James Prescott: “Last year the Virtual Travel Retail Expo really helped to put cruise on the travel retail agenda and we had some fantastic conversations as a result of it” 

INTERNATIONAL. Leading cruiseline retail concessionaire Harding is returning as an exhibitor to this year’s Virtual Travel Retail Expo (18-22 October).

The UK-based company had one of the most innovative stands at the inaugural 2020 event, designed like a cruiseliner. Visitors were able to explore all aspects of the Harding offer by clicking on the digital touch points ‘onboard’.

“Harding are delighted to be attending this event for the second year running. Last year the Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo really helped to put cruise on the travel retail agenda and we had some fantastic conversations as a result of it,” said Harding CEO James Prescott.

“With the exciting growth and development plans in our sector over the next three years, this is a huge opportunity to share our plans and learnings with key business partners.”

As reported, this year’s Expo includes a pioneering Retailer Emporium, featuring curated stands and experiences from some of the sector’s leading names. They include Qatar Duty Free, an event Diamond Partner, which will also reprise The QDF Factor – a unique competition to incentivise innovation, offering a grand prize of a six-month listing with the acclaimed travel retailer in 2022 and a complimentary six-month US$50,000 advertising campaign with The Moodie Davitt Report.

All aboard: After a successful maiden sailing last year, the good ship Harding is set for another virtual voyage

South Korea’s number one travel retailer and world number two, Lotte Duty Free, will also be exhibiting as a Platinum Partner and further names will be revealed soon. King Power Group (HK) and King Power International have also vowed their support for the event, as has Duty Free Americas.

“Having retailers of this calibre as our exhibiting partners is both pioneering and exciting,” said The Moodie Davitt Report Chairman Martin Moodie. “These won’t be ‘stands’ in the conventional senses but highly ambitious curations that will showcase best and most innovative practice in travel retail.”

As reported, NASDAQ-listed iClick Interactive Group Asia, a Gold exhibitor last year, returns as a Platinum Partner in 2021. iClick is a powerful independent online marketing and enterprise data solutions provider that connects worldwide marketers with audiences in China.

The 2021 Virtual Travel Retail Expo will build on the success of the October 2020 event, with several breakthrough improvements to be revealed soon in the critical areas of buyer-seller interaction and engagement, a streamlined conference programme and an enhanced platform for Chinese visitors.

The Knowledge Hub programme, being developed in association with leading industry partners, will include dedicated sections for cruise and ferry retail, airlines, and the return of the long-established Airport Food & Beverage (FAB) Conference & Awards, making a return after one year’s absence due to the pandemic.

Additionally, the Knowledge Hub programme will see the integration of The Moodies– travel retail and aviation’s only social and digital media awards and workshop – together with a dedicated digital, communications and advertising workshop. The Moodies this year will be extended to cover the whole travel ecosystem.

Registration opens next month.

Other key elements of the October event include:

            • A unique Loyalty Scheme for returning exhibitors from 2020, who will receive a -10% discount on 2020 fees if they maintain the same stand tier as last year;
            • -10% Early Bird incentive for new and returning exhibitors and sponsors booking by 1 May;
            • A six-week ‘encore’ access for exhibitors and visitors at no additional cost;
            • A dedicated Retailer Pavilion for airport, downtown, cruise, airline, rail and omnichannel retailers;
            • An Experiential Arena, allowing companies which do not wish to exhibit, high-impact visibility opportunities;
            • An enhanced Knowledge Hub programme over five days, featuring many of the sector’s key decision makers, disruptors and innovators;
            • A strong CSR element, which will see one tree planted for each visitor via The Trinity Forest Project and other charitable causes supported.

          For more information about becoming an exhibitor or sponsor of the Virtual Travel Retail Expo 2021, please contact Irene Revilla, Publisher, The Moodie Davitt Report (Irene@moodiedavittreport.com) or Sarah Genest, Vice President Sales & Events (Sarah@MoodieDavittReport.com). For all enquiries concerning FAB, please contact Sarah Genest.

The inaugural Virtual Travel Retail Expo was the key trade event of the 2020 travel retail calendar, attracting over 4,370 unique visitors, who paid over 20,000 visits to the platform. 124 exhibition stands received more than 183,600 impressions and generated 179,700 content clicks. The conference and workshop agenda was packed with 42 sessions and received over 30,000 session views. Elsewhere in the event, the Experience Hub hosted 41 sessions, hosted by exhibitors themselves, with 9,140 views.

Moodie Davitt Report and FILTR.QINGWA delivered on their commitments to corporate social responsibility at the 2020 event. Proceeds funded 112 cleft operations through cleft charity The Smile Train; saw 4,250 trees planted via The Trinity Forest Project; and donated US$16,000 to ImpactHK, the 2020 designated charity year for Women in Travel Retail.