IFE & Aviation

A Virtual Experience at the FTE APEX Virtual Expo 2020

Touch was present as a Platinum Sponsor Exhibitor, and in the next lines we’re going to take you back with us to the Expo, as we’re describing the two-day event based on our own experience.

It is in times of great adversity that one knows one’s true strength. Airplanes take off against the wind, so we can only expect that the aviation industry will arrive on the other side of this crisis even stronger. The very first FTE APEX Virtual Expo was an outstanding landmark and in itself a testament to the industry’s undefeatable determination. Touch was present as a Platinum Sponsor Exhibitor, and in the next lines we’re going to take you back with us to the Expo, as we’re describing the two-day event based on our own experience.

What the FTE APEX Virtual Expo means to Touch

The APEX trade show has always been a staple within the industry, and Touch has been present in the event for a long time now. In such a challenging year for the whole world and aviation in particular, not attending was never an option.

Future Travel Experience (FTE), the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX), the International Flight Services Association (IFSA) and Onboard Hospitality (OBH) jointly delivered this air transport industry’s first major digital trade show. Exploring the theme of “Transforming Air Transport Post-COVID-19”, the 2020 FTE APEX Virtual Expo aimed to stimulate the industry’s upcoming trends and innovations with exclusive announcements, panel discussions and keynotes from the biggest names in the sector.

Touch is a digital experience manager, so this event provided us with a unique platform to showcase our products and services to potential new customers. It was an opportunity to learn from the other industry leaders and to engage in discussions about the present and future of IFEC.

How we were involved in the Virtual Expo

As a Platinum Sponsor Exhibitor, we had a virtual booth where we showcased our offerings to any visitor and interacted with any attendee interested in knowing more about us. This booth granted us an opportunity to broadcast exclusive demonstrations and our latest product launches. One of them was a conference on how Touch is disrupting the IFE supply chain, presented by André Valera, Touch’s Business Development Director. We also hosted a live event with André, Joe Carrera (our CEO) and João Chaves (our Director of Customer Service) on the Digital Transformation process that’s taking place in the IFEC ecosystem.

Our participation required careful preparation in advance: recording a conference session, setting up a live event, updating materials to make available to our visitors, and reaching out to our clients and other stakeholders in the industry to set up meetings and touchpoints. During the event, eight attendees flied in, from Los Angeles to Warsaw, to represent Touch and benefit from everything that happened throughout the 48-hour, non-stop event.

Goals and takeaways

There were several goals we wanted to achieve with our attendance – first and foremost, promoting Touch and our very own commercial and technological solutions. This year’s challenges have left very little room for the community to engage with their peers, and the Expo provided us tools to learn in the best way: hearing from others and letting others hear from us. Consequently, we wanted to make the most of this networking platform, interacting with industry leaders, clients and competitors and absorbing important information about the views and needs across the aviation landscape.

As has already been noted, the Expo was 100% virtual for the first time, following the example of many other events throughout the year. Despite some limitations that the lack of human contact naturally imposes, the overall experience was very positive. The navigation was easy to understand, allowing access to the main auditorium, virtual conference sessions and Live Events. The chatting options and features enabled video, text, and document exchanges with other online attendees, and we were able to secure valuable contacts that would hardly happen otherwise.

All of us at Touch considered this first-ever FTE APEX Virtual Expo a great success. We came out of it with a renewed sense of purpose, knowing that it’s clear to everyone, now more than ever, the importance of technology and digital transformation for optimizing operations, delivering a safe and touchless passenger journey (both from an airline and airport perspective) and exploring new revenue streams. The continuous disruption of existing business models was one of the major topics discussed in the event and we are well ahead on that path.

We all miss live interaction, but nonetheless it is very nice to be around our peers, listen and learn from them, and simply to be a part of an event that will, without a doubt, shape the future of aviation.

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