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Travel Retail Tales from TFWA Singapore 2019 – Part 3: Exhibition, networking & a pool party!

It’s Fiona Rayner’s third day at TFWA Singapore 2019 and she recounts the first day of the exhibition and explains why the industry’s must-attend event in its leading market is where regional and global brands come together for the best networking and business opportunities.

  • Tuesday, 14 May
  • Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre
  • TFWA Asia Pacific Exhibition

So it’s my third day in Singapore and last night I attended the Women In Travel Retail (WITR) social event. These are always lovely events to attend as you get an opportunity to catch up and socialise with other women working in the industry. The last time I saw some of these ladies was in Beirut for the MEADFA conference and it’s fair to say that during the last few months everyone has been so busy. Many of the members of WITR travel a great deal on business and I am reminded of how well represented women are in this industry compared to others. Some would argue there is still a way to go, but for me, to meet some of the most influential women in TR in one place is the benefit of belonging to such a great network.

The first day of the TFWA Exhibition starts early – coaches leave hotels from 8.30 and people start pouring into the MBS Expo & Convention Centre in their hundreds, ready for a day of networking and discussions.

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I had a list of brands that I wanted to meet and started to plan my first day to ensure I didn’t miss any out! First on the list was Foreo, specialists in Active Beauty. I was particularly looking forward to seeing their stand and introducing myself as we have recently started working with this brand in Heathrow Terminal 4 on a pop up shop. I must say that the MINI Cooper attracted a fair bit of attention and the stand was busy at all times.

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Next on the list was Aurora – a real leader in plush toys and most famous for their YooHoo Range. I was reminded of my time working in Terminal 5 where we used to bring out a fabulous YooHoo mascot to interact with children and create some unforgettable pictures!

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The atmosphere at the exhibition was excellent, brands were busy and delegates were trying to get around as many stands as humanly possible. I was lucky to visit wonderful stands by Bacardi, Rituals, Nestle and Churchills. All the brands were proactively showcasing their brands to visitors.

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As the day moved forwards, I was looking forward to meeting friends at the DFNI Asia Awards and was not disappointed by the vast array of awards and excellent examples of Travel Retail excellence. The DFNI awards reminded me of how great it was to travel and visit new places and learn from other regions in the Travel Retail industry. Sometimes you can become so engrossed in your own market and when you start to look globally there are some truly different examples of TR promotions and brand diversity to learn from.

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By the end of the day I was well and truly ready for a relaxing social and made my way to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel where TFWA members gathered for the Roof Top Pool Party! What a great way to close the first day of the exhibition, chill out with new acquaintances and familiar friends…

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