Designed to showcase creative digital solutions and services for players in the worldwide duty free and travel retail channel, TFWA Digital Village proved an instant success on its debut last year. Brands, retailers and airports seized the opportunity to explore how tools like CRM, geolocation and augmented reality can enhance the traveller experience and boost turnover. Few were surprised by the news that TFWA Digital Village will once again run alongside TFWA World Exhibition & Conference for 2018 (30 September – 5 October in Cannes). Although duty free and travel retail was initially hesitant to embrace new technology, concerned that it might undermine a business model based on physical stores, most in the industry have come to recognise the value that digital services and applications can add. From analysing retail performance or visualising new store layouts to creating imaginative activations and strengthening brand relationships with consumers, companies targeting travellers are increasingly integrating a digital dimension into their business.
This year’s TFWA Digital Village will run from 2 to 5 October, a day longer than previously to allow greater synergy with TFWA World Exhibition & Conference. Housed in the Gare Maritime next to the Palais des Festivals venue, around 40 digital exhibitors will have the chance to market to the 12,000 duty free and travel retail professionals present in Cannes for the week. Special ‘Pitch Corner’ sessions are planned where exhibitors can briefly present their products and services directly to delegates in the Palais venue itself. A press breakfast on the Friday morning will help spread the word about the digital expertise on offer. Exhibitor applications are invited from companies specialising in CRM and loyalty (including social commerce, e-couponing, data analytics, mobile apps, inflight solutions and geolocation), in-store solutions (such as interactive terminals, virtual / augmented reality, virtual fitting, endless aisles, virtual agents, sensory devices and payment solutions) and online solutions (market place, pre-order, online marketing etc.).