We sat down with David Chapple, Portfolio Director of the Business Travel Show, to find out what attendees can expect to see and do at this year’s event.
The Business Travel Show has been going for more than 20 years now. How do you continue to keep the content so fresh?
Yes, it has; we’re 23 years old next week but we have never once been complacent about our longevity. How do we keep it fresh? There are lots of ways.
Firstly, we’re very lucky in that the business travel industry is continually evolving thanks, mainly, to technology and the opportunities it gives us for booking and buying travel in new, more efficient, cost-effective, convenient and exciting ways, but also the way technology helps travellers to manage their trips, too. Who would have thought a few years ago we’d have holographic check-ins or robots delivering room service?
We also have an amazing advisory board of buyers and suppliers who live and breathe travel and can guide us when it comes to content to make sure we are always on point. And, finally, we ask our visitors what they want from the show; what they need us to give them to help them do their jobs better – and then we make sure we deliver that content each and every year.
Why is an event such as this so important for business travel bookers and managers?
There are three very good reasons – the Business Travel Show is the leading event of its kind in Europe where bookers and managers can source from the biggest and most varied group of suppliers (more than 260 this year) under one roof; it has the most comprehensive conference programme in the industry – including a 10-track Fundamentals programme specifically for bookers; and with more than 7700 industry professionals gathering in one place to do business, it gives managers unrivalled networking and a brilliant opportunity to share knowledge, tips, advice and enhance their skills and careers.
How can PAs benefit from the education content available at the show?
Definitely by attending the Fundamentals sessions – 10 tracks covering everything buyers need to know to get started in business travel, or to refine their travel programme if they are more experienced.
What’s new and exciting for this year’s show?
We have invested in innovation massively this year – so the Launchpad, where we provide free stands for start-ups, has doubled in size allowing bookers to meet and negotiate with the travel titans of tomorrow. There are 14 exhibitors in the Launchpad next week. And don’t miss our Disrupt Awards at 4pm on Wednesday when one of the five shortlisted Launchpad exhibitors will be crowned our second Business Travel Disrupt winner.
What do you hope attendees will walk away with?
The content of the show may have changed over the years but our aim and reason for being never has. We exist to help our visitors to do their jobs better – to book travel smarter, to save money, to cut costs, to negotiate harder, to learn about trends, tips and tricks that will help them to futureproof their travel programmes.
Visitors can register at the show for a free pass. More information can be found at businesstravelshow.com.