By Lise Alves
International Flight’s nineteenth Loyalty & Awards Convention was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this previous week. That is the primary time the occasion has been held in South America and International Flight’s managing director, Ravindra Bhagwanani, says the change in venue was very profitable.
“We took a sure gamble by coming right down to South America. We have all the time rotated between extra conventional areas within the Northern hemisphere, however delegates instructed us that it has been nice as a result of we have had a great mixture of native, Latin American content material and worldwide content material,” the International Flight govt instructed The Smart Marketer.
In response to Bhagwanani, Brazil has one of many three largest loyalty markets on the earth, together with Australia and the UK.
“Contributors are discovering how robust and the way advanced loyalty packages are in Brazil and Latin America as an entire,” he says, including “I feel that has opened the eyes of lots of people. They’ll return with numerous inspiration.”
Together with deep dive workshops and community alternatives 28 trade leaders spoke about tendencies, mishaps, and alternatives within the sector. Among the many audio system at this yr’s occasion, have been executives of a number of Latin American corporations, together with Latam Move Brasil Common Director, Martin Holdschmidt (LATAM airways), VP Loyalty and AMVacations’ Rodrigo Sandoval Piemonte (AeroMexico) and CEO Abhi Shah (Azul Airways).
For Bhagwanani, one of many highlights of the occasion was the richness of the worldwide content material introduced by audio system.
“The suggestions I am getting from delegates is: ‘That is inspirational. These are subjects I’ve not thought of. Hey, let me begin to consider them,” he says.
One in every of these subjects is the idea of subscription packages. Three of the audio system on the Convention spoke about experiences with subscription loyalty packages.
“Subscription packages have been born in Latin America and usually are not but on the minds of European carriers. However now this [concept] is beginning to unfold or, at the very least, more likely to be mentioned,” he says.
Though the International Flight director admits, not everybody goes again house and beginning a subscription program, ‘they will begin to consider issues they’ve heard right here’.
“It is not going to be the correct match for everybody however at the very least they’ve heard discussions about this feature,” notes Bhagwanani.
Among the many highpoints of the occasion are the non-public exchanges individuals have with different loyalty professionals, says the director.
“This change of concepts is irreplaceable,” he notes.
“We simply took an image of representatives of three Mexican carriers collectively on stage. They’re enemies in each day life, however right here they’re speaking to one another like outdated associates. You recognize that they’re going again to work tomorrow and begin combating once more, however in the present day they’re having enjoyable collectively,” he provides.
Deliberations on how know-how would possibly affect or change loyalty packages have been additionally current on the Rio occasion, though the difficulty is just not as superior as one would possibly assume.
“Synthetic Intelligence, NFTs, ChatGPT, all of those are upcoming tendencies however they aren’t as far alongside as many consultants would possibly make you wish to imagine. In case you are firstly of those or not very far alongside, the discussions right here have proven you do not have to fret an excessive amount of about it,” explains the manager.
Bhagwanani says when greatest practices in loyalty packages, one mustn’t restrict themselves to view what’s round them.
“Take a look at different markets, have a look at what’s going on in the remainder of the world. Even when it is just to realize data, it’s good to know what’s going on elsewhere and that is what this occasion is for: to provide entry to content material that individuals weren’t totally conscious of,” he concludes.
Winners of this yr’s Golden Loyalty Awards, embrace Aegean (Advertising and marketing), Etihad (Know-how), International Resort Alliance (Administration) and Accor (Partnership). The Provider of the 12 months award went to Loyalty Juggernaut whereas Randy Petersen (FlyerTalk, BoardingArea, InsideFlyer) acquired the Lifetime Achievement Award.