2015 IAADFS Show continues tradition of success

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The IAADFS Trademarket featured nearly 200 exhibitors covering more than 75,000 square feet of exhibit space.

The 2015 IAADFS Duty Free Show of the Americas continued the show’s tradition of industry networking, professional growth, and fun in the Orlando sun.

The week began with the annual Sports Day — an exciting mix of activities throughout the Orlando World Center Marriott grounds that included the perennial favorites golf and tennis, as well as the first IAADFS 3K Fun Run/Walk, which raised more than $10,000 for Escuela de la Calle (EDELAC), or “School of the Street,” in Guatemala. “IAADFS is pleased to be donating to EDELAC more than twice what we had originally committed,” said IAADFS President Alberto “Pancho” Motta Jr. “It’s a very worthy charity, and we appreciate those who participated in the event, as well as the event sponsor, Essence Corp.”

The top three finishers in the race were Brenda Cortes of Essence Corp, Carmen Poel of Drinks International, and Ben Webb of TR Business.

“It’s always good any time you can run and make money for charity,” Webb said. “It’s nice of IAADFS to donate for everyone. I hope they do it every year.”

Along with the fun run/walk, IAADFS took other strides to enhance the show. This year it introduced the IAADFS Show mobile app, which provided attendees with schedules, a personalized agenda, exhibitor listings, an interactive floorplan, product listings, and more at their fingertips. Also new this year was the new member/new exhibitor reception, which gave those who were new to the show a chance to mingle and meet members of the IAADFS Board of Directors.

The Opening Reception officially kicked the show off on Sunday, giving attendees a chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones in a relaxed atmosphere.

The following morning, it was business as usual as the IAADFS Trademarket opened with nearly 200 exhibitors covering more than 75,000 square feet of exhibit space. Buyers, suppliers, and other attendees were able to conduct back-to-back meetings and see the latest products from around the world.

New, returning, and long-time exhibitors each presented the latest duty free products to attendees, gaining exposure they can’t get anywhere else.

“We have already covered the cost of our show,” Melanie Mercado, Wonderful Pistachios, said early in the show. “We have had customers from Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Central America, and Mexico.”

Along with this year’s Club Americas, the annual Gala Evening proved to be an exciting night of entertainment and fun with friends as attendees danced to the hits of the Beatles, played by tribute band British Invasion. Attendees enjoyed gourmet food, endless drinks, and an elegant atmosphere — the perfect way to unwind after two days of business in the IAADFS Trademarket.

“We happen to be in quite a friendly industry, so having something like this where we can all get together is nice because we’re all in meetings during the day,” said Justin Weston, managing director of global travel retail for William Grant & Sons. “It’s a chance to network and talk about our issues and our opportunities. This gala gives everyone a chance to get together and have our worlds cross a bit better.”