Exhibition stand space reserved for this year’s Tax Free World Association (TFWA) World Exhibition & Conference is already well ahead of last year’s edition, TRBusiness has been told.
But the association, perhaps unsurprisingly, says neither floorspace or visitor levels are expected to reach pre-pandemic levels this year.
TFWA did not confirm what percentage of floor space is currently reserved for exhibitors versus 2019, though as reported in May the figure was approaching 80% versus pre-Covid figures.
“It is worth noting that stand booking space is still in progress, and we don’t therefore have a final figure,” updated TFWA Managing Director John Rimmer.
“The floor space reserved by exhibitors has already far surpassed that of last year’s edition, and we have made significant progress since May. In addition to that, it has been very gratifying to see that many exhibitors this year have taken the opportunity to expand their space with larger booths, which is a sign of their confidence in the event.”
Buyer participation: ‘Positive signs’
TFWA attracted 3,408 visitors to last year’s World Exhibition & Conference, which re-connected industry partners, colleagues and friends for the first time in person since the Covid-19 pandemic. That figure equated to under half of the 7,500 visitors recorded in 2019.
“Registration for the event is open until 8 September and the number of visitors registering is increasing daily,” added Rimmer. “We do not expect to be at pre-pandemic levels this year, either in terms of floorspace or number of visitors. But we are seeing positive signs with regard to buyer participation from across the world.
“Many companies that were unable to send delegations last year are planning to attend in 2022. The scale of this year’s event won’t be on a par with the 2019 edition yet, but we won’t be too far away.”
A growing list of travel retailers, including from Asia Pacific, together with other retail operators and brand companies have signalled their intention to attend the showpiece event, which takes place at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes from 2-6 October.
It will feature a refreshed programme, with ample business networking opportunities.
For more on the TFWA World Exhibition & Conference, see the TRBusiness August/September e-zine.
All images source: TFWA/Nathalie Oundjian.