AMERICAS. Leading trade associations International Association of Airport Duty Free Stores (IAADFS) and Asociación Sudamericana de Tiendas Libres (ASUTIL) announced today that the 2021 Summit of the Americas, originally scheduled to be held in Palm Beach, Florida next April, will now be conducted as a Virtual Expo on 5-8 April 2021.

The 2021 Virtual Summit of the Americas is being organised in partnership with The Moodie Davitt Virtual Expo Company as an innovative, user-friendly, and cost-efficient virtual event. The Moodie Davitt Report has already developed the pioneering Virtual Travel Retail Expo, taking place on 12-16 October.

“We are disappointed that the continued economic and social problems resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic make it apparent that the industry in the Americas and in some other locations is highly unlikely to be in a position to support an in-person event in early 2021. The boards of IAADFS and ASUTIL have reacted decisively by switching to a virtual event, embracing an exciting new platform that will continue our support of the recovery and future prosperity of our regions,” said René Riedi, IAADFS Chairman.

ASUTIL President Gustavo Fagundes added: “We have sought guidance and explored options with our supplier partners and retailers and the consensus is that, at least in the Americas, an early 2021 second quarter in-person event would be difficult for most companies to support in a traditional way. Through digitalisation, the Virtual Summit will provide the industry with an opportunity to connect, conduct business and learn from outstanding speakers within the duty free and travel retail industry. We call upon our members and the industry at large to get behind this event.”

The Moodie Davitt Report Chairman Martin Moodie said: “The launch of the 2021 Virtual Summit of the Americas underscores the critical work of IAADFS and ASUTIL in defending and advancing our industry’s efforts. Never has the need been greater.

“We are proud to partner with both associations to put on a dynamic virtual event that will galvanize the regions, facilitate communication, thought leadership and innovation, and help raise funds to allow the work of the associations to be stepped up.”

Event features

The Virtual Summit of the Americas will feature a Knowledge Hub, providing valuable up-to-date learning sessions about the landscape, challenges and opportunities in the Americas; an Exhibition Hub, with engaging, creative and affordable virtual exhibition stand solutions; as well as multiple opportunities for scheduled networking appointments and meetings. There will also be open access for all media partners to a Press Centre.

Registration will be free for retailers and airports, and inclusive for participating exhibitors and sponsors. A variety of cost-effective trade show booth options will be available, and there will be an array of sponsorship opportunities providing high-visibility exposure for interested companies. More details, including a dedicated event website, are coming soon.

For more information, please contact IAADFS President and CEO Michael Payne at mpayne@iaadfs.org, or ASUTIL Secretary General José Luis Donagaray at jld@asutil.org

The inaugural Virtual Travel Retail Expo (12-16 October): A pioneering initiative for innovative, user-friendly and cost-efficient virtual events in the channel