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Top 10 travel retail events for spirits

The opportunity for spirits brands to shine in travel retail has never been greater, or more competitive. These are the top 10 travel retail events for labels expanding their presence on the “sixth continent”.

As travel retail becomes a vital playground for spirits brands, we round up the market’s top events

Trade shows present an unrivalled networking opportunity for brands across all sectors to rub shoulders with importers, distributors and buyers.

And as one of the most coveted retail sectors in the world, duty free events are a must for any brand wanting to create a truly global presence.

For spirits, an international image is increasingly the measure of success, meaning travel retail shows are penned in the diaries of industry professionals far in advance.

More just places to see and be seen, these events also offer and unique opportunity to gather a breadth of market insight through seminars and debates.

But of course, all work and no play is never a good mix, so a plethora of glamorous after parties are held to break up the meetings and lectures, including The Spirits Business‘ own Travel Retail and Vodka Masters Beach Party in Cannes at TFWA World Exhibition & Conference.

Click through the following pages to see our selection of the top 10 travel retail events for spirits brands.

FDFA Convention

FDFANext event: 15-18 November 2015, Vancouver

The Frontier Duty Free Association’s (FDFA) remit is to represent the interests of Canada’s duty free shops – and its annual Convention does not disappoint with networking activities aplenty. Attracting Canadian and US duty free operators, product and service providers, and duty free media, the regional event serves as a fantastic opportunity for exchanging ideas in a trade show format. This year’s programme packs in a welcome reception and charity auction, a “fun night” and a gala dinner alongside the exhibition. Attend for an in-depth overview of the Canadian travel retail market.

Airline Retail & Ancillary Revenue Conference

ArRONext event: 25-26 February 2016, Singapore

Described as “the most focused networking platform for airline buyers and suppliers in the world”, ARC holds one Asia Pacific and one Europe event each year. Dedicated to on board retail, food and beverage, ancillaries and inflight tech, expect to hear from industry leaders in a networking environment. In addition to the conference programme, ARC Expo’s trade show often attracts up-and-coming brands from all categories. Attend if you’re interested in the inflight channel, or if you’re a buyer looking for an interesting niche product.

Nordic Travel Retail Seminar

Nordic-Travel-Retail-SeminarNext event: May 2016, date and venue TBC

The annual Nordic Travel Retail Seminar is organised by the Nordic Travel Retail Group, an industry association which represents duty free and travel retail across Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Cruise/ferry is a predominant category in the channel, but the event also includes insight from airline and airport retail, too. The one-day programme is packed with keynote speakers, with the 2015 line-up featuring speakers from m1nd-set, Mondelez, and Avinor. Attend for insight into the unique monopoly markets of Sweden, Finland and Iceland.

The Trinity Forum

Trinity-ForumNext event: September 2016, date and venue TBC

An alliance between The Moodie Report, Airports Council International (ACI) and ACI Asia-Pacific, The Trinity Forum champions the concept of stakeholder collaboration in travel retail: airports/landlords, retailers and suppliers. The 2015 event was held in Hong Kong and had a stellar speaker line-up including Sang J. Ahn, VP commercial, Bangalore International Airport; Rick Blatstein, founder and CEO, OTG; Nicola Wells, director customer global strategy and marketing, ARI; and Philippe Schaus, CEO, DFS Group. Attend if you want to do some serious business with an airport operator or big retail group.

ISPY – Inflight Sales Person of the Year

ispyNext event: 24-28 January 2016

For an event with the primary focus of sales training cabin crew, ISPY’s programme is so packed with additional activities for brands and delegates alike it is now a must-attend for anyone with an interest in the inflight retail market. From the opportunities to engage with crew directly and participate in the two-day trade show to the networking with airline delegations and the flamboyant gala dinner, get involved if you want to understand crew sales culture and give your brand a platform in the channel.

IAADFS Duty Free Show of the Americas

IAADFSNext event: April 3-6 2016, Orlando

A trade association of more than 400 company members serving the duty free and travel retail community across the Americas, the IAADFS show is a significant trade show in the TR calendar. The trade market has good representation across the category divide, with the spirits contingent making a strong showing. No conference programme here, but the networking opportunities are excellent, with an opening cocktail, gala dinner and nightly Club Americas partying opportunities. Attend if you want to meet partners from across the Western hemisphere.

MEADFA Conference

MeadfaNext event: 23-24 November 2015, Jordan

An essential event for anyone doing business in the regions, the Middle East & Africa Duty Free Association’s annual conference is managed by the TFWA and attracts around 600 industry stakeholders. Beset by political uncertainty, war, an ongoing refugee crisis yet bubbling with emerging market potential and the high net worth markets of the UAE and Qatar, travel retail in the Middle East & Africa are beguiling, fast paced and compelling. Attend for high-level consumer insight and the networking opportunities on offer.

ASUTIL Conference

ASUTIL-ConferenceNext event: June 2016, Buenos Aires,

The Asociación Sudamericana de Tiendas Libres (ASUTIL) annual conference is a real highlight in the travel retail and duty free calendar. The association is dedicated to the industry across South and Central America and features a speaker line-up packed with regional experts. But what really sets the event apart is the warmth of the ASUTIL organisers and fellow delegates. Expect a networking focused event – attend if you want to build real, lasting relationships with business partners in the region.

TFWA Asia Pacific Exhibition & Conference

TFWA-AsiaNext event: 8-12 May, Singapore

Showcasing hundreds of premium brands and thousands of different products, TFWA Asia Pacific is a must for travel retail professionals operating in the region. With fantastic evening events and comprehensive speaker programme, the event may be focussed on Asia, but has quickly gained global prominence since its launch 15 years ago. But TFWA is so much more than a networking opportunity, and visitors’ number one priority is often uncovering the many travel retail exclusives that launch at the show.

TFWA World Exhibition & Conference 2015

TFWA-WENext event: This week, Cannes

Said to be the world’s biggest travel retail show, TFWA World Exhibition & Conference 2015 has once again touched down in Cannes this week. Despite suffering devastating floods along the French Riviera, the show has gone off with a bang with its usual hoards of industry professionals flocking to the beautiful town. In addition to the 10 “villages” of exhibition space spread throughout the Palais, a packed conference schedule accompanies the back-to-back business meetings. With all the big industry names in attendance, in addition to light-hearted leisure activities, TFWA WE is described as the “only truly global event for anyone marketing to international travellers”.

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