Certain things become a given as you become an aging travel retail publisher. Winters grow longer, darker, colder. Summers grow shorter. And the Cannes show comes around quicker.
I can’t quite believe this will be my 30th year in Cannes. Sorry, make that 30 years since I first came to Cannes. I missed the 2010 event due to illness.
Of course, the Cannes show actually does come around quicker. That’s because it falls now in week one of October. No sooner is the northern holiday season over than it is helter-skelter preparation time for the biggest event in the travel retail calendar.
I am heading down there early, leaving Thursday for a little R&R before the main event. On Friday, I play in the annual ‘Pink Tees’ golf with industry veterans Mark Riches, Harry Diehl and Colm McLoughlin; on Saturday, it’s our annual Moodie International Superstars Honorary Invitation Trophy – affectionately (or otherwise) known by its more appropriate acronym, the MIS-HIT.
It won’t be all play, however, far from it. It’s difficult (nigh impossible, in fact) to convince non-industry people that a show week such as this is actually very hard work (in my case getting up early to update the website around 6a.m. and working beyond midnight every night). But there are considerable compensations – a stunning venue, some wonderful people and, yes, a fair smattering of good food and wine.
Dermot Davitt, Matt Willey and I will be setting up our usual Interim Moodie Davitt Report Bureau at 4 boulevard de la Croisette (you’ll see our banner – and maybe us – hanging from the balcony) so feel free to buzz us and come up for a coffee.
I always call TFWA World Exhibition the greatest travel retail show on earth and it is just that. Talking of TFWA, it is good to see our long-time colleague John Rimmer assume the role of Managing Director for the association. John did a tremendous job during his time with this company (particularly during our most difficult year, 2010, when I was often absent due to the illness I mentioned earlier). TFWA will be well led with John in this role.
I look forward to seeing many old (and not so old) industry friends and meeting new ones. The French Riviera here I come.