TFWA President Maingreaud: “We would not be fulfilling our mission if we did not make every effort to make Cannes happen.”

TFWA President Alain Maingreaud held a virtual press briefing on Friday afternoon (Paris time) to ad-dress industry questions following the announcement that the 2020 Tax Free World Exhibition would take place on Sept. 28-Oct. 2, as well as reveal more details of the event.

Most questions dealt with the precautions that would be taken to ensure the health and safety of attendees – many of whom would presumably be coming from countries that have been so hard hit by COVID-19.

Maingreaud emphasized that the Association was monitoring the situation very closely, together with the city of Cannes, and talking to exhibitors every day, and that the event will proceed only if the health situation permits.

Whether the event does in fact take place will be determined by the sanitary situation, he said: “Depending on the situation in the weeks and months to come, we must be 100% convinced that we have the right conditions.”

Holding the event will also depend on the response of the exhibitors taking part, he said.

“Registration has just started so we do not have a clear picture on the exhibitor side [as yet], but we will monitor the situation very closely,” he said.

He also stated that if the Association makes the decision to cancel the event, it will probably be announced before summer.

In summation, Maingreaud said: “These are difficult times for all of us in the industry. I know that you are asking, as we are, for the event in Cannes to go ahead under the best possible conditions.

“TFWA owns the event, but it belongs in some ways to the entire industry and this is why we are doing everything

in our power to make it take place. The atmosphere that we generate together in Cannes is special. Certainly it is where business is done but also where friendships are made and that spirit is more important than ever this year, we believe.

“We are not underestimating the challenges ahead of us but we would not be fulfilling our mission if we did not make every effort to make Cannes happen.”