INTERNATIONAL. The Moodie Davitt Report is to fund a life-changing cleft operation performed by international charity Smile Train for every exhibitor at the Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo in September.

Our design team’s mock-up shows the Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo’s public area and some of the key areas within it, including Knowledge Hub, Exhibition Hub and Experience Hub

Smile Train has supported over 1.5 million cleft surgeries since 1999. Every five minutes Smile Train-supported cleft treatment helps a child in need. Some 200,000 babies are born every year with cleft lips and/or palates. US$250 funds the cost of the 45-minute cleft surgery that transforms the life of a child – and that of his or her family.

Travel retail has, of course, given generously to Smile Train before. It was the beneficiary of the ‘Turning Tears into Smiles’ fund-raising dinner organised by The Moodie Davitt Report and Hugo Boss in Hong Kong in 2007; and of the hugely successful ‘Miles for Smiles’ fun runs in Dubai in 2008 and 2009. Incredibly, the three events raised around US$2.2 million for Smile Train, including, famously, a US$1.5 million donation by the Dubai Duty Free Foundation to assist the charity’s work in the Philippines – support by the retailer that continues to this day.

Colm McLoughlin donates US$1.5 million from the Dubai Duty Free Foundation to Smile Train

The Turning Tears into Smiles dinner in Hong Kong in 2007 raised almost US$350,000 for the cause. It was highlighted by a brave and moving speech from Chinese teenager Wang Li, The Smile Train’s first patient in China, who told a spellbound audience how her life had been transformed by the operation she had received seven years earlier.

Underlining the Virtual Travel Retail Expo’s CSR and eco-friendly credentials (no travel involved, no shipping, no stand construction etc), The Moodie Davitt Report will also be making a substantial donation to The Trinity Forest Project – a tree-planting initiative we unveiled at The Trinity Forum in Doha last October.

A further charitable project will be announced this week, in association with The Moodie Davitt Report’s Virtual Stand & Experience Partner for the Expo, Singapore and London-based integrated retail, marketing and design agency FILTR.

The Moodie Davitt Report Founder & Chairman Martin Moodie said: “This is a different kind of Expo to anything previously seen in the travel retail world and it must be anchored by critical corporate social responsibility values. I am particularly excited to restart our association with The Smile Train, a cause I know very well from earlier years. Having visited Smile Train clinics in India and the Philippines, I know what a transformative impact their work has.

Images from Martin Moodie’s visit to the Smile Train-funded cleft surgery ward at Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences in Hyderabad in 2007 {Source: The Moodie Blog}

“As the COVID-19 crisis rages, charities such as The Smile Train are suffering and the flow of donations slowing. Yet every day children are born with cleft conditions that can be easily treated in infancy, thus avoiding years of stigma.

“We’re also pleased to advance our Trinity Forest Project, unveiled in Doha last year. The combination of a zero carbon footprint event and a significant contribution to a tree-planting initiative underlines our determination to help shape a more eco-friendly world.”

Another of our designer’s impressions, showing how an individual product zone might look. Brand companies then have the ability to curate their Virtual Stand & Experience to their own requirements. [Image: FILTR]

As reported, the inaugural Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo will be held via a live event (now extended by popular demand to five days, 7-11 September) and a 30-day follow-up showcase in which all exhibitors can still engage with retailers and buyers worldwide. Interest from potential exhibitors has been soaring, while many of the world’s leading travel retailers have confirmed their attendance.

Further major announcements will be made this week on both the Expo and the Travel Retail Symposium, ‘Road to Recovery’, that will take place alongside it.

Critically, every exhibitor at The Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo will have their own individual Account Manager, provided by  Singapore and London-based integrated retail, marketing and design agency FILTR, The Moodie Davitt Report’s Virtual Stand & Experience Partner for the Expo.

The agency will also provide a full press centre service at the Expo to ensure unprecedented visibility worldwide for exhibitors. This will include complimentary advertising in the official Expo Guide, and extensive coverage across The Moodie Davitt Report’s preferred B2B and B2C media partners in China, South Korea, the US and the travel retail channel.

Buyers can enter a private Engagement Zone within a Platinum Partner’s Virtual Stand & Experience