What’s new for Business Travel Show 2017?
We are big believers of the old adage ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ at the Business Travel Show. This year, we smashed records again with 7,730 visitors (up four per cent) and 267 exhibitors (up six per cent). Thanks to continued investment over the last five years, we also attracted 398 hosted buyers from all over Europe (up 12 per cent) who took part in 3224 pre-arranged appointments.
These stats are testament to how well the Business Travel Show provides the learning, sourcing and networking requirements of our buyers. So for 2017, there won’t be any flash new features or launch announcements, we will simply focus on doing what we do best – bringing buyers and suppliers together to do business – but doing it even bigger and better.
Of course the content of the show’s conference programme will change in line with advances in political, social, economic and technological trends and we have 11 new advisory board members to help refine that focus. We’re also looking forward to bringing back the Business Travel Disrupt Awards and Launchpad, which both launched in 2016.
How has the show evolved to meet current trends and exhibitor and visitor feedback?
Visitor and exhibitor feedback is critical to the future direction of the show and we spend months and months between events listening to what buyers and suppliers want from the Business Travel Show. We use that data – plus information about industry trends – to evolve the show’s content. The show wouldn’t exist without the industry and that’s why let them play such a big part in dictating its future.
Suppliers want to meet top quality buyers from all over Europe. That’s why we introduced the hosted buyer programme five years ago. Buyers want to see innovation, so last year we introduced Launchpad, which celebrates young business travel start-ups. They also value our educational programme, and we invest heavily in making sure it’s spot on every year.
What do you predict will be the big theme for the show given current business travel trends?
The big new theme on the conference programme will, of course, be Brexit and how that will impact managing travel programmes. Also new for 2017 are personalisation, pre-trip approval, FinTech and a session specifically for SMEs.
Additionally, there are pillars of content that return every year because they continue to be critical to a travel manager’s role: forecasting, savings, managing suppliers, managing travellers. Recently data, distribution and the sharing economy have become bigger issues in the industry and this has been reflected in the conference programme.
Who’s new to the show floor and what do they bring to the event?
We’re aiming for over 270 exhibitors on the show floor in 2017 and there are 28 brand new names already confirmed include Airbnb Ireland and Birmingham Airport.
What are you most excited about for this next show edition?
Everything! The new conference content, the innovative start-ups in Launchpad, the new products on services on our exhibitors’ stands, networking with our buyers – all of it, it’s all fantastic to see and be involved in.
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