What to expect at WTCE 2018

The crowds gathered at dnata’s WTCE booth in 2017

The World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE®) will welcome more than 3,700 onboard industry professionals from around the world April 10-12 in Hamburg. And though attendees can still expect to be exposed to the latest innovations in the travel catering, travel retail and passenger comfort industries, a few key changes are in store for April, and organizers hinted a few this week.

2018’s expo will mark the largest floor space in WTCE history, spanning four halls and featuring the booths of more than 350 suppliers (including confirmed companies such as LSG Group, En Route International, dnata and Anaik Beauty). New networking facilities will also make the 2018 edition easier than ever for attendees to meet with business contacts and make the most of what the free-to-attend event offers. VIP guests are invited to take advantage of the WTCE Business Meeting Hub where they can schedule meetings with industry contacts. Space at the hub can be booked before the show, or at the expo.A meeting of the minds at the Gebr. Heinemann networking bar

In between meetings and exploring the halls, VIP guests can also unwind away from the busy expo floor in the exclusive VIP Buyers Lounge, stocked with complimentary beverages and meals for their enjoyment.

My Event
Those attending WTCE will also be able to make their expo trip more interactive than ever. The My Event app, which will go live in the near future, will make it possible for attendees to plan and personalize their show experience from their mobile device or desktop.

New and Improved Offerings
The New Exhibitor Villages, a popular stop on many attendees’ “must-see” lists, is now four zones large, giving an expanded area for new exhibitors like Domenico Manca Spa, nibnibs, BitesWeLove, Bridgehead Foods and Pere Ventura Family Wine Estates to show off wares. In addition, products that have been launched within the past year will have their moment to shine at the What’s New Onboard showcase.

A Travel Retail Focus

Returning for its second year, Focus on World Travel Retail will reveal products available for in flight purchase from an exciting list of exhibitors, such as Laduree, Butlers Chocolates, Caffe di Artisan, and St. Patrick’s Distillery. The Gebr. Heinemann networking bar will provide visitors and exhibitors alike with a glimpse into the future of onboard retail with a soon-to-be-announced schedule of networking sessions.

For those looking for inspiration via live chef demonstrations, exciting presentations and more, the Taste of Travel Theatre is back at WTCE 2018, and access is available to attendees free of charge.

Passenger Experience Week

Beginning April 9, four events will kick-off what is collectively known as Passenger Experience Week –  the Passenger Experience Conference, WTCE, Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) and new to 2018, Passenger Technology Solutions, an event that will put the latest passenger experience technologies on display and give airlines, rail and cruise operators an opportunity to discover up-and-coming technology suppliers and their innovations.

The Passenger Experience Conference occurs on April 9 with a line-up of industry experts eager to share their secrets. After the conference closes, likeminded professionals can rub elbows at the popular Industry Networking Party. Following the festivities, on April 10 the WTCE, AIX and Passenger Technology Solutions will open; a free networking opportunity, the Heineken-sponsored WTCE 2018 Reception, will be held opening day from 5 to 7 p.m.