TTG Media is to once again partner with Abta for its second annual Luxury Travel Conference.
The event will be moderated by ttgluxury editor April Hutchinson as part of Abta and TTG Media’s ongoing events collaboration, and takes place on March 21 at the Courthouse hotel in London’s Shoreditch.
Abta will also offer a limited number of complimentary places for member agency representatives to attend.
The aim of the event is to help delegates identify, reach and retain affluent consumers in the luxury sector.
Helping the audience to identify what luxury travellers are looking for will be Marloes De Vries, travel analyst with leading research and insights agency Mintel.
Among those discussing how to adapt and thrive in the luxury space will be Beth Taubner, founder and creative director of branding and strategy company Mercurylab.
Taubner has been responsible for a wide range of branding programmes, concepts, visuals and communications for businesses worldwide and will look at the power of brand attributes during her session.
“These days, consumers are so much more aware, and if they can sense any dishonesty in a brand, it becomes very difficult to build trust with them,” said Taubner. “Brands which hold a sustainable and humanitarian ethos at heart are becoming increasingly attractive to consumers.
“These brands are perceived favourably in the marketplace, which stems from them better aligning their internal values so they are able to form a bond and brand loyalty with more conscientious customers.”
The branding expert will also cover the steps travel businesses need to consider in today’s luxury marketplace, while the role of influencers in marketing strategy will come under the spotlight.
In a session with Rohan Midha, co-founder of leading digital influencer marketing agency PMYB, delegates will hear how to select and verify influencers and run campaigns successfully.
Completing the marketing line-up will be Jasman Ahmad, planning director with Accord, who will give tips on how to reach luxury travellers across the purchasing journey.
Ahmad said: “With more brands entering the luxury travel space, it becomes even more important for true luxury ones to claim their position and be distinctive from their competitors.
“Within travel, the long-haul aviation industry is one making in-roads here. Redesigned business and first-class cabins are allowing brands to put the ‘experience’ first and clearly set themselves apart.”
Travel companies joining the discussion line-up on the day include Abercrombie & Kent’s managing director Kerry Golds and, following a recent overhaul of its shop in Alderley Edge, Carrier’s retail manager Caroline Hutchinson and the company’s head of sales Rick Milne. They will look at how agents can reinvent the retail experience in the luxury sector.
Milne said: “It makes sense to keep assessing the financials of running a shop to see if you can do something special there and to keep looking to the heritage of your business and how you can project that.
“Client acquisition is a big deal for agents, so Carrier tries to help in this regard by providing high-quality window display materials, over-branded brochures and video assets, all of which might help footfall.
“At the same time, we understand it can be hard to be strategic in a shop, as you are in a reactive position with customers. Having a plan in place for events and marketing around the shop works best if you focus on destinations or themes – that’s what we’ve found in any case.”
Other speakers and panellists on the day will include Antonio Paradiso, managing director UK and Ireland for MSC Cruises; Lindsey Spagnol, business development director EMEA for private jet holiday specialist TCS World Travel; and Iain Powell, head of trade sales, Saga Holidays & Cruise.