The 37th TFWA World Exhibition & Conference drew to a close today (Thursday 6 October), with the event hosting a total of 5,983 visitors up to midday, representing a rise of 77% (compared to 3,373) on 2021.
This compares to 7,215 visitors at the equivalent point in the 2019 event, which TFWA MD John Rimmer pointed out was an ‘exceptional year’, attracting a record attendance.
Drilling down on the figure, there were 2,095 representatives from duty free operators and landlords –more than double the 2021 total, and down by 12% compared to 2019.
A large number of brands were reported to have taken larger stands, with this year’s exhibition occupying a total of 20,751 sqm, up from 12,190 sqm in 2021.
A total of 387 companies exhibited, 57 of which were new.
The first-time exhibitors came from eight sectors and from a variety of destinations including Ghana, Saudi Arabia and Republic of Korea.
“In this, the 75th anniversary of the duty free industry, we’re very happy with the outcome here this week, in terms of exhibitors, square metres of stand space, delegates and buyers in attendance,” said Erik Juul-Mortensen, TFWA President.
“A real mood of confidence has been confirmed by the conversations taking place around the event all week.
“We look forward to the future with confidence and by the time we are back here in Cannes next year I’m convinced we will be flying at full height once again.
“We closed our books today, and thanks to our prudence in the past, our finances are in a strong position.
“We are well placed to continue supporting the industry going forward to next year and beyond.”
There were 1,179 delegates in the audience for the TFWA World Conference, which took place on 3 October and saw Juul-Mortensen joined on stage by a selection of speakers from within and beyond the industry.
A total of 177 delegates attended the Airport Forum workshop, sponsored by Kering Eyewear, on 4 October, while 123 attended the Innovation in Action workshop on 5 October.
There was a significant jump in the number of on-site meetings throughout the week, with 1,226 taking place through the TFWA ONE2ONE meeting service compared to 320 in 2020.
Add to this a vibrant TFWA i.lab component and well attended social events (1,600 guests attended TFWA’s opening ‘Get Together’ event at Carlton Beach and Wednesday evening hit a peak 2,358 guests for the TFWA Lounge: night-time session).
The role of TFWA President will be up for election in December, as Juul-Mortensen’s latest one-year tenure comes to an end.
“It has been an amazing year,” he commented. “We never close the door here without a list of things to look at. But as a whole I am very pleased with what we have put together.”
A new TFWA Board and TFWA Management Committee, which will serve the association for a two-year mandate from October 2022 to October 2024, were elected earlier in the day.
The names of all those elected are available to view on the TFWA website.
New to the Board is Rituals Global Travel Retail Director Melvin Broekaart, while Aude Bourdier from Brown-Forman has departed.
“I would like to send my personal congratulations to all the elected Board and Management Committee members, and a warm welcome to our new Board member Melvin Broekaart from Rituals Cosmetics,” said Juul-Mortensen.
“I am confident that the new Board – all of whom are seasoned experts in their respective fields – will help us make the best of the new opportunities we face as an association and an industry, as well as overcome the challenges that remain.
“Without the leadership of a strong and dedicated Board and Management Committee, TFWA would not be able to achieve all that it does for our industry.
“I would like to offer my thanks to Aude Bourdier from Brown-Forman for her hard work and commitment as a member of the Board over the past few years.”
Next on the agenda is the ASUTIL Conference, which is returning in-person in 2023 for the first time in five years, and will be managed by TFWA.
The event will take place from 7-8 June at the Hotel Hilton in Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires, Argentina, marking the first time the ASUTIL Conference has been held in Buenos Aires since 2005.
“We’re pleased to announce the return of the ASUTIL Conference, which will be back with the familiar format blending excellent learning with outstanding networking, culminating with the customary fabulous party,” said Jose Luis Donagaray, ASUTIL Secretary General.
“This is indeed very much the right partnership at the right time and in the right place and we will certainly be striving to be the best possible hosts for this event.”
You can read more about the event in our previous report.
Further to this, bringing the TFWA i.lab component to TFWA Asia Pacific Exhibition & Conference (7-11 May 2023) could be on the cards.
In the meantime, TFWA will continue to roll out its webinar series with a wine and spirits focused webinar later this month and two confectionery webinars in December.
A full programme of webinars for 2023 will be revealed in due course.