“If ever there was a time to collaborate and align our strengths, it is now” – SPARK President Heidi Van Roon sounds rallying call ahead of Summit of the Americas


Source: ©The Moodie Davitt Report

A virtual Heidi Van Roon welcomes visitors to the SPARK stand at the Summit of the Americas

Heidi Van Roon: “We are wired to problem solve and we know from experience that we can do more collectively than anyone can do on their own”

AMERICAS. Heidi Van Roon, President of the SPARK Group of Companies, has issued a rallying call to the Americas travel retail industry ahead of next week’s Summit of the Americas – a Virtual Experience, urging registrations and collaboration.

Van Roon said: “The Virtual Summit of the Americas is a gathering of committed and skilled industry professionals who desire to both contribute and benefit through the simple practice of connecting for good and I urge everybody in the travel retail industry to come and support this event.

“We are painfully aware that the industry is in the midst of the worst crisis it has ever faced. The Virtual Summit of the Americas is a venue for gathering with those who are like-minded and who understand the interdependent nature of a good and thorough recovery.

“I think in the history of the IAADFS and the ASUTIL events, there has never been a speaker line-up with greater quality than we see planned for this event.

“The diversity of topics and the calibre of expertise really sets this up as a university level case study of our amazing and beloved travel retail industry.”

Van Roon acknowledged that the typical trade show conversations and decisions relating to striking new business may not arise easily but insisted that dialogue between sector stakeholders was more important than ever. “There are some very big decisions pending,” she said. “This is the time to explore, to take conversations deeper and further. We are among ‘intropreneurs’ right now who are finding a new way to align and to connect.

“I participated in the Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo last October and while a virtual event does not replace the joy and excitement of meeting in person, it can nevertheless be very conducive for doing, or laying the ground for, future business.

“I hope that April 5-9 will be five days of new online introductions, virtual chats and virtual meetings upon which the Americas travel retail industry can rebuild. I can imagine that we will look back on the Knowledge Hub sessions taking place at this event well into the future and say ‘I remember this quote’ or ‘I heard this idea and it changed our business’.

“This is what is possible and I am hugely appreciative to The Moodie Davitt Report and its Americas travel retail association partners for supporting the means by which this can take place safely, economically and effectively.”

Van Roon firmly believes that now is just the right the time for stakeholders in the travel industry to come together and collaborate, with an eye on speeding the recovery.

“Over the past year our world has experienced the most globally impacting event of our lifetime,” she commented. “While all the reference points of our normal life have changed and with economies and industry on their knees, it is the appropriate human response to rally together and to collaborate.

“We are wired to problem solve and we know from experience that we can do more collectively than anyone can do on their own. If ever there was a time to collaborate and align our strengths, it is now.

“There is no question that the future of airport retail depends on collaboration, respect, creating opportunity for complementary skills and resources to shine a powerful light on a most efficient and effective recovery.”

Note: Click here for details of the Summit of the Americas.

Committed to supporting brands in North American travel retail: Heidi Van Roon (centre) and six of her SPARK frontliners

Sparking important conversations

“At our booth we want to connect with brands and retailers to hear what their key sales and HR issues might be so that we can prepare a recommendation that encourages best possible value,” said Heidi Van Roon of  her personal and  company involvement at the virtual event next week.

“As a panellist in the Knowledge Hub I look forward to a conversation and an exchange of ideas that inspire and encourage. Meanwhile, the purpose for the SPARK session in the Engagement Lounge is twofold.

“First, I will present some ideas that have contributed the most to optimising sales and promotions, so that every attendee can walk away with some tools for a better sales plan.

“Secondly, I will present our Brand Partner Program, which is the SPARK version of taking all of what has worked in the past and shaping it into a format that best suits this new era of travel retail sales.”

For more information, please contact Heidi Van Roon at [email protected].

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