Victor Dimitrov, Condé Nast Traveller Luxury Travel Fair: «Our aim is to make agents, customers and the magazine speak the same language»

Event-director of the Condé Nast Viktor Dimitrov is speaking about why Condé Nast is one of the most powerful and successful media companies in the world, and Condé Nast Traveller Luxury Travel Fair is not just an exhibition, but a luxury lifestyle fair.

Condé Nast publishing house includes 130 magazines with a total audience of more than 153 million readers in 25 countries, as well as 100 sites with 47 million visitors monthly. It is an international portfolio of legendary brands, every one of which is a remarkable event in the culture of the last century. Books have been written about Condé Nast, the film «The Devil Wears Prada» has been made, articles in the most powerful business newspapers and weekly editions all over the world are devoted to it. They often say: there are publishing houses and there is Condé Nast.

This media giant offers every reader a magazine to his taste: fashionmongers form their wardrobe according at Vogue’s bidding, young ladies are crazy about Glamour, gentlemen read GQ, hedonists enjoy Bon Appetit, elite of the society does not miss an edition of Vanity Fair or Tatler, demanding cosmopolites read Condé Nast Traveller.

Condé Nast bravely conquers new territories and leads the others: some time ago the publishing house made a real revolution in the field of online advertising, having become the first company in the world that placed banner advertisement in the Internet. Some time later Condé Nast was also the first to launch a glossy magazine as a mobile application.

Condé Nast Traveller

The bright product of publishing house is Condé Nast Traveller, travel magazine № 1 in the world. It is a kind of a travel bible, one of unchallenged authorities in its field. The magazine was founded more than 25 years ago. Bright and positive, with its own character, it is a source of inspiration and a practical travel reference book for the most demanding and experienced readers, who are open to the world. Every edition of Condé Nast Traveller gives its definition to modern luxury. When you open its pages, you find yourself in India, where luxury interiors are miraculously combined with modern comfort technologies, and then you are carried to an authentic hotel in Stockholm where guests are offered dishes made of products grown at its own farm. The next stop is Hong Kong and its ultramodern skyscraper built upon the project of sir Norman Foster, or an island in the Pacific Ocean with a wooden hut in the middle of greenery, which a person who is used to luxury in its usual sense has hardly ever visited.

Condé Nast Traveller Luxury Travel Fair

Condé Nast Traveller is an excellent magazine about all the best that has to do with travel — the best companies, the best hotels of the world, the most interesting travel destinations. The magazine gets into the hands of the most high-fed and demanding travellers and shares lots of facts and revelations with them. But in Russia, as well as in some other countries, people do not arrange their trips themselves, but turn to so called intermediates — travel agencies, concierge services etc. Not all intermediates read Condé Nast Traveller, so Condé Nast publishing house has found an elegant and a luxurious way to share information, to tell about trends in the luxury travel industry, so that intermediates, customers and the magazine could speak the same language: the publishing house will arrange a unique specialized exhibition once a year. Its main aim is education, which is not common for any other events. Its purpose is to provide those who are between the traveller and his leisure with the knowledge of the editor.

The first Condé Nast Traveller Luxury Travel Fair in the world will be held on March 18th, 2014 in one of the most prominent buildings with a hundred year history, the first five star hotel in the USSR, the legendary Metropol hotel, which is situated in the heart of the capital.

This event will be the first B2B (business for business) event for Condé Nast in 50 years of the company’s history. And it is no coincidence that Condé Nast has chosen Russia for the new chapter of its life. Here, like nowhere else, there is an understanding what luxury travel is. Travelling has long become a real passion and a way of life for many Russians. Owners of the best hotels in the world admit that Russians are their most attentive and demanding customers. The magazine is a source of inspiration and a practical guide for such people — energetic, cosmopolitical, open to the world and enjoying their life.

All the resources and Condé Nast team have been focused at making this event irreproachable and turning it into one of the best world fairs in the field of luxury travel. Later the success of Moscow exhibition will be repeated by other Russian cities where Condé Nast will conduct similar events.

And there is no reason to doubt the success: history shows, that Condé Nast initiatives — «The Person of the Year», «The Woman of the Year» awards are bocoming some of the most influential social occasions of the world, and Condé Nast Traveller Reader’s Choice Award is the most desirable trophy for the representatives of the world travel industry.

It is important for us to change participants` and visitors` idea of the form of a luxury exhibition. Condé Nast Traveller Luxury Travel Fair is not just an exhibition, not a workshop, but a luxury lifestyle fair. In our opinion, this format requires an ideal venue with perfect location. 4 days before the event the room allocated for the fair by Metropol will be fully redesigned by professional designers with unique interior items that will create the atmosphere of a fairy tale. Now the questions of branding the front of Metropol`s building, as well as booking of all the parking space along Teatralny passage for executive-class cars of Condé Nast Traveller Luxury Travel Fair are under discussion with city authorities.

Registration of visitors will take place in Metropol gallery, which has a separate entrance from Teatralny passage. There all the fair visitors will be able to exchange their individual online badges for an original plastic badge and proceed to the exhibition. During registration all participants get a branded Condé Nast bag and a notebook, as well as an exclusive exhibition catalogue — Condé Nast Traveller Luxury Travel Fair — THE GOLD LIST 2014.

Two entrances from Teatralny passage will be open during the event. Metropol restaurant entrance will be open for all the participants of the fair and the second entrance will be available for VIP-Buyers, Hosted Buyers and press representatives.

A unique navigation system will be presented, a huge staff team will be involved to guide the flow of visitors to avoid queues, a special mobile application will be available. Exhibition visitors will be able to use touchscreens in order to quickly find the exhibitor they need.

Condé Nast pays great attention to safety of participants and visitors. All the other Metropol entrances excluding two entrances from Teatralny passage will be closed. Access to the event even for Condé Nast staff will be granted only after preliminary registration on the site of the exhibition and approval of our team. The chance of the presence of occasional visitors who have not passed registration is near zero. All the guests and exhibition participants, as well as the staff will have personal badges with photos, every badge will have a chip code, which lets detect the person’s location. Badges will be checked several times at various points of the exhibition. Every Condé Nast employee will have an identity card reading device. We can block any badge distantly at any moment: in case the badge is lost the guest does not have to worry about it getting into the hands of third persons. This is the reason we ask all the participants and visitors to load their latest photos in their personal account, preferably in business style. If necessary, the staff may ask for documents to make sure that the badge belongs to the person registered. We are very grateful to all the visitors and the participants for their understanding, because safety is one of Condé Nast priorities.

Besides, please pay attention to the fact that business style dress code will be obligatory for all the visitors. The main language of this international event is English, and participants will have to get a personal interpreter in advance, if necessary.

Condé Nast has invested huge funds in this event. Now we can state that the fair, which the Russian travel elite will attend on March 18th in Metropol, will be really unique and unprecedented in Eastern Europe. Condé Nast has set itself the goal to make Condé Nast Traveller Luxury Travel Fair the most powerful and the key event in the world, as well as in the luxury travel industry of Eastern Europe by 2016. Apart from luxury and splendour, which are the main features of Condé Nast Traveller Luxury Travel Fair, the exhibition is characterized by a very thorough and responsible choice of participants and visitors.

Truth about travel

These words belong to the legendary journalist Harry Evans, Condé Nast Traveller founder and editor. From 1987 onwards they have been the slogan of this edition and have been present on the first page of the magazine from its first issue.

Condé Nast is proud of the unique Condé Nast Approach to the choice of places, which are included into the magazine: a hotel, a restaurant, a cruise liner or an airline that appear on its pages should be not just good, but unique and outstanding. Individuality, genuineness, a unique atmosphere, unmatched design and irreproachable service characterize all our sources of inspiration. These places should have their legend, history. It is this approach that makes Condé Nast Traveller travel edition № 1 in the world.

We follow the same principles when we choose participants and visitors of our fair. Every one of them should be unique and the only one of its kind.

Participants of the fair include 143 best companies of the world that are leading travel service providers and acknowledged leaders of luxury travel. The opportunity to attend the exhibition has been offered to more than 400 thoroughly selected representatives of the travel industry (travel service buyers), corporate travel managers of the largest Russian companies. They will get an opportunity to get acquainted with the latest trends in travel industry development, to exchange experience with the representatives of related branches of economy, to listen to reports of reputable and successful travel experts from all over the world. Every company should register on the site of the fair, in case it gets a positive answer it should add all the participants, who are going to attend the exhibition, into its personal account, the latest photos for everyone are obligatory.

Condé Nast has the right to deny access to the exhibition for a company, even if it has accreditation. When we make our choice, we assess not only the company’s presence in the Internet, but also play the role of a mystery shopper: we contact the agency, introduce ourselves as a prospective customer, check the company’s service level and ask clarifying questions. We study travel products of the companies — hotels and services they offer. Of course, large companies and famous agencies will be present at the fair; their top managers have received invitations as our guests.

Taking into account the dynamic development of some regions of Russia, Condé Nast has prepared a special Hosted Buyers program, whose participants will be privileged buyers from the most developed regions of Russia: Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Ekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Omsk, Kazan, Chelyabinsk, Rostov-on-Don, Ufa, Volgograd, Krasnoyarsk, Perm, Tyumen, Vladivostok, Khabarovsk, Voronezh, Irkutsk.

Hosted buyers are offered a free 2 nights` stay in a luxurious five star hotel in Moscow, a VIP-transfer to/from the airport or a railway station of Moscow, as well as a VIP-shuttle to the event venue by executive class cars.

The unique VIP-Buyers program is offered for senior managers — key participants of the travel market: professional and reputed travel agencies, large DMCs, private concierge services and organizations. VIP buyers are selected even more thoroughly. As a rule, they are offered lots of privileges and extra services: a VIP shuttle from their home or office to the fair and back by executive class cars, a separate entrance, a separate registration zone, but the main thing is a separate exclusive room for business meetings (VIP lounge).

Access to Condé Nast Traveller Luxury Travel Fair is granted only after registration and only for companies who are buyers of luxury travel services. Providers of such services are not allowed.

Condé Nast Traveller Luxury Travel Fair does not imply obligatory pre-planned meetings, as we think that free communication without time limits with participants of interest will be much more efficient.

The main aim of our event is to give the best travel industry representatives the feeling of a unique journey from the moment they arrive at the exhibition in the morning till the last minute. Our task is to keep participants at the exhibition as long as possible, this is why the concept of the event is so unusual. The key moment of Condé Nast Traveller Luxury Travel Fair is the visitor, maximum comfort is provided for the guest. We want our guests to lose themselves in the atmosphere of luxury, to forget about what is going on outside Metropol and to hold meetings, make new acquaintances, get new experience, learn about the latest trends in the world hospitality first hand in a calm and relaxing atmosphere. We consider it very important to invite senior management to participate in the exhibition, because our guests can meet rank and file staff any moment. We justify the slogan of Condé Nast Traveller Luxury Travel Fair — For Top Name of the Hospitality Industry.

Apart from Metropol main hall, where exhibition participants will be located, and multiple bars, there will be several lounge zones on the territory of the exhibition:

— two lounges, so called social meeting places, where visitors and participants will be able to try dishes of the Russian and international cuisine, and after dinner have talks with a glass of champagne and live music;

— exclusive lounges will be offered by Leading Hotels of the World, Ars Vitae, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, TOP Signature, Season’s Representation Company;

— ESPA Spa Lounges, the leader of SPA industry, will equip two Metropol suites as a mini-SPA, where visitors will be able to try ESPA’s best spa therapies;

— Еxhibitors Lounge — a zone for exhibition participants;

— Condé Nast Media Lounge;

— VIP Lounge to meet VIP and Hosted Buyers;

— Armani Beauty lounge — exhibition visitors will be able to use services of the best make-up designers of Moscow free of charge.

Please note, that access to the exhibition will be closed at 18.00, so we ask all the guests to allow enough time in their schedule and to arrive at the exhibition long before it closes.

As we have already said, Condé Nast Traveller Luxury Travel Fair has educational purposes. This is why special attention is paid to four big conferences that will take place during the day. Each will last about one hour. The first conference starts at 10.30 a.m. Registration in the personal account is necessary to attend the conference. Information about conferences the visitor is registered at will be included into his badge chip.

At the first conference we will tell a little about modern travelling trends, about the things travellers spend money on when they travel and about travel tendencies.

Then the Global Hospitality Trends conference will take place, where C-suites of the world’s unique accommodation companies will be present; moderator will be Varun Sharma, the founder and the presenter of the world famous program about elite travel, Luxury Travel Inside.

The next conference is Health in travel, a healthy life, travelling for health, where famous Russian persons and wellness experts will participate.

The last conference will be devoted to the Social Media, to the issues how Internet has changed people’s habits of trip planning, its moderator will be Condé Nast Russia president in person, Anita Gigovskaya. We will talk about new XXI century travellers: how they book tickets and accommodation, the way they make their choice and why.

Each of four conferences can hold up to 280 persons; taking into account that about a 1000 persons may be present in Metropol during the day, not everyone will be able to take part in the conferences, so you should book your places beforehand.

Apart from 4 large-scale conferences, visitors of the exhibition will have an opportunity to talk to the speakers and official guests personally, as well as to take part in mini-seminars and to learn, for example, why Dr. Dukan`s world famous diet is one of the most efficient and painless; regional director of The Leading Hotels of the World Anastasiya Belyakova will speak about trends in the changes of customer loyalty.

At 20.00 a great party in the best traditions of Condé Nast will start. The whole event venue will be used, so the night is going to be long and eventful. The highlight of the program is one of the most famous British pop stars.

We would like to note that Condé Nast Traveller Luxury Travel Fair has a unique number of media partners from all over the world. In 2014 the event will be held on the next day after the largest event of the Russian travel industry — the annual Condé Nast Readers` Choice Awards.

Condé Nast Traveller Luxury Travel Fair will be held in Moscow every year, the date of the exhibition in 2015 is already known, it will be held on March 17th, 2015.

We can definitely say, that Condé Nast Traveller Luxury Travel Fair will be the most technologically advanced exhibition in the luxury travel industry. We have the latest technical facilities and are able to coordinate everything that is going on at the exhibition, including both participants and visitors, from a single computer. No other events provide the opportunities Condé Nast has at the moment. (