Extraordinary challenges require innovative solutions. The inaugural Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo recognises that premise.
The COVID-19 crisis has had a profound impact on the aviation, tourism and travel retail sectors. First it was shops and restaurants closing as passenger trafﬁc waned; then whole terminals as airlines reduced or stopped ﬂights and travel restrictions both into and out of many countries were imposed.
Besides the short-term trauma it has brought to all travel-related sectors, COVID-19 will also reshape the industry in the future. Travel retail, an almost definitive global business, will reflect that transformation. The sector brings together customers and sector stakeholders from all around our planet. Integral to that cross-border way of doing business has been the concept of large face-to-face meetings in the form of international or regional exhibitions and conferences. It is our view that these will retain a key role in the future (or at least the best of them will) but that they will need to change.
Slowly at first and then gathering pace, particularly once a vaccine is found, the travel retail business will return, grow and then flourish. Any trade show must reflect the changed landscape, the austerity of our times and the need to deliver measurable returns on necessarily restricted investment.
Those assumptions underline the inaugural Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo. It is an event for its times. Premium but accessible. No exhibitor or buyer will spend a cent getting there. No travel, no hotels, no entertainment, no taxis, no stress, and no lost time from the office. Buyers and retailers will enjoy free registration. And while exhibitors pay for their Virtual Stand & Experience creation, the rates reflect the accessible, value-driven philosophy of the event.
The technology is well-proven and, through each exhibitor having their own individual Account Manager (care of our Singapore-based Virtual Stand & Experience Partner FILTR), the design and merchandising of a stand is straightforward. The simple premise that a buyer from, say, Brisbane in Australia or Barcelona in Spain can ‘travel’ to the Expo at the click of a mouse is, we think, irresistible.
We will do our utmost to ensure those buyers visit, enjoy and benefit from the Expo. We already have strong commitments from the world’s leading travel retailers that they will bring their entire senior management and buying teams to the event. We hope you will join them. Virtually of course.