Why Passenger Experience Week is not to be missed by the travel industry
Passenger Experience Week (PAX Week) opens its doors to the travel industry today (1-4 April 2019) with four high profile co-located events running over the next four days, making it the biggest gathering of aviation professionals of the year.
Comprising Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE), Passenger Technology Solutions (PTS) and today’s Passenger Experience Conference (PEC), the Week will welcome around 18,000 attendees from 98 countries to view the latest cabin interiors, inflight entertainment and connectivity, passenger comfort, catering, retail and software technology. With more than 38 hours of educational content, 950 innovative companies exhibiting and more than 250 airlines and rail operators to network with, attendees registering for any of the co-located events can gain access to all three shows – making it a week not to be missed.
Here we outline why Passenger Experience Week is a must-attend for all air, rail and cruise operators serious about differentiating their business from the competition:
FOCUS ON INNOVATION
In the competitive travel market, airlines, rail and cruise operators are moving as fast as they can, attempting to create new experiences in response to passenger needs. But with the pressure on to constantly improve their offerings, buyers are on the look out for new products and services to add a point of difference to their business.
At this year’s Passenger Experience Week, there will be product demonstrations from 950 businesses specialising in the passenger experience sector.
Visitors to the 20th year of AIX will be able to see the very latest developments in Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) at the event’s IFEC Zone in Halls B2 to B4 and B4 Upper. This area will showcase the latest cutting-edge technology from companies including Panasonic, Gogo and Thales, which promise to revolutionise the air passenger experience.
Innovations in other areas such as cabin interiors and onboard services will also be on show throughout the rest of the event. The renowned Crystal Cabin Awards will also take place during AIX this year. Eight categories will be awarded including ‘Cabin concepts’, ‘Cabin systems’ and ‘Greener Cabin’, and details of the winners announced in the CabinSpace Live Seminar Theatre in Hall B4 Upper on Wednesday, 3 April at 14:00.
Innovation in travel catering is one of the big trends driving the passenger experience industry, and one that will be addressed throughout this year’s WTCE. Visitors to the exhibition will be able to see and sample the newest food and beverage products developed by companies for onboard consumption, as well as a host of retail and comfort solutions. The First Time Exhibitor Villages in Hall A3 will showcase companies who have not previously attended the exhibition before, many of whom will be launching products onto the market for the first time. In addition, the What’s New Onboard Showcase in Hall A3 outside the VIP Buyers Lounge will highlight the best new products to launch to market within the last 12 months.
The acceleration of technological innovations in the onboard industry is creating a demand that is driving a huge wave of digital development when it comes to the passenger experience. At this year’s PTS, exhibitors will showcase the very latest AR/VR solutions, big data and analytics technologies, AI, ML and robotics, blockchain based technologies, cryptocurrencies, e-commerce and payment technologies, each looking to offer a more connected experience.
Also focused on innovation will be the brand new PAXTECHHACK, a 48-hour live hackathon taking place on the show floor. With over 50 participants confirmed, the aim will be to develop new solutions in response to two industry technological challenges. Following two days of non-stop innovating, coding and creating, each team will present their ideas to a panel of judges to be in with a chance of winning €5,000 cash from 13:00 in the PTS Seminar Theatre on Thursday, 4 April.
Updating industry knowledge and learning about the very latest trends, developments and legislation affecting the passenger experience industry is one of the fundamental reasons visitors attend Passenger Experience Week.
At this year’s events, there will be over 38 hours of educational content, starting with the Passenger Experience Conference today. Bringing together senior strategists from airlines, rail and across the industry supply chain to explore the latest passenger experience thinking, the one-day conference will open with a plenary session for all delegates, before dividing into three breakout streams – The Competitive Cabin, Digital: The New Reality and Revitalizing the Journey – running concurrently for the remainder of the day.
From 2-4 April, each individual exhibition will feature an exciting educational programme relevant to its specific focus. At AIX, the CabinSpace Live Seminar Theatre in Hall B4 Upper will feature a roster of high-profile speakers from across the industry, presenting on topics including the Cabin, IFEC, and more. WTCE’s Taste of Travel Theatre in Hall A3 will highlight the importance of sustainability, with more ground-breaking content than ever before. Its three-day programme of live chef demonstrations, industry trends presentations and new product launches will aim to inspire visitors from across the industry. PTS will also host its own PTS Seminar Theatre in Hall B4 Upper this year, where the industry’s foremost experts will offer an exclusive look at how to establish a seamless and connected passenger experience, while shining a light on the importance of customer engagement and personalised experiences.
Throughout the industry, Passenger Experience Week is renowned for providing unrivalled networking and business opportunities. The Industry Networking Party, taking place after the Passenger Experience Conference this evening (18:00-21:00) enables delegates to network with some of the sector’s most senior operators, while Hospitality Evenings taking place on 2 and 3 April from 17:00-19:00 on the show floor provide attendees with the chance to build connections with industry leaders.
Passenger Experience Week will host a number of networking events, providing visitors and exhibitors with the chance to meet and do business privately. Airline Club Lounge in Hall B1 Upper is an exclusive space reserved for airlines, bizjets and lessors, and provides a space to escape, relax, network and work. WTCE’s Business Meeting Hub in Hall A3 is a dedicated place for attendees to hold meetings with key clients and do business while on the show floor, while its VIP Buyers Lounge in Hall A3 provides a place away from the show floor to relax.
WTCE will also once again host a Drinks Reception at the Taste of Travel Theatre in Hall A3 on 2 April from 17:00-19:00, enabling visitors and exhibitors to meet and talk business, while daily Networking and Product Sampling sessions will take place on Tuesday, 2 April and Wednesday, 3 April from 12:30-13:00, also at the Taste of Travel Theatre.
Passenger Experience Week 2019 returns to Hamburg from 1-4 April comprising Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE), Passenger Technology Solutions (PTS) and the Passenger Experience Conference (PEC). The four leading events in one location – the Hamburg Messe – share one goal: to shine a light on the latest innovations and services available to enhance the travel experience and improve the onboard comfort and wellbeing of passengers.