of digital technology by providing a shop window for the latest solutions and services during duty free and travel retail’s global summit. This translated into a three-day exhibition housed beside the main Palais des Festivals venue. The record attendance at TFWA World Exhibition & Conference 2017 certainly contributed to interest in the Digital Village, but the potential of tools like virtual reality and CRM to boost traveller engagement had already caught the eye of several major brands. The enthusiasm spread beyond suppliers however, with retailers and airports similarly eager to exploit the possibilities offered by such solutions. “There are things here that will help us drive our marketing campaign and support sales across all of our business partners in the airport”, commented Mark Entwistle of GVK Indonesia.
The favourable reception persuaded the Association’s Board to authorise a second TFWA Digital Village in 2018. As before, it will take place during TFWA World Exhibition & Conference (30 September – 5 October in Cannes) and will run from 2 to 5 October. This earlier start, on Tuesday rather than Wednesday as in 2017, will enable greater synergy with the week-long summit, both events closing at midday on the Friday. The Gare Maritime will again act as the venue, ensuring easy access for the 12,000+ professionals attending the industry’s global summit. Given the rapid pace of innovation in the digital sphere, visitors to the next TFWA Digital Village can expect to see updated applications and new offerings compared to the technology on show in 2017. Further details for exhibitors and visitors will be released shortly via tfwa.com, so be sure to check the site for the latest news.