ARI and DFWC join Forum’s powerful speaker line-up

By Michael Barrett |

Support for the inaugural TR Consumer Forum continues to grow as more senior executives join the powerful speaker line-up for the first major in-person industry event in two years.


Following the recent announcement, the top management from leading duty free retailer Aer Rianta International are among the speakers joining the conference programme.


ARI CEO Ray Hernan will join London Heathrow’s Fraser Brown and Manchester Airport Group’s Ben Green  in the opening keynote session on Tuesday 21 September.


ARI Deputy CEO and CCO, Anthony Kenny will also take part in the conference, sharing the latest developments on the retailer’s consumer facing investments in its e-commerce activities in the second session on Tuesday ‘Etail & Retail Revisited: Touch Points & E-commerce in Travel Retail’, alongside Expedia’s Evelina Hederer and Jonathan Chipendale, CEO at Holition. As announced, the acclaimed blogger/vlogger Noel Philips, will be the consumer in residence during this and several other sessions during the conference.


Well-known industry executive Sarah Branquinho, President of the Duty Free World Council will join ETRC Secretary General Julie Lassaigne during the opening session on Wednesday 22 September to share the latest developments on the Council’s retail training programmes through the DFWC Academy.


The DFWC has been furthering DFWC Academy to provide the industry’s frontline consumer-facing staff with training to help them approach the consumer more appropriately in the Covid context. Richard Gray, CEO of Aer Rianta International Middle East (ARIME) joins the ‘New Influences’ session to discuss how the retailer is approaching the consumer differently in the Covid context through in-store shopping drivers, from staff to merchandising and store design.

Senior industry executives to address more than 150 delegates at inaugural TR Consumer Forum… from left to right, Sue Gosling – Harding; Ray Hernan – ARI; Diana Verde Nieto – Positive Luxury; Ricky Sandhu – UAP; Anuj Roy – Pernod Ricard and Sarah Branquinho – DFWC.

Each session throughout the two-day conference will commence with exclusive insights on how the consumer is changing shopper behaviour in the post-pandemic travel retail environment with co-organiser m1nd-set’s CEO Peter Mohn, CCO Clara Susset and Business Development Head, Anna Marchesini.


The opening day of the inaugural Travel Retail Consumer Forum will also feature two category specific sessions on beauty as well as wines and spirits. The ‘Booming Beauty’ session will focus on some of the latest initiatives undertaken to woo the post-pandemic beauty buyer with insights and ideas proposed by Morgan Holt, Global Executive Experience (CX) Director at creative agency Landor & Fitch, Karine Fleury, Director at Flores Brand Works, Sue Gosling, Marketing Director at Harding and Guido Bonadonna, CEO at GFL Skincare.


Sustainability, a fundamentally important topic for the event organisers TRBusiness and m1nd-set will also feature prominently in the conference agenda with a dedicated session which will look how consumers are placing greater emphasis on health, well-being and sustainability across all categories. The session, which is kindly sponsored by Diageo, will reveal how travel retail can adapt to the increasingly health and sustainability conscious consumer.


Shane Kelly, Head of Diageo in Society (Europe) & Corporate Relations Director Global TR 

Following the m1nd-set consumer insights on the theme, Head of Diageo in Society (Europe) & Corporate Relations Director Global Travel Shane Kelly will reveal some of the latest initiatives the global wines and spirits group has been investing in to adapt to the more conscientious consumer.


He will be joined by Claudia Bustinza Bertran, Assurance Manager at the Global Sustainable Tourism Council,  as well as Global Head of Strategy, Insights and Intelligence Pernod Ricard, Anuj Roy.


Commenting on the conference and Diageo’s perspective in the session on Sustainability, Kelly said: “We’re delighted to be a sponsor of this year’s Travel Retail Consumer Forum and look forward to participating in the panel discussion on Sustainability.


“I’m excited to share the details of Society 2030: Spirit of Progress, Diageo’s new 10-year action plan to help create a more inclusive and sustainable world. As part of a global business, we are committed to playing our part to protect the future of our planet and to leading the way for others to follow.  We know that long lasting positive change comes from partnerships and we look forward to strengthening our collaboration with the Travel Retail industry to help build a more sustainable and fairer future for all.”


TravConsult Managing Director Trevor Lee to share how  to approach Chinese consumers in the post-Covid retail environment.

‘Behind borders’ will provide a regional and domestic consumer focus, with insights on how the domestic travel and tourism trends have grown in importance in the midst of the pandemic by default.


With insights from m1nd-set, DragonTrail, TravConsult and The Industrial Securities Company, the session will home in specifically on the Chinese domestic travel and tourism trends, turning in particular to Hainan and the exponential growth in the travel retail market in China’s own duty free paradise.


Parulis-Cook will reveal insights from the latest DragonTrail consumer sentiment survey, which will be completed only two weeks prior to the event, which will focus on what will influence Chinese travellers positively and negatively to travel and shop.


TravConsult co-founder and Managing Director Trevor Lee will reveal how to adapt to and approach Chinese consumers differently in the post-pandemic context and what the key cultural values and attributes frontline staff need to be aware of and respect to ensure the Chinese shopper will feel welcome and safe.


Finally, Kaiyan Dai, Senior Analyst & Commerce & Retail Group Leader at China Industrial Securities Ltd. an investment consultancy and financial securities company will provide insights on the latest developments in China’s duty free industry, focusing specifically on developments in Hainan and how the consumer experience will be impacted by new regulations and policies in the future.


Reimagining Luxury Retail promises to be another eye-opening session with the latest insights on how high spending shoppers and consumers of luxury have evolved their spending behaviour. In addition to the m1nd-set insights, luxury industry research group Luxurynsights’ CEO Jonathan Siboni talk about the latest trends across all luxury categories, discussing who the new luxury consumers are, their expectations from luxury brands in a post-Covid world and in particular what will influence them to choose one luxury brand over another.


The session will also feature insights from sustainable luxury consultancy Positive Luxury’s CEO Diana Verde Nieto on the shift to sustainable luxury in particular. Verde Nieto will share how the luxury consumer is increasingly focused on sustainability and how luxury brands can demonstrate their authenticity when it comes to sustainability through the unique Butterfly Mark concept. Jonathan Chippindale, CEO at Holition will also share the extensive experience the digital retail agency has in shaping consumer experience with luxury brands such as Cartier, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Coach, Gucci and De Beers, among many others.


The final session of the inaugural Travel Retail Consumer Forum promises to be one of the highlights of the two-day event when Harpreet ‘Ricky’ Sandhu, Founder and Executive Chairman at Urban-Air Port Ltd (UAP) will reveal how intercity and even international city hopping will evolve in the future.


The travel concept, which is due to launch in the coming weeks with the first model to be built in Coventry, UK, will revolutionise the way consumers travel and approach the overall travel experience. This will be the very first time the concept is revealed to a global audience at a live event. The hubs will service both manned and unmanned electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles.


UAP – future sustainable travel to be revealed to global audience at TR Consumer Forum

Well-known and highly respected travel retail executive Keith Hunter of Hunter Palmer consultancy will also discuss the implications for retail and the new opportunities for brands and retailers through this sustainable travel concept.


As reported, the session will also feature an exclusive interview between Ricky and the TR Consumer Forum’s own consumer in residence, Noel Philips. Sandhu and Hunter met with Philips earlier this month to discuss the futuristic and sustainable travel hubs with a view to sharing the concept with the millions of followers across the blogger’s social media networks.


As with the other sessions during the inaugural Travel Retail Consumer Forum, delegates will hear the consumer opinion through Noel’s expert perspective. This particular session will be all the more unique as Noel will bring up-to-the-minute reaction from his follower base after sharing the concept in the days leading up to the event.


For more information on the programme, please contact [email protected].

For more information about sponsoring these networking events, as well as other sponsorship opportunities, please contact [email protected][email protected][email protected] or [email protected].


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