[UPDATE] Cannes visitors up +7% to 7,531; rise in conference delegates

By Andrew Pentol |


Alain Maingreaud, President, TFWA

The 35th TFWA World Exhibition & conference, which took place in Cannes (30 September to 4 October) drew 7,531 visitors, an increase of 7% on the 6,989 participants in 2018.

The conference on Monday, which included a keynote presentation from former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, attracted 2,003 participants, a significant 20% rise on the 1,676 in 2018.

Responding to a question from TRBusiness during the closing press conference regarding the decision to select Blair as a keynote speaker, Alain Maingreaud, President, TFWA said: “We have a management committee and a selection of speakers are discussed at sub-committee level and put forward to management committee members.


“There are a lot of discussions and it then comes down to a democratic vote. Without revealing any secrets, the decision to choose Tony Blair was unanimous. The management committee members are of different nationalities and we had no doubt about our choice.”

Provisional figures (as of Thursday 3 October) indicated visitors included 2,183 operators versus 2,182 in 2018 and 610 companies compared to 606 in 2018.

The number of landlords dropped from 224 in 2018 to 205, while 69 companies also attended (+10% from the 63 In 2018). This year, there were 2,477 agents at the event, a +2% increase from the 2,425 in 2018.

In addition, there were 504 exhibiting companies compared to 516 last year and 493 stands compared with 496 in 2018. Exhibition space increased +3% to 23,443sq m from 22,759sq m in 2018. There were also 65 new or returning exhibitors and 15 official boats in the harbour village.

The TFWA said: “The numbers only tell half the story. The quality is also rising and many of the brands, including a number that had taken full advantage of the show’s beach-side location to host meetings in the Cannes sunshine, clearly invested to up their game.”

Meanwhile, the Innovation in Action Workshop on Tuesday 1 October drew 325 delegates, an increase of +5% on last year’s Digital Focus Workshop which attracted 210 participants.


The Inflight Workshop in Cannes attracted 246 delegates.

The Inflight Focus Workshop, moderated by TRBusiness Editorial Director Charlotte Turner, was attended by 246 delegates compared to 243 last year, while the inaugural TFWA Innovation Lab featured 28 exhibiting companies covering 365sq m and welcomed 2,196 visitors combined on Tuesday and Wednesday. Last year, 1,522 attended the TFWA Digital Village.

This year, all visitor and exhibitor badge holders were invited to the Opening Cocktail at Port Canto, where The Scene and Le Premium Evening were also located. The Opening Cocktail attracted 2,273 people, an increase of +37% on the 1,664 which attended the same event at Carlton Beach in 2018. The Le Premium Evening, where guests enjoyed a selection of fine food and a cabaret drew 800 attendees.

Summing up the entire TFWA Conference and Exhibition Maingreaud said: “There was a lot of energy, optimism and dynamism among the participants. This is confirmed by the excellent feedback we received from delegates, exhibitors and visitors both on the conference and exhibition side.”

Next year’s TFWA Exhibition and Conference will take place from 27 September to 2 October in Cannes, where it will remain for the coming years. This is after TFWA reached an agreement with the Palais des Festivals to keep the event at the same venue.


This year’s Le Premium Evening took place at Port Canto and was attended by 800 people.



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