Working (and playing) hard to prep for success

Markus Suter, left, and Mohammed Aldahabi put the finishing touches on the Otis McAllister/American Caribbean Gateway booth.

During a busy day prepping booth space for a week full of networking, exhibitors also worked in a little relaxation and playtime yesterday. Annual Sports Day activities continued the tradition of offering attendees the chance to network — and earn bragging rights — while enjoying the scenery of sunny Orlando during the 5K Fun Run/Walk, golf tournament, and a new yoga session.

The day was capped off by Sunday evening’s opening reception, sponsored by Bacardi, offering attendees the chance to mix a little business with pleasure before hitting the Trademarket floor this morning.

With 150 exhibitors on the sold-out show floor, including nearly 35 new or returning companies, there are plenty of opportunities to network and preview the latest and greatest products trending in the duty free market. The Trademarket will be open in the Cypress, Palms, and Crystal ballrooms from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, and 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Registration is open from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, and from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Following in the successful footsteps of last year’s educational sessions, programs were added for two days this year, featuring the insight of industry leaders as they share their thoughts on the most relevant topics affecting the global travel retail and duty free industry. This morning offers the opportunity to attend two sessions: “Growth Opportunities in the Americas” from 8:00 to 8:45 a.m. and “Sales and Customer Insights — Maximizing Your Potential” from 8:45 to 9:30 a.m.  Tuesday’s session, “Border Duty Free — Crossing the Frontier,” runs from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m.

Tonight, the social scene kicks into high gear. Many private receptions will take place each night of the show, but the highlight is the Gala Evening Tuesday from 7:30 to 10:00 p.m. For the night owls, Club Americas will be open from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Monday and Tuesday nights.