Influential speakers & attendees join 2024 Forum

By Faye Bartle |

TR Consumer Forum

The 2024 TR Consumer Forum in Dubai has welcomed a wave of new speakers and registered delegates, with more than 220 attendees confirmed and a broad spectrum of thought leaders taking to the stage to spark discussion and debate across 12 dynamic conference sessions. 

This fourth annual edition of the duty free and travel retail (DF&TR) industry’s consumer-centric gathering is taking place from 3-5 June 2024 at Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, supported by Dubai Duty Free as Host Sponsor.

The good news is that there’s still time to join in the action. You have until Monday 27 May to register and join leading DF&TR stakeholders for a masterclass in today’s travelling consumers.

A third of the 200+ delegates confirmed to attend are representatives from duty free retailers, airports, airlines and food and beverage concessions.

TR Consumer Forum

Those with seats in the room include Dubai Duty Free, Avolta, Aer Rianta, Dubai Airports, Gebr. Heinemann, Jordanian Duty Free Shops, Lagardère Travel Retail, London Luton Airport, Africa Travel Retail, Budapest Airport, Hermes Airports, Cyprus Duty Free, Düsseldorf Airport, Flemingo Duty Free, Fraport, IGL Duty Free and SSP Group. Click here to see the full list of attendees.

TRCF24 attendees

This year’s global conference agenda has been curated under the theme of ‘Turning expectations into reality, catering to travel retail’s new consumer’. It features 12 discursive sessions packed with actionable insights. Plus, delegates gain exclusive access to consumer insights from m1nd-set worth six figures in value (if commissioned independently).

There’s also a host of superb networking opportunities, including an opening cocktail, networking dinner, the TR Consumer Forum Networking Lounge and two networking lunches.

TR Consumer Forum

Attendees can pick up their badge and delegate bag from 10am on Monday 3 June. This is when the first networking coffee of the event begins, sponsored by Victorinox, giving delegates flying in from around the world, as well as those based locally, a welcome chance to connect and catch-up on the latest news.

The conference opens at 12:25 sharp with welcome words from TRBusiness and Dubai Duty Free, followed by the hotly anticipated state-of-the-industry address by Peter Mohn, CEO & Owner, m1nd-set. In this opening session, he will share exclusive data that will set the scene for the sessions to follow.

TR Consumer Forum

The first panel session, ‘Progress and People: combining the power of sales teams and technology’ (13:00-14:15) looks at the power and influence of sales staff in the travel retail environment and how technologies are being leveraged to supercharge consumer engagement.

Anna Marchesini, Head of Business Development at m1nd-set will begin the session with rich insights. Unpacking the data will be Leanne Nutter, Retail & Brand Director, Blackjack Promotions; Julie Foley, Head of Retail Training, Pernod Ricard GTR; Morten Pankoke, Managing Director, Intelligent Track Systems; and Philipp Ahrens, Senior VP, Center Management, Vienna Airport.

Taking place immediately afterwards is the ‘Walking the eco talk: Changing travel retail for the better’ (14:15-15:30) session, which will discuss the role played by actors across the value chain in bringing sustainability to the fore.

Speakers armed with advice, information and case studies on this topic are: Eugene Barry, Chief Commercial Officer, Dubai Airports; Nuno Amaral, Chief Operations and Business Development Officer, ARI; Nicola Wells, Head of Category Development, Nestlé International Travel Retail; and Shruti Ahuja, Head of Sustainability (APAC & EEME) and Safety (EEME), SSP.

TR Consumer Forum

The evening sees a number of networking events, including the post-conference networking coffee sponsored by Nestlé ITR. All women delegates are invited to a beauty inspired WiTR+ afternoon tea from 16:00-17:30 at Cu-ba (open to WiTR+ members and non-members).

At 20:00, the Opening Cocktail, courtesy of Suntory Global Spirits and Gulf Beverages / African + Eastern, is taking place at Nomad Sports Bar (dress code: smart casual).

TR Consumer Forum

Day two of the conference, Tuesday 4 June, starts with a networking coffee sponsored by Loacker, with the knowledge-sharing programme beginning in earnest at 8:45am with a moderator welcome.

Proceedings will then move swiftly on to what promises to be a stimulating keynote session (08:55-09:45) by Ramesh Cidambi, Managing Director, Dubai Duty Free.

He will deliver a masterclass on how can the industry evolve to better anticipate the demands of today’s travelling consumers.

TR Consumer Forum

The first panel session of the day, ‘Navigating through AI, Web3 and the Metaverse: real engagement in a digital world’ (09:45-10:45) looks at how the travel retail industry can harness the power of digital for maximum effect.

Following insights from m1nd-set’s Marchesini, speakers will delve into how the industry is embracing the metaverse and Web3, AI, AR and VR, with Simon Black, Executive Managing Director, Newmark Retail; Andy Machin, Managing Director, Kounter Retail; and Jonathan Chippindale, Chief Executive, Holition set to unleash strong opinions on the topic.

After a networking coffee, sponsored by Walker’s, the next panel session ‘Perfecting the path to purchase: creating a local and authentic customer journey’ (11:30-12:45) will explore some of the innovations and creative solutions being adopted to enhance the experiential aspect of the drivers to visit and purchase in store.

TR Consumer Forum

Alongside m1nd-set’s Peter Mohn, speakers taking to the stage are Sören Borch, Director Sales Experience and Excellence, Gebr. Heinemann; Garrett Coogan, Vice President, Qatar Duty Free; and Pia Martina Klauck, Head of Commercial Operations, Düsseldorf Airport.

After the networking lunch is a session on ‘Conscious consumerism’ (14:30-15:45) and its emergence as a transformative force, with a five-strong lineup of speakers: m1nd-set’s Clara Susset; Bianka Pivarcsi, Head of Marketing, Budapest Airport; Arnaud Rolland, VP CSR, Lagardère Travel Retail; and NITR’s Nicola Wells.

TR Consumer Forum

It’s then time for developing those professional relationships once again, with a networking coffee sponsored by Ritter Sport.

Further time to socialise comes courtesy of the pre-dinner cocktails and a grand networking dinner sponsored by Casa Redondo & Gulf Beverages / African + Eastern, which starts at 19:30 in the Day and Night Ballroom – Lower Ground level (dress code: business attire/eveningwear).

TR Consumer Forum

The third and final day of the conference, on Wednesday 5 June, begins with a networking coffee sponsored by Ritter Sport, with the keynote session (08:55-09:45) by Dr. Munif Mohammed, CEO, Lagardère Travel Retail KSA and Middle East who will draw upon his rich experience to discuss how travel retail can bridge the gap between the traditional value proposition and consumers’ expectations.

TR Consumer Forum

This will dovetail straight into the first panel session of the day, ‘Rising giants part 1 – The Chinese travel retail shoppers’ (09:45-10:30) with m1nd-set’s Peter John; Lilly Choi-Lee, General Manager, TravConsult; Michael Schmidt, Senior Vice President – Retail, Dubai Duty Free; and Alexander Glos, CEO, China i2i Group.

After a networking coffee sponsored by Nestlé ITR, delegates can delve into another formidable traveller group, ‘Rising giants part 2 – The Indian travel retail shoppers’ (11:15-12:00).

TR Consumer Forum

For this, m1nd-set’s Clara Susset will deliver the stats, with Trevor Lee, Managing Director, TravConsult; P.K. Thimmayya, CEO, Flemingo Travel Retail; and Anne Kavanagh, Executive Director, APTRA, imparting their wisdom on the topic.

Next up is ‘Reinventing premium and luxury in travel retail’ (12:00-13:00), which will zoom in on how the luxury space is evolving, with m1nd-set’s Marchesini, Hazel Catterall, Director, Newmark Retail; Adrian Hayes, Director Global Key Accounts Duty Free, Oettinger Davidoff and Nadine Heubel, Global SVP Revenue – Travel & Hospitality, Reklaim.

TR Consumer Forum

Following the networking lunch, the final session of the day will uncover how to harness the power of digital touchpoint and technologies.

Titled ‘Digital and Direct: Exploring new ways to reach travelling consumers one-to-one’ (14:45-16:00), the session will pass the mic to m1nd-set’s Marchesini; Mélanie Guilldou, EVP Foodservice, Lagardère Travel Retail; and Viktoriya Soubra, Director of Sales, iCoupon.

TR Consumer Forum

Closing remarks from the moderators – John Rimmer, Director, JCR Consulting and TRBusiness’ Luke Barras-Hill and Faye Bartle – will draw the conference to a close. Click here to see the agenda in full.

TR Consumer Forum

We’re looking forward to seeing you in Dubai!

READ MORE: Oettinger Davidoff partners with the TR Consumer Forum in Dubai

READ MORE: Victorinox partners with TR Consumer Forum as Coffee Break Sponsor

READ MORE: Meet… Casa Redondo, Networking Dinner Sponsor, TR Consumer Forum

READ MORE: John Rimmer to join TR Consumer Forum moderation team in Dubai

READ MORE: TR Consumer Forum: Agenda & speakers revealed


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