The pace of change within duty free and travel retail shows little sign of slowing, so it’s only natural that the format of its biggest annual gathering, TFWA World Exhibition & Conference (30 September to 5 October in Cannes), should move with the times. One of the most visible innovations will be the expansion of the Exhibition’s Beach Village to include the Majestic Beach (opposite the Majestic Hotel), where LVMH will bring together in a single location a dozen of its ‘maisons’, some of which (Guerlain and Loewe for example) previously occupied separate stands. Visitors to the new area can also expect to see other big names like Kenzo, Givenchy and Make Up For Ever. Total exhibitor numbers in Cannes will exceed 500 companies for the second consecutive year, a promising indicator of industry vitality.
Another first will be the launch of the new TFWA App in time for this year’s summit. Previous event-specific versions have been available for Cannes in the past, but the newcomer goes further with more sophisticated functionality to promote interaction and networking both in Cannes and beyond, as well as enhanced wayfinding and access to services on-site and elsewhere. The TFWA App will be available by mid-September via the App Store and Google Play Store.
The speaker line-up for the Conference includes a couple of notable new names alongside Erik Juul-Mortensen, who'll be making his last state-of-the-industry address as TFWA President. Former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Dr Bertrand Piccard, scientist and adventurer, will share their thoughts on geopolitics, business and technology. A high-level panel including leaders of major retailers Dufry, Lagardère Travel Retail, Heinemann and King Power International will tackle current industry issues.
Participants in the networking programme for Cannes will see some changes for 2018. Sunday’s TFWA Golf Tournament, organised in partnership with Qatar Duty Free, moves to a spectacular new venue at the Royal Mougins Golf Club, while delegate demand for the Rituals-sponsored yoga has led to the introduction of a second morning session. Le Premium Evening on Thursday, the social highpoint of the week, will feature celebrated chef Romain Gandolphe’s intriguing ‘trompe l’oeil’ cuisine plus entertainment from five internationally-acclaimed illusionists.
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