Unmissable spirits exhibitors at TFWA World Exhibition 2018

25th September, 2018 by Nicola Carruthers

This year’s Tax Free World Association World Exhibition & Conference in Cannes will see travel retail movers and shakers flock to the south of France for six days of networking events, tastings and parties.

One of the most highly anticipated events in the global travel retail and duty free calendar is the annual Tax Free World Association (TFWA) World Exhibition & Conference. This year’s event is set to welcome more than 12,000 visitors to Palais des Festival in Cannes for six days of networking, workshops, leisure activities and seminars.

Taking place from 30 September to 5 October, the total number of exhibitors for the show is expected to exceed 500 companies for the second year running – a promising indicator of industry vitality.

The trade show will kick off its social events with the Opening Cocktail party, where guests can network at the Carlton Beach from 7.30pm on Sunday 30 September, followed by an extravagant fireworks display over the bay.

After each busy day of perusing the hundreds of brands exhibiting at this year’s show, visitors will have the chance to unwind and mingle further at a host of TFWA parties throughout the week.

Held Monday to Thursday from 10pm-­2am, The Scene at Plage du Palais des Festivals will see top DJs entertain guests. Delegates can also enjoy a drink and look out at sea views from the venue’s sixties-­themed lounge.

Le Premium Evening at Port Canto on Thursday 4 October will host the cast of Broadway show The Illusionists, along with world-­renowned French chef Romain Gandolphe, who will showcase his ‘trompe l’oeil’ cuisine. For health conscious visitors, there will also be two open-­air yoga sessions, which will be held at the Plage du Festival from 9am-11.30am on Sunday 30 September.

This year will see the expansion of the exhibition’s Beach Village to include the Majestic Beach, providing the latest product developments from the LVMH Beauty Group.

Stretch goal: open-air yoga sessions will take place during the show

Stretch goal: open-air yoga sessions will take place during the show

Another welcome addition to the event will be the launch of the new TFWA App. Previous event­-specific versions have been available in the past, but the new app will feature more refined functionality to promote interaction and networking in Cannes and beyond, as well as enhanced way-finding and access to services on site and elsewhere. The TFWA App is available on the App Store and Google Play Store.

As in previous years, the show provides a chance to discover new products, engage with brands’ latest marketing initiatives, sample current trends dominating the cocktail scene – and all while meeting acquaintances from the industry.

“The TFWA World Exhibition & Conference offers a unique opportunity for brand companies to meet with buyers and other executives from industry retailers and operators from all over the globe – all under one roof,” says Erik Juul-Mortensen, president of TFWA.

“It’s the place where new brand development is being presented and where plans for the coming listing season are discussed and agreed.

“It’s also a rare opportunity for people from all parts of the duty free and travel retail industry to come together to discuss the market challenges and opportunities for future growth.”

Taking place on the Monday, Juul-Mortensen will open proceedings with a state­-of­-the­-industry address at the annual TFWA Conference.

He will be followed by a panel of senior retail executives, including Dufry CEO Julián Díaz González, Gebr Heinemann co­-owner Claus Heinemann, Lagardère Travel Retail CEO Dag Rasmussen, and King Power International senior executive vice president Susan Whelan.

The panel will explore how the industry can adapt to a rapidly changing retail environment, address issues including digitalisation, the product offer and the business model.

In the second part of the conference, former Nato secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen and scientist Dr Bertrand Piccard will take to the stage.

Meet and greet: there will be plenty of chances to talk to colleagues

Meet and greet: there will be plenty of chances to talk to colleagues

TFWA will also showcase the latest technology at the Digital Village, which will return to Cannes following its successful debut last year. This year will include additional elements such as the Pitch Corner, which will allow exhibitors to present an in-­depth look at the latest technological innovations.

A particular highlight will be The Spirits Business’s own Beach Party, where medallists from The Vodka Masters and The Travel Retail Masters will be recognised. This year’s sponsors include Tequila Corralejo, El Ron Prohibido, De Kuyper, Imperial Collection Gold Vodka, Champagne Pannier, and Italian Signature Wines Academy (ISWA).

Wine and spirits “remain an incredibly important category for the duty free and travel retail industry”, says Juul­-Mortensen. The show will welcome a number of new spirits exhibitors, such as South Korean distiller Hite-Jinro and Scotch whisky producer The Three Stills Company. Drinks companies William Grant & Sons, Diageo and Rémy Cointreau will also return, as well as a number of smaller independent brands.

This show will be the last for Juul-Mortensen, who will step down from the association when his mandate ends in December. Juul­-Mortensen is one of the founders of TFWA and has been a member of the association’s management committee since it was established in 1984.

He was first elected to the board in 1986, serving as vice president of marketing and communications for 10 years, with a further year as vice president of special projects. Juul­-Mortensen has served as president since September 1999.

“I have had the honour and pleasure to head TFWA as its president for 18 years – more than half the time the association has existed – and I feel it is correct to step down and let another president take over,” says Juul-Mortensen.

“The association is in a very strong position today, with a dedicated and strong team that is well consolidated, well prepared and motivated to continue developing the association and its products and services.”

Click through the following pages to preview the range of spirits brands that will be exhibiting at the show.

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