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
Oregon Convention Center, C123 – 124
Sponsored by Airbus

08:45 – 09:10 | Welcome & Introduction
Rajan Datar – Presenter, BBC World News, The Travel Show
Joe Leader – CEO, APEX
Oregon Convention Center, Oregon Ballroom
2015 Welcome Video Sponsored by SES

9:10 – 9:50 | 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

9:50 – 10:30 | Passion to Innovate. Power to Deliver.
The airline industry is exciting, resilient, and full of opportunities, but not without unique challenges. Werner Lieberherr will address these factors by taking a look at the changing market environment, evolving business models, and major innovation drivers. He will explore the role innovation plays in the aircraft interiors evolution and why the interior of the aircraft is the most significant factor passengers can perceive among different airlines. He will also show how partnerships between B/E Aerospace, airlines, suppliers, and design firms can deliver superior value specifically tailored to airlines’ unique needs. These partnerships meet the ever-changing requirements of the market in order to exceed passengers’ expectations.
Presented by: Werner Lieberherr – President & Chief Executive Officer, B/E Aerospace Inc.

10:30 – 11:00 | Break
Oregon Convention Center, Oregon Ballroom Foyer
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 – 12:30 | The CEO Keys to Passenger Experience Leadership
The EXPO educational sessions outlined ways for the airline supply chain to collaborate with aims of an improved experience for the passenger and bottom line for the those weaving the travel thread. Rakhita Jayawardena takes members on a trip on SriLankan Airlines to see how the carrier is able to offer an enhanced and differentiated experience for passengers.
Presented by: Rakhita Jayawardena – CEO, SriLankan Airlines

12:30 – 13:20 | Networking Lunch
Oregon Convention Center, Portland Ballroom
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 Entertainment
14:25 – 15:05 Breakout Session #2 (A2, B2, C2, D2)
15:05 – 15:20 Break – Sponsored by Encore Inflight Entertainment
15:20 – 16:00 Breakout Session #3 (A3, 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

Oregon Convention Center, E141-144

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
Who should attend: Advertising/Media Representative, Airline, Audio/Video Programmer, Buyer for Airlines, Content Service Provider, Entertainment, Marketing, Publisher of Inflight Magazines

14:25 – 15:05 | A2 – Audio Rights & Licensing
This time last year, there were many changes occurring in this space. Major record labels reviewed the licenses in place, as well as those not in place, and in many cases music was pulled from planes. This session looks at where we are one year later outlining what happened, what progress has been made, and why it is important. We will also take a look into the future and explore inclusive and rich audio offerings, opportunities for new music services, and what experiences new onboard technologies can help deliver.
Sony will conclude the session by sharing some insights on how they are working to simplify the process for airlines and speaking about the complexities of audio licensing; detailing how they are working directly with airlines as well as other content service providers to license and deliver new and exciting music for passengers onboard!
Presented by:
Barrett Goodman, Global Digital Business Development , Sony Music Entertainment
Iain Kemplay, Managing Director, Kemplay Consulting Limited
Who should attend: Airline, Audio / Video Programmer, Buyer for Airlines, Content Service Provider, Entertainment, Legal, Licensing Body, Record Company, Service Company

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, Global Eagle Entertainment
Who should attend: Advertising/Media Representative, Airline, Broadcast Network, Interactive Network

B. Connectivity & Technology

Oregon Convention Center, D137-140

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. Real-world experiences and learnings will be discussed based 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 PDT
Mark Schwartz, President, Design Consultancy Practice, Telefonix PDT
Who should attend: Computer and Electronics, Consulting, Entertainment, IFE Systems Manufacturer, Interactive Content, Publisher of Inflight Magazines

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
Who should attend: Airline, Aircraft Manufacturer, Buyer for Airlines, Communications/PR, Consulting, Content Service Provider, Duty Free Products, Entertainment, Flight Crew Services, IFE Systems Manufacturer, Inflight Lounge Products & Services, Interactive Content, IT, Marketing, Media, Publisher of Inflight Magazines, Seats, Wireless/Communications

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
Who should attend: Airline, IFE Systems Manufacturer, Inflight Lounge Products & Services

C. Comfort & Ambience

Oregon Convention Center, D135-136

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
Who should attend: Advertising/Media Representative, A/V & Film Duplicating, Aircraft Manufacturer, Airline, Buyer for Airlines, Cabin Amenities, Check-In Services, Communications/PR, Consulting, Content Service Provider, Education, Entertainment, Food/Beverage, Inflight Lounge Products & Services, Marketing, Media, Motion Picture Production/Distribution, Online Booking, Publisher of Inflight Magazines, Retail, Seats, Short Subject Production/Distribution

14:25 – 15:05 | C2 – Flight Attendant Engagement for New Technology & Product Implementation
In 2012 Qantas rolled out RED to their flight attendants initially internationally and then domestically.  RED is an iPad app that brings the Qantas back of house systems on board the aircraft increasing productivity but most importantly enhancing passenger affinity and engagement.  Hear from the flight attendants and passenger experience team about how RED has changed the way they do their jobs and how they have seen improvements in passenger service.  Hear how success was achieved through the involvement of the various stakeholders and incremental feature delivery.  Flight attendants serve as the airline employees that have the most direct interaction and impact upon passenger experience, and can be great advocates for the introduction of new technologies and products by involvement in the initial stages of project development.
Presented by: David Withers, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, digEcor
Who should attend: Airline, Content Service Provider, Education, Flight Crew Services, Food/Beverage, IFE Systems Manufacturer

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
Who should attend: Aircraft Manufacturer, Airline, Cabin Amenities, Check-In Services, Consulting, Education, Entertainment, Flight Crew Services, Seats

D. APEX 101: Intro to the PaxEx

Oregon Convention Center, E147-148

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 Ambience 101
Passengers demand comfort, whether on a short trip or a long haul flight. Explore the following key components of “Comfort and Ambience”:
• 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 ambience by vendors and aircraft manufacturers?
• What are passengers demanding?
Presented by:
Anais Marzo, Head of Aircraft Interiors Marketing, Airbus
Garen Moreno, Director, Strategic Partnering, BMW Designworks


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.