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FFP, Ancillary & Co-Brand Conferences - 8th Mega Event WorldWide
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 01 Dec 17
Location: Palm Springs, CA, USA
Delegates: 400+

Event Overview & Theme: Mega Event 2017 is being held at the JW Marriott Desert Springs near Palm Springs, California. Mega Event is the place to make business contacts with executives managing Loyalty Programs, Ancillary Revenue Programs & Co-Brand Card Programs at many of the world’s largest airlines and travel brands. It is aslo the place to be in order to learn, discuss & debate the latest trends and best practices in these areas. The 2017 theme is “To Boldy Go.”

Mega Event will offer three conference tracks in a single venue: 1) Loyalty Conference 2) Ancillary Revenue & Merchandising Conference & 3) Co-Brand Partnerships Conference, as well as the 2017 Mega Awards sponsored by Avis-Budget Group, recognizing excellence in these areas. Scroll down to see the 2017 conference hot topics and agenda and register now while early registration rates remain available.

Click To View Full Agenda

Pre-Day – Wednesday 29th November 2017

13.30 – 14.00:

Registration, Coffee & Networking for Pre-Conference Sessions

14.00 – 17.00:

Pre-Conference Session One: 21st Century Loyalty Technology sponsored by Loyalty Partner Solutions

Pre-Conference Session Two: Loyalty Fraud & Accounting
Everything you need to know about new loyalty accounting rules (IFRIC15) & making your loyalty program fraud proof!

17.30 – 19.00:

Welcome Reception sponsored by Allianz Global Assistance

Day One – Thursday 30th November, 2017

08.00 – 08.50:

Registration, Breakfast & Networking

08.50 – 09.00:

Conference Chair: Welcome remarks

• Michael Smith, Managing Partner, Ai Events

09.00 – 09.30:

One Role to Rule them All? Executive Interview: How Southwest Airlines is doing loyalty, ancillary & co-branding in a different way

• Jonathan Clarkson, Senior Director Loyalty & Partnerships, Southwest Airlines interviewed by
• Jay Sorensen, President, IdeaWorksCompany

09.30 -10.00:

Being Bold Enough is No Longer an Option!

• British Airways and Skycanner

10.00 – 10.30:

Getting the Omnichannel Customer Insights Experience to be Seamless

• Guy Cierzan, EVP Client Services, Olson 1to1 & Wyndham Hotels (invited)

10.30 – 11.10:

Coffee Break & Networking

Session I: FFP Loyalty Conference

Track Chair:
• Michael Smith, Managing Partner, Ai Events

Session II: Ancillary Merchandising Conference

Track Chair:
• Marc Rosenberg, President, Strataconnex (invited)

Session III: Co-Brand Partnerships Conference

Track Chair:
• Vicky Radke, Senior Director, Amtrak Guest Rewards

11.10 – 12.00:

Panel Session: Are we really driving loyalty with our programs? Or is it just a transactional rebate approach? Is mobile the best home to re-engage?

• Rick Ferguson, Editor In Chief, Wise Marketer (invited)

…others to be announced

Panel Session: From NDC to One Order: Is it (can it?) deliver here and now?

• Ursula Silling, CEO, XXL Solutions

…to be announced

Panel Session: Are we killing the co-brand golden goose? With regulated interchange, mileage/ point devaluation

• Rick Rasmussen, Director Brand Loyalty Affinity Card Programs, Alaska Airlines (invited)

…to be announced

12.00 – 12.30:

Are Business 2 Business Loyalty Programs Delivering?

• Speaker to be announced

Why Data is Key to Merchandising: Top 10 Items you must do to win!

• Gillian Morris, CEO, Hitlist

Using Co-Brands to Enhance & Engage Loyalty

• David Canty, VP Global Loyalty Programs, IHG (invited)

12.30 – 14.00:

Lunch & Networking

14.00 – 14.25:

New IFRIC15 Loyalty Accounting Rules: What they mean for your program

• Speaker to be announced

Innovation & Funding Start-ups: Is this the best way?

• Speaker to be announced

Prepaids: The next big opportunity for co-brands?

• Andrea Wilson, Director North America Card Services, Bank of Montreal (invited)

14.25 – 14.50:

The OTA Approach to Loyalty

• Speaker to be announced

Merchandising the New Basic Economy Fares: Is this the way to manage the price challenge?

• Speaker to be announced

Personalisation: Boosting spend with partners & mobile opportunities

• Speaker to be announced

14.50 – 15.15:

Compare & Contrast: Learning from other loyalty market sectors

• Jordan Salmon, VP Loyalty Marketing, MGM Resorts (invited)

Payments: The missing link in your ancillary merchandising strategy

• Brian Gross, VP Ecommerce, Aeromexico (invited)

Corporate Cards Go Co-Branded: A way around regulated interchange?

• Speaker to be announced

15.15 – 15.40:

Loyalty Implication of New IFRIC15 Accounting Rules

• Speaker to be announced

The NDC Exchange: How to control your NDC messaging

• Jason Balluck, Product Delivery Executive, British Airways (invited)

Is There are Future for Co-Brands in a Regulated Interchange World? Do customers still want them?

• Speaker to be announced

15.40 – 16.20:

Coffee Break & Networking

16.20 – 17.15:

The Ai Lions’ Den: The Lions’ Den is a showcase of new products & services in which companies are given 5 minutes to pitch their innovation live & unrehearsed to our board of industry executive “Lions.”

Ring Master (Moderator):
• To be announced

Lions & Pitching Companies (Judges):
• Travelcar ….and others to be announced

17.15 – 18.00:

Networking Reception sponsored by Visa

18.00 – 19.45:

Mega Awards 2017 followed by Networking Reception sponsored by Avis Budget

Day Two – Friday 1st December 2017

08.25 – 09.25:

Breakfast & Networking

Sessions I & III: Loyalty & Co-Brand Partnerships Conference

Track Chair:
• Michael Smith, Managing Partner, Ai Events

Session II: Ancillary Merchandising Conference

Track Chair:
• Sinead Finn, Director, affinnity

09.25 – 09.50

Bank Travel Reward Cards: Threat or Opportunity for Co-Brand?

• Speaker to be announced

Everything You Wanted to Know About Ancillary Merchandising: Research Findings

• Robert Booth, Head of Product Marketing, Amadeus
• Mike Robinson, Product Marketing Manager, Amadeus

09.50 – 10.40

Panel Session: Loyalty versus Dollars: Customer Lifetime Value vs. Co-Brand Card Revenues -are they mutually exclusive?

• Michael Smith, Managing Partner, Ai Events

Panellists and presenters:
• Suretha Cruse, VP Marketing, South African Airways
• David Feldman, Director Loyalty & Reward Program Strategy, Catchit Loyalty
…others to be announced

IdeaXchange: 3 Ideas that will radically change your ancillary & merchandising thinking & strategy!

Not all ideas are fully formed or developed: this session aims to share the ones that are still being worked on – from revolutions in revenue management thinking or apps that the programmers are still debugging! This session will aim to make you think again about what’s coming next.

• Sinead Finn, Director, affinnity

…to be announced

10.40 – 11.20:

Coffee Break & Networking

11.20 – 12.05:

Panel Session: Are We Bold Enough? Major threats to the established order abound – from driverless cars (what future for short haul air travel?), regulated interchange to regulators looking at fees and charges. Do we need to be bold or should we look at what is under our noses to deliver loyalty, ancillary and co-brand revenue growth?

• Seth Kaplan, Managing Partner, Airline Weekly (invited)

…to be announced

12.05 – 12.30:

One Year One: Has Aimia/Aeroplan Delivered on its Personalisation Journey?

• John Boynton, CMO, Aimia/Aeroplan (invited)

8th Mega Event 2017 Hot Topics: To Boldy Go?

Accor Hotels decided to have non-Accor brands sold on Accor’s own website. Some would call this very bold, but in a fast changing world, are such brave moves and strategies the only way to get ahead? The same old ideas may no longer cut it, if you want to survive and prosper in today’s travel market. So, the 8th Mega Event Worldwide will challenge you to be bold! A few of the hot topics to be covered will include:

  • Is Loyalty Dead?: With major programs now nearly all “miles for spend,” is this delivering loyalty?
  • Predictive Analytics: Do you want to get bold with predicting what customers will want or pay for?/li>
  • Mobile Wallets – the death of co-brands?: Will Samsung/Android & Apple Pay kill your biggest earning stream?
  • Move over Millennials – here come the Centennials, and what they mean for your business
  • Omnichannel: Getting your loyalty, ancillary and co-brand programs to co-ordinate in every channel
  • Creating Retailing Opportunities: Will platforms like IATA NDC allow travel merchants to become true retailers?
  • Business to Business Loyalty: Are B2B Programs a bold move or are you paying more for exisiting business?
  • Selling in Path: OTA’s bundle and sell better! Should airlines and hotels sell their competitors like Accor?
  • Meta Search Engines – threat or opportunity? Is it just about price?

  • Loyalty Fraud & Data Breaches: This isn’t just for IT and Finance. It’s about your customers!
  • Chat Bots: Can they deliver loyalty and ancillary revenues?
  • What App?: Is your App delivering? Can it cross and upsell your ancillary services and drive loyalty?
  • Frequent Flyer vs. Frequent Buyers: Can you have both? Are airlines and hotels losing to card programs?
  • Ancillary Revenue Management: American Airlines has thousands of prices for extra leg room seats. Can such personalisaton of Pricing & Revenue Management enhance the bottom-line?
  • Co-Brands & Big Data: How programs are using co-brand cards to drive business from corporates
  • Lions’ Den: Showcase of new and bold products that have just 5 minutes to sell their idea!

Event Sponsors

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Conference Agenda Thumbnail Outline:
For Booking Your Travel

Wednesday, 29th of Nov 2017:
13:30 – 17:30 Pre-Event Sessions & 17:30 Welcome Reception

Thursday, 30th of Nov 2017:
08:00 – 17:00 Conference Sessions, followed by Mega Awards Reception in the evening

Friday, 1st of Dec 2017:
08:00 – 12:30 Conference Sessions, followed by afternoon optional picnic until 16:00

Sponsors of The 8th Mega Event 2017


    • $699 – Until Friday 21st April
    • Payment by Credit Card.
    • Note: Registration prices are $100 additional by bank transfer.

    Register Now!


    • $1149 – Until Friday 21st April
    • Payment by Credit Card.
    • Note: Registration prices are $100 additional by bank transfer.

    Register Now!


Mega Event will host decision-makers working in commercial departments from air carriers and travel companies from around the globe. Sponsorship offers an ideal opportunity to reach potential airline & travel business prospects.

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