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TFWA Cannes 2019 conference round-up

The opening conference at the TFWA World Exhibition & Conference set the benchmark for what would go on to be the topic of conversation at every launch and gathering held on the opening day.

Stephen Sackur moderated what would go on to be a session that provoked thought and called for change of actions within the industry. This began with an opening address from TFWA president, Alain Maingreaud. It was his first address to the industry in Cannes, during which time he discussed the prevalent issues facing the world of duty free and travel retail.

Of course, the word on the tip of everyone’s tongue is sustainability, and Maingreaud was no different, discussing the need for balanced responsibility between brands, retailers and landlords. He made it clear that although the industry cannot ignore the negative impact of air travel, there are ways to become active in positive change and ensure that sustainability is at the forefront of every choice made in the from now on.

While introducing this year’s new foray into encouraging smarter and more sustainable thinking, the Innovation Lab, Maingreaud elaborated on the positive impacts that technology and proper data collection will have on the environment.

In a surprising declaration, Maingreaud informed the conference delegates of the distinct lack of data collection within the industry. Without a standardised form of data to collate, it is almost impossible to monitor the positive and negative impacts global travel retail is having. He put out a call to arms for those in the industry to seek out TFWA’s help in creating this standardisation in the future.

This need for positive change to achieve continued success in the industry resonated through the two key note speakers, the first of which was the Rt. Hon. Tony Blair, who since his time in office has continued to remain a prevalent force in world affairs and provided insight into global trade conditions, tensions in the Middle East and Brexit, the latter of which provided a spirited discussion.

The second speaker, David Jones, former CEO of Havas and founder of You & Mr Jones provided an authoritative and thought-provoking voice on brand marketing and its future. Including insight into the possibilities of augmented reality, digital interactions and data identity, leaving the room inspired and ready to step out into the exhibition.


1 October 2019 - Phoebe Calver The Drinks Report, deputy editor