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“The announcement brought us new hope for recovery and a return to ‘normal.’”
“The announcement brought us new hope for recovery and a return to ‘normal’”, said Milena Stoyanova of KT International, even though that ‘normality’ inevitably involves a more cautious approach to travel and physical meetings. Anthony Budd of Diverse Flavours likewise hoped it would be “business as normal”. Travel Blue’s Jonathan Smith thought the show’s return was “a great goal to aim for” and something that “TFWA should be striving towards”. Montblanc Head of Travel Retail Jessica Ciannarella believes TFWA World Exhibition & Conference 2021 is an opportunity for the industry to set an example “and show that business travel is possible and necessary”.
“There is not, and never will be, any comparison with face-to-face contact, this is in our DNA.”
On the relative merits of virtual and physical events, all agreed that meeting others in person was preferable. For Johnathan Smith: “There is not, and never will be, any comparison with face-to-face contact, this is in our DNA.” Montblanc’s Ciannarella recognised that online options have been “helpful companions” in recent months, but “they will never replace a coffee or champagne shared with our partners”. Milena Stoyanova thought that “no digital interface can replace the personal contact and experience created by the physical environment”, while Anthony Budd agreed there was “no comparison”.
Challenged to describe the industry’s flagship event in one sentence, Johnathan Smith replied “The Cannes experience is unique - there is no other retail market in the world that can arrange to have most of the key global operators and suppliers in one location.” Anthony Budd’s response took the form of a single word: “Special”
Watch out for updates about TFWA World Exhibition & Conference over the next few weeks.