New Plenary Sessions Headline Comprehensive Programme at Passenger Experience Conference Prior to Aircraft Interiors Expo 2015


Hamburg, Germany | February 2, 2015– Two new motivating plenary sessions from Seymourpowell and Virgin Atlantic Airways will open and close an unmissable programme at the Passenger Experience Conference, which takes place on 13 April 2015 at the CCH – Congress Centre Hamburg, to be followed by Aircraft Interiors Expo. Hosted by Aircraft Interiors Expo, this industry-leading conference will open with the first plenary presented by Richard Seymour, Founder, Seymourpowell with the closing session presented by David Bulman, Director of Technology and Reuben Arnold, Brand and Customer Engagement Director at Virgin Atlantic Airways.

The theme for the opening plenary session is to free up collective thinking about what is possible and Richard Seymour’s “Blue Sky” presentation entitled ‘Clippers in the Clouds – Rediscovering Romance in the 21st Century,’ will investigate the theory of “Emotional Ergonomics” in the air and reflect on how much can actually be achieved within the technical confines of a modern airliner in the decades to come.

“When I’m spending the kind of money that a transatlantic flight costs nowadays, I’m inevitably comparing the experience with other ways I could use that cash…in-flight experiences always seem to be trying to ‘catch up’ with even some of the simpler pleasures on the ground. It’s time for the unique, delightful and exciting time in the air again,” said Richard Seymour.

The following plenary session will debate the dynamics of the flexible interior, to be moderated by Vern Alg, Consultant, Reed Exhibitions. Current panellists Leo Mondale, President, Inmarsat Aviation; Adrian Berry, Creative Director, Factorydesign; Baden Smith, Head of Airline Business, Altitude Aerospace Interiors and a senior executive from Airbus. The theme for this segment is building flexibility into original designs to satisfy multiple and changing needs of airlines and their passengers.

The focus for ‘Taking a Guest-Centric Approach to Customising the Cabin and Creating Differentiated Brand Experience’ is the team behind Etihad Airways’ A380 and B787 interiors who will share the challenges and learning from achieving a high level of customisation in all cabins including a guest-centric approach to overcome the constraints and design demands. Confirmed panellists will include Michael Crump, Product and Innovation Director, Honour Branding; Anthony Harcup, Associate, Acumen; Calum Laming, Vice President, Guest Experience, Etihad Airways and Adam White, Director, Factorydesign.

A new feature at this year’s Passenger Experience Conference will see the morning keynotes being repeated after lunch to enable delegates to listen to more than one keynote presentation.

‘Designing Desire in the Travel Zone: Reaching Beyond Basic Passenger Needs to Create Impact in “In-Between” Places’ will be presented by David Cleaves, Creative Director, frog. When passengers leave their homes to travel, they enter a series of “in-between” places – airports, planes, hotels, and other venues – where fantasy and reality collide to shape their experiences. He will follow two typical passenger archetypes along the travel journey and map their needs and aspirations, exploring how airlines and airports can – moment by moment – go beyond the basics to deliver something surprising and new.

During ‘Re-zoning the Cabin: The Athlete’s Plane,’ Philipp Steiner, Creative Director, TEAGUE will offer insights on TEAGUE and Nike’s collaboration on a concept aircraft for professional athletes.

“Challenging assumptions, understanding user needs, and questioning the status quo is the job of design; the same could easily be said of Nike’s business, making them the ideal partner for TEAGUE,” said Philipp Steiner.

Air travel often hinders athletic performance due to the impact on physical, physiological and cognitive functions – especially when travelling across time zones. “TEAGUE and Nike both pursue game-changing innovation,” he added. “There’s no better way to achieve that than by bringing together the best brands in their respective fields to co-make entirely new products, services and experiences.”

The heart of the third and closing plenary session will showcase the much-anticipated ‘Leaders in Innovation’ finale. Virgin Atlantic has racked up a significant track record for innovation to improve the passenger experience. David Bulman and Reuben Arnold will provide insights on some of the airline’s recent initiatives which have included upgrading upper class beds with seat/bed padding on suspended webbing, transforming the meals service with low-tech tableware, and trialling the use of Google Glass.

Following the conclusion of the final plenary session, the Passenger Experience Conference will then close leading to the Industry Networking Party, sponsored by The Gill Corporation, which will take place from 1730 – 2100.

Katie Murphy, Senior Event Director for Aircraft Interiors Expo, said: “The opening and closing plenary sessions at this year’s Passenger Experience Conference will be a major highlight for delegates as these top-level speakers will be stimulating and thought-provoking. In general, the range of issues and topics to be debated this year highlight the vibrancy of this industry which continues to evolve at high speed. There is no doubt the line-up to date is already impressive and will be an occasion not to be missed.”

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