In an outspoken commentary Business Travel News has confirmed that the 2020 Business Travel Show, due for the ExCeL conference centre in February, has been cancelled, although the organisers prefer the term “postponed”. A new date has been set for 22−23 June 2021.
The announcement by organisers NorthStar also stated it is to be a ‘hybrid’ show which BTN now gathers means a physical event with exhibitors and visitors, conference content, networking and show features plus Webinar international participation.
BTN’s real concern is not the loss/postponement of a single show, and many others over the last few months, but the message being put out by World Aviation Festival and the like that we should all go virtual. Aviation means travel. It means interacting and not sitting in front of a computer screen. It does not generate revenue either.
In what is a controversial piece BTN points out that the British Parliament plans to return live to Westminster on 1 September. It is setting a great example and a fine illustration of networking. Business is done, as they say ‘in the corridors of power’.
It notes London there are over 1,000 diverse meeting venues and 140,000-plus hotel rooms across the capital. They need real people to fill them. But it also requires the courage of conference organisers and backers looking towards the autumn period and having the confidence to move ahead.
With six international airports and direct flights to 400 destinations, London is one of the best-connected cities worldwide. It needs to remain at the top. A vital part of that success is the networking business, conferences and the like.
“This Government has yet to demonstrate its understanding of the airline industry and its role in the commercial success of the country. It now must to offer the meetings community some practical and financial support”.