Educational sessions are intensive and highly-interactive, focusing on the latest passenger trends, inflight applications and operational issues crucial to the airline passenger experience professional. Industry leaders and early adopters share their knowledge on issues related to comprehensive, high-interest passenger experience-related topics.

APEX Education

IFSA Education

APEX Educational Sessions will take place on Monday 28 September. Agenda coming soon! Similar to the EXPO last year, morning general session will focus on key aviation topics and issues while breakout tracks, outlined below, will identify specific areas of our industry. Get the latest on aviation related issues, programming and marketing strategies, passenger trends and more.  Sit side-by-side with your colleagues – airlines and suppliers – to gain valuable knowledge, share opinions and question the experts.

07:45 – 08:45 | Continental Breakfast
Sponsored by Airbus

08:45 – 09:10 | Welcome & Introduction
Alfy Veretto – President, APEX; Virgin America
Rajan Datar – Presenter, BBC World News, The Travel Show
2015 Welcome Video Sponsored by SES

9:10 – 9:55 | Airline Strategy and Focus on the Customer Experience
In this opening session, Sandy will offer an overview of the airline industry exploring how Alaska Airlines taps into the ever growing travel market, offers superior products and services targeted for specific customers and strives to deliver an exceptional customer experience. What unique and creative strategies are used? Are they successful? Explore from the customer perspective.
Presented by: Sandy Stelling – Managing Director – Customer Research and Development, Alaska Airlines

9:55 – 10:30 | Session details coming soon!
Presented by: Werner Lieberherr – President & Chief Executive Officer, B/E Aerospace Inc.

10:30 – 11:00 | Break
Sponsored by Encore Inflight Entertainment

11:00 – 11:40 | Passenger Well-Being and Airline Business Environment: A Manufacturer’s Point of View
The physical hardware in the cabin of commercial airliners is of ever increasing importance – for passengers and operators alike: the travelling public is experiencing enhanced cabin environments with new aircraft types. Still, expectations of end consumers are rising. At the same time, airlines are faced with these market requirements for enhanced travel experiences, while the cabin interiors in their fleet compose a major part of their cost and revenue potential. Rainer von Borstel will look into these subjects, as well as into the increasingly competitive environment in the aerospace industry.
Presented by: Rainer von Borstel – CEO, Diehl Aerosystems

11:40 – 12:20 | Brand New: Prototyping the Airline of the Future
The airline industry lags behind other industries in many ways, from profit margins to consumer loyalty. And yet we’ve been slow to solve many of our biggest challenges, perpetuating an ineffectual status quo. But what if we entirely reconceived what an airline can be? This address by TEAGUE’s Principal Brand Strategist, Devin Liddell, will detail a prototype of the airline of the future, focusing on leading-edge innovations across seating, connectivity, onboard services, baggage handling, airport experience, brand design, and co-making partnerships. These innovations will be illuminated through 3D fly-throughs and renderings, demonstrating the game-changing possibilities we can realize within the next five years.
Presented by: Devin Liddell – Principal Brand Strategist, TEAGUE

12:20 – 13:20 | Networking Lunch
Sponsored by Global Eagle Entertainment

13:30 – 16:00 | Breakout Sessions

13:30 – 14:10 Breakout Session #1 (A1, B1, C1, D1)
14:10 – 14:25 Break – Sponsored by Encore Inflight Limited
14:25 – 15:05 Breakout Session #2 (A2, B2, C2, D2)
15:05 – 15:20 Break – Sponsored by Encore Inflight Limited
15:20 – 16:00 Breakout Session #3 (B3, C3, D3)

Breakout Track A. Content & Entertainment
Take a look at world-class entertainment options featuring the latest movies, TV shows, hottest games, handy apps and more. Explore ways to take progress relationships with airlines, CSPs and content providers. What are options for various carriers? What do passengers desire? On which flights? What are the cultural differences? What about the content they bring with them? Take an in depth look at programming for the global audience.

Breakout Track B. Connectivity & Technology
Evaluate technologies that play a crucial role in bettering the passenger experience, not only for passengers but also for airlines and the multiple vendors involved in creating this experience. In the rapidly changing aviation market, how can investments and technologies last for the long haul? Hear updates on these and other topics of interest.

Breakout Track C. Comfort & Ambience
Passengers demand comfort, whether on a short trip or a long haul flight. How is our industry meeting passenger demands while keeping the bottom line in mind? How can passenger loyalty be cultivated? How to flight attendants engage with passengers? Assess the multiple ways the industry is working towards improving the inflight experience.

Breakout Track D. APEX 101: Intro to the PaxEx
Based on popular demand, APEX offers an introductory track on key items affecting APEX members and ultimately the passengers. Check out this year’s courses!

A. Content & Entertainment

13:30 – 14:10 | A1 – Content Management & Partnership Initiation between Airlines & Local Content Providers
How can you manage and maintain a collaborative relationship between airlines and local content providers? Engage passengers with enriching the content and expanding the range of entertainment on the IFE systems by initiating cooperation between the airline and local content providers. Create a toolbox for the cooperation development. Hear from El Al on the importance of the airline and the content provider to integrating local content.
Presented by: Tal Kalderon – IFE Manager, EL AL

14:25 – 15:05 | A2 – Audio Rights & Licensing
The rapidly changing music industry and continuous evolution of onboard entertainment systems have caused the music and airline industries to evaluate business arrangements, customer needs and marketing opportunities. This session will offer guidance and share best practices to ensure both vendors and airlines have the knowledge to ensure the proper legal permissions are in place to feature music and audio programming.

15:20 – 16:00 | A3 – Connecting Passengers & Advertisers to Promote Products, Services and Experiences
Today’s inflight advertising market is valued at $53 million US dollars and estimated to grow to $945 million by 2019. This presentation will detail how inflight advertising can enhance the inflight entertainment experience via engaging content and promotions directly targeted to the passenger’s unique demographic. Attendees will learn how they can tap into the rapidly growing inflight advertising market, increase their ancillary revenue streams and entertain passengers – all at the same time!
Presented by: Robin Cole – VP Marketing & Business Development, GEE

B. Connectivity & Technology

13:30 – 14:10 | B1 – Designing for Upgradability: The Challenges of Developing IFEC Product Solutions in a Rapidly Evolving Market
As technologies and passenger expectations continue to change and grow rapidly, designing IFEC solutions for upgradability throughout the development process and the life of the product is paramount. Jim Costello will share real-world experiences and learnings from Telefonix and Product Development Technologies’ (PDT) decades of hands-on product development experience in highly regulated and complex industries. Content will be shared from programs for in-flight entertainment and connectivity products as well as life science and consumer programs, offering attendees a unique perspective and holistic view of product development techniques from parallel industries.
Presented by: Jim Costello – Chief Technology Officer, Telefonix, Inc.; Mark Schwartz – CEO, Product Development Technologies

14:25 – 15:05 | B2 – The Sky is the Limit! Future Proofing Inflight Technology
In a world where technology evolves ten times faster on the ground than in the air, future proofing the connectivity spectrum will develop awarding business cases. An evolving and adaptable business model will generate potential revenue streams thanks to reliable and consistent services. Attendees will learn the tactics needed to construct a business model around inflight technology that will not be obsolete in 3 years and will learn how to adapt to the changes that will come about once all aircraft are connected to the “Big Pipe”, with the ultimate goal of providing the best passenger experience.
Presented by: Leo Mondale – President, Aviation, Inmarsat

15:20 – 16:00 | B3 – Onboard Payment Technologies & Developments
With global mobile payments predicted to reach $721B by 2017, airlines are under significant pressure to embrace and deploy new payment methods, currencies and systems that meet their passengers’ demands for seamless transactions across all channels and mobile devices – at the self-service check-in kiosks, lounges, before, during or after flight. Passengers are already using Apple Pay, MasterCard PayPass, Visa PayWave, and other contactless and NFC-enabled payment technologies at merchants of every type. And they expect the same consistent experiences from preferred airline as with “on the ground” retailers. What’s needed to create a frictionless and satisfying experience for passengers, and pay for products and services as they travel?
Presented by: Craig Proud – SVP Platform, GuestLogix

C. Comfort & Ambience

13:30 – 14:10 | C1 – Neuromarketing Innovation: Looking Deeper into a Passenger’s Mind & Heart
Neuromarketing innovation testing in the airline industry is the latest trend in analyzing passenger behaviors. It measures the impact of marketing stimuli through the observation and interpretation of passenger emotions. This session will present how to understand ways of studying the cognitive and emotional responses of passengers as well as what drives passenger attention, preference and adoption of airline brands and services. Information will be supported by biometric research and neuromarketing techniques such as EEGs and ECG readings, eye-tracking and facial coding,
Presented by: Stathis Kefallonitis, Ph.D. – Founder & President,; Yener Girisken – CEO & President, ThinkNeuro

14:25 – 15:05 | C2 – Flight Attendant Engagement for New Technology & Product Implementation
Hear real-life examples of the successful implementation of new IFE technologies onboard. Success was met by assuring collaboration among the design and implementation teams, hardware provider, wider crew group and other external and internal stakeholders. Flight attendants serve as the main airline employee interacting with the end-users, the passengers, and can be great advocates for the introduction of new technologies and products by involvement in the initial stages of project development.

15:20 – 16:00| C3 – Building Solid Business Cases with the Passenger Experience Center
See how a Passenger Experience Center will be used to build the business case for new cabin product and services without certification risks. Airlines and cabin suppliers will learn how new and innovative technologies can generate revenues while improving passenger comfort in flexible, realistic and secure airport and cabin environments. This knowledge will be gained through accurate physiological and anthropometric measurements of passengers and flight crew, carefully designed surveys to understand passenger and crew needs, and a realistic airport and cabin environment that recreate the lighting, sounds, entertainment and climate.
Presented by: Eric Lefebvre, Client Relationship Leader, National Research Council Canada

D. APEX 101: Intro to the PaxEx

13:30 – 14:10 | D1 – Content and Entertainment 101
Take a look at world-class entertainment options and how they play a crucial role in the passenger experience. Explore the following key components of “Content and Entertainment”:
• Options for content…movies, TV, games, apps, music, moving maps. Who are players?
• Consumption mediums…via seatback or wireless systems. Where does it come from; how does content reach the pax onboard? Explore the process for getting content in the air.
• Key challenges with content…selection, security, encoding, and licensing. What are the latest trends and issues, along with ways to overcome?
• What type of content do customers want? How does entertainment influence customer satisfaction? Explore ways to measure and interpret data.
Presented by: Maura Chacko, Vice President – Development, Spafax; Éric Lauzon, Manager, In-flight Entertainment, Air Canada

14:25 – 15:05 | D2 – Connectivity and Technology 101
Evaluate technologies that play a crucial role in bettering the passenger experience. Explore the following key components of “Connectivity and Technology”:
• Options for connectivity…including air to ground (ATG), satellite, onboard network; how is it installed? How does it work? What are the regulatory considerations on local and global scales? What are the pros and cons of each service?
• Types of entertainment offerings…including embedded seatback systems and wireless devices provided by the airline or passengers own device.
• Factors to consider in determining your technology mix…it is critical for that mix to be communicated during the RFP and vendor selection processes considering vendor selection, planning, development, regulatory assurances and installation.
• Overview of the IFEC industry…who are the players? What are airlines doing? What emerging technologies are being developed by vendors and airlines alike?
Presented by: Michael Childers – Technology Committee Chair & Board Member, APEX, Lufthansa Systems; Bryan Rusenko, Technical Director, APEX

15:20 – 16:00 | D3 – Comfort and Ambiance 101
Passengers demand comfort, whether on a short trip or a long haul flight. Explore the following key components of “Comfort and Ambiance”:
• Options for setting the mood…music, lighting, imagery, scents
• Things to consider in defining your ‘comfort’ strategy onboard and aligning to your overall business strategy.
• What new improvements are being made for greater comfort and ambiance by vendors and aircraft manufacturers?
• What are passengers demanding?


IFSA Education will take place on Tuesday 29 September and Wednesday 30 September.

Education Sessions on Tuesday 29 September

  • Suzy Badaraco will be presenting “Food, Flavor & Beverage Future Trends: Authenticity, Risk and Experimentation Lead the Way”
  • Government Affairs and Education Committee representatives will be presenting on current issues in regulation in the U.S. and abroad.  Topics will include the Food Safety Modernization Act and FDA and USDA updates.

Keynote Speaker: Matt Tenney on Wednesday 30 September

pic_matt_tenneyMatt Tenney is a social entrepreneur and the author of Serve to Be Great: Leadership Lessons from a Prison, a Monastery, and a Boardroom.  He is also an international keynote speaker, a trainer, and a consultant with the prestigious Perth Leadership Institute, whose clients include numerous Fortune 500 companies.  He works with companies, associations, universities, and non-profits to develop highly effective leaders who achieve lasting success by focusing on serving and inspiring greatness in the people around them. Matt envisions a world where the vast majority of people realize that effectively serving others is the key to true greatness.  When he’s not traveling for speaking engagements, he can often be found in Nashville, TN.