Visitor numbers have risen again for the Business Travel Show, which took place at Olympia London last week amid two busy days of networking for buyers and suppliers across the European corporate travel market.
Organiser Centaur Media has confirmed the show will expand into Olympia’s West Hall for 2018 in response to supplier demand from bigger exhibition stands.
Initial unaudited figures indicate a 3 per cent increase in attendees. This is the fourth consecutive year that visitor numbers have risen for the event, now in its 23rd year. Early numbers also show that at least 428 hosted buyers from throughout Europe attended the event, up from 399 in 2016 – a gain of 7 per cent.
260 companies exhibited in 2017 including more than 60 first timers. Around 70 per cent of exhibitors have already rebooked their stands for 2018, many of whom will return with a significantly larger exhibition presence.
Exhibitors at this year’s event included American Airlines, American Express Global Business Travel, Egencia, Uber, Airbnb, Amadeus, easyJet, Etihad, Virgin Trains, Portman Clarity, Priority Pass, Premier Inn, Capita, FCm Travel Solutions, Flybe, HRG, Mastercard, Star Alliance, United Airlines, Avis, Eurostar and Booking.com
Organisers invested significantly in the Launchpad, which supports innovative start-ups with free stands. 14 companies exhibited compared to eight last year and the second Business Travel Disrupt Award was won by FairFly, the travel technology company that maximises savings on business airfares post-booking.
All of the show’s feature areas once again sold out including the International Hotel Village, Airline Pavilion, GTMC Pavilion, Responsible Travel Zone, ASAP and Business Travel Technology Zone.
David Chapple, Business Travel Show portfolio director, said: “We have been floored by the success of this year’s Business Travel Show especially given we have achieved visitor growth every year for the last four years. The rise in hosted buyers is particularly sweet for us as we continue to invest in bringing the very highest quality visitors from all over Europe to the show. The feedback we have received from them over the last two days has been immense.
“We have a great team working behind the scenes to ensure that visitors to the Business Travel Show find the very best content and contacts year on year to help create travel programmes fit for 21st Century travellers and to ensure the show remains the leading event of its kind for the corporate travel market in Europe.”