Airport Experience Conference 2020 Agenda

2020 Airport Experience Conference Agenda

(Note: Agenda is preliminary and subject to change)

All events are open to badge holders unless otherwise noted

Sunday, March 1 

11:00 AM - 3:00 PM 

Registration Desks Open

1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Denver International Airport Tour 
(This is a ticketed event, add this to your registration here)

Monday, March 2

7:30 AM - 3:30 PM

Registration Desks Open 

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Breakfast and Networking

9:00 AM - 10:15 AM 

Competing As An ACDBE - Readying Yourself For Upcoming Opportunities
First, you need your ducks in a row, which means certification, capital and attention to detail when responding to RFPs. Second, understand the competitive landscape. Airports are taking different approaches - where do you fit in? Third, what’s the WOW factor that will get you noticed above other competitors? 

Speakers: Joya Clarke, president and CEO, Casa Unlimited; Sarah Imberman, owner, S Levy Foods


Small/Medium Airport Concessions Solutions
Maximize variety within a limited footprint. The range of food and beverage, retail and services on offer in airports continues to grow, but smaller airports often don’t have the space or passenger volume to make it work. Hear from successful operators how they meet or exceed traveler expectations in limited spaces. 

Speakers: Atif Elkadi, deputy CEO, Ontario International Airport; Kurt Schwager, vice president, Jacobsen Daniels; Jeff Switzer, president, Tailwind Concessions

Can You Compete Across Multiple Non-Trad Environments?
Operators in non-traditional channels have at least one thing in common: they don’t play by the same rules as typical “street” operators. But, opportunities and strictures vary greatly among non-traditional channels. The airport environment is a far cry from universities, stadiums have little in common with hospitals and casinos are a world all their own. What are the synergies, and how can operators best position themselves for success in multiple channels. 

10:15 AM - 10:45 AM

Refreshment and Networking Break 

10:45 AM - 12:00 PM 

Finding Growth Through Diversification
Opportunities in the airport scene are scarce. Sometimes you need to look beyond your existing experience and try something new in order to grow and learn. Hear from others who have gone beyond their comfort zone to find success.

Speakers: Eric Humphreys, owner, Enroute Spa; Greg Plummer, CEO, Enjoy, Repeat 

Labor Challenges For Concessionaires
With unemployment at historically low levels, attracting workers to service jobs has become challenging even on the street. In airports, the situation has become untenable. Operators are forced to offer $15/hour or more in many major markets, and even then turnover is at record high levels. This discussion will examine how operators are dealing with the ongoing challenges, and what airports can do to help. 

Moderator: Mitchell Bierman, partner, Weiss, Serota, Helfman, Cole & Bierman

Speakers: Eric Johnson, director, commercial management and airline affairs, Metropolitan Airports Commission; Ian Mikusko, director, Unite Here Airport Group; Patrick Murray, executive vice president, SSP America

Tech Synergies In Non-Trad Venues
Non-traditional environments often have seemingly little in common, but they all share a need to engage their customers through technology. This session will explore how technology can enhance the customer experience throughout all non-trad verticals while also being optimized for unique user needs. 

12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Properties Managers' Luncheon (airports only)

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM  

Airport Opportunities
North American airports are constantly expanding, remodeling and rethinking their concessions programs. Property executives lay the groundwork for changes years before projects come to fruition, so it’s crucial that concessions operators stay in the loop on new developments. In this session airport representatives will discuss their upcoming opportunities in concessions and other revenue-generating areas.  

Participating Airports: Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Jacksonville International Airport (JAX), Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) (presented by Munich Airport US Holding LLC)

3:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Refreshment and Networking Break 

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM 

Business Pitch Showcase 
Witness a handpicked group of participants present their concepts before a panel of industry professionals for an assessment of their company’s viability in the airport environment.


3:30 PM - 5:00 PM 

Pre-Scheduled MATCH! Appointments
Exclusive event for MATCH! Participants only. For more information, contact Ramon Lo at [email protected]

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

MATCH! Mixer 

5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Registration Desks Open

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Opening Night Reception in ExperienceHall 
6:00 PM - 6:45 PM - Airport VIP Preview
6:45 PM - 8:00 PM - Opening Reception


Tuesday, March 3 

7:30 AM - 3:00 PM 

Registration Desks Open

7:30 AM - 8:30 AM 

Breakfast and Networking in the Experience Hall 

8:45 AM - 9:00 AM 

Opening Remarks 

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM  

Keynote Address: Customer Experience is Your New Competitive Advantage — What Works, What Doesn't and Why it Matters More than Ever

Presented By: David Avrin, CSP 

Airports act as entire cities within a few structures. Shopping, dining, working and even sleeping and showering, all on-site. From quick connections to long-layovers, how do you capture those transient travelers and maximize the revenue opportunities during their time on-property? In this eye-opening, actionable and very entertaining presentation, popular customer experience expert David Avrin, will shine a light on a monumental shift in purchasing behavior and expectation, while showing your team everyone’s role in eliminating barriers, engaging prospects and creating Customer Experiences worth sharing. Learn more here. 

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM 

Refreshment and Networking Break in the Experience Hall 

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM 

Food Trends in a Crowded Field 
Today’s travelers aren’t easily pleased! Whereas once airport concessions programs could thrive by offering an assortment of American and global cuisines with a mix of local and national brands, today’s passengers want more. They demand the latest trendy cuisines while at the same time requiring menus that adhere to specific dietary restrictions. Find out what’s trending in the foodie world and how that might manifest in airports.  

Moderator: Rebecca Ramsey, executive director, R.R. Ramsey Research
Speakers: Alan Someck, Keystone Hospitality Solutions; Maeve Webster, president, Menu Matters

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Lunch In The Experience Hall

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

The Continuing Evolution Of Retail
Retail has undergone a sea change over the past two decades. Airports and other non-traditional channels have felt the squeeze. This session will examine how travel retail continues to redefine itself, shifting strategies and incorporating experiences to better appeal to an increasingly fickle audience. 

Moderator: John Reeb, owner, Reeb Airport Concessions Consulting
Speakers: Kevin Brocklebank, founder, One Red Kite; Peter Mohn, owner and CEO, m1nd-set; Gower Smith, CEO,  Swyft

2:30 PM - 3:15 PM

Refreshment And Networking Break In The Experience Hall 

3:15 PM - 4:30 PM 

Capturing The In-Venue Experience 
We know the next generation of travelers values experiences over products. Stadiums, casinos and universities have different audiences, but have each employed unique and exciting strategies to engage audiences that have resulted in higher revenues. How can airports and concessionaires learn from other non-traditional environments?

Moderator: Abigail Whetstone, owner and principal consultant, Non Trad Consulting
Speakers: Geoffry Ax, principal and aviation market leader, Populous

4:30 PM - 6:00 PM 
Experience Hall Happy Hour


7:00 PM

Speakers' Dinner

Wednesday, March 4 

7:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Registration Desks Open

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Breakfast and Networking in the Experience Hall

9:00 AM - 10:15 AM

Director's Panel
AXN’s annual panel of airport directors brings together some of the industry’s most dynamic leaders for a discussion on key challenges and opportunities. This year’s group will discuss the latest on infrastructure financing, revenue generation, customer service strategies and other elements that are key to running a vibrant airport. 

Speakers: Kevin Dolliole, director of aviation, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport; Marily Mora, president and CEO, Reno-Tahoe International Airport; Bill Wyatt, executive director, Salt Lake City International Airport

10:15 AM - 11:15 AM

Refreshment and Networking in the Experience Hall

11:15 AM - 12:00 PM

Women Taking Flight 
Women have been under-represented in airport leadership for years. In this session, women who are leading in airport management will discuss their own trailblazing efforts and those of their colleagues. They’ll also assess ways current leadership – female and male – can help to ensure that women see clear avenues to executive positions in airports.

Speakers: Angela Gittens, director general, Airports Council International; Candace McGraw, chief executive officer, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport; Gisela Shanahan, chief financial officer, Denver International Airport 

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Refreshment and Networking Break in the Experience Hall 

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Lunch in the Experience Hall 

2:00 PM 

Experience Hall Closing 

2:00 PM - 3:15 PM 

Schmooze Time for Airports and Concessionaires: Part 1 
Airports and concessionaires meet at scheduled times for one-on-one discussions, speed-dating style.

3:15 PM - 3:30 PM 

Refreshment and Networking Break

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM 

Schmooze Time for Airports and Concessionaires: Part 2 
Airports and concessionaires meet at scheduled times for one-on-one discussions, speed-dating style.

6:00 PM 

AX Awards Gala
(This is a ticketed event, add this to your registration here)


Register Today!