The 20th Business Travel Show, which took place at Earls Court last week, achieved a five per cent increase in visitors despite being hit by a Tube strike and torrential rain.
6,475 corporate travel professionals attended the Business Travel Show (compared to 6,148 in 2013) for a busy two days of networking, learning and sourcing. Exhibitor numbers were up ten per cent on 2013 – from 205 to 226, floor space increased by 32 per cent, and 65 per cent of the floor plan was rebooked onsite.
Exhibitors included Amadeus, Star Alliance, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Egencia, Travelodge, Virgin Atlantic, Eurostar, Qatar Airways, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Premier Inn, thetrainline, Concur, easyjet, BCD Travel and American Express Global Business Travel.
The Business Travel Show conference, renowned for its high quality content and extensive programme, was opened by Dara Khosrowshahi – CEO and president of Expedia Inc – who predicted The Future of Travel and discussed the importance of understanding Millennials as well as the increasingly blurred lines between business and leisure travel.
Many hundreds of senior European buyers attended the show, including 953 hosted buyer level attendees – a 37 per cent increase on 2013. Over 300 of these buyers were fully hosted by the Business Travel Show. Now in its third year, the hosted buyer programme featured an exclusive half day pre-show conference and gala dinner on Monday 3 February.
I am truly delighted with the success of this year’s show – it was at its biggest and best for years. The floor was packed with many high profile exhibitors returning after time away and a long list of brand new companies sitting alongside our long-term supporters.
Conference sessions were packed out and visitor numbers were at their highest for seven years. It doesn’t surprise me for one second that our visitors, who are, after all, seasoned and resourceful business travellers, refused to let the small matter of a Tube strike stand in their way of attending. All in all, it was a fantastic way to celebrate our 20th anniversary event and we’re already looking forward to our 21st in our new home at Olympia Exhibition Centre.
This blog post was written by event director David Chapple. The Business Travel Show, Europe’s leading corporate travel event, will take place 25-26 February 2015 at Olympia in London. For more information please visit www.businesstravelshow.com.