Visitor numbers rose again for the Business Travel Show this year, with early estimates pointing to a 15 per cent increase in attendees. 7,427 corporate travel professionals attended the show compared to 6,459 in 2014, which in itself was a ten per cent rise year on year.
The Business Travel Show is Europe’s leading specialised event for European travel buyers and managers and 2015 was the biggest in the show’s 21-year history with 252 exhibitors, an increase of ten per cent on last year. The show took place on 25-26 February in its new venue – Olympia Grand – and three weeks later than normal. It will return to Olympia in 2016 on 24-25 February.
The show experienced the highest rebooking rate in its 21-year history. Exhibitors for 2015 included easyJet, Concur, Kenya Airways, Carlson Rezidor, Star Alliance, Click Travel, Egencia, Amadeus, Airbnb, Barclaycard, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Premier Inn, Flybe, Hailo, FCm Travel Solutions, HRG, Addison Lee, Fraedom, Hilton, Qatar Airways and American Express Global Business Travel.
Fifty-eight conference sessions took place including the exclusive Hosted Buyer Pre-Show Conference on 24 February. Speakers included Google, Airbnb, Schott, Roche, Nomura, Bacardi, Carphone, LEGO, Sony Mobile, AON, Electronic Arts and WINiT.
easyJet’s Frederic the rabbit opened the show on Tuesday after walking the orange carpet. Go Native also hosted celebrity chef Lorraine Pascale, who was showing visitors how to cook for one in a serviced apartment kitchen. Kenya Airways and Enterprise sponsored the post show networking dinner and drinks, which featured a personal appearance from charity Born Free and ambassador Peter Andre. £10,000 was raised for Born Free at the event.
David Rodriquez from first time exhibitor Hailo said: “We have received a very positive response to our disruptive business model at the Business Travel Show where we’ve held a lot of pre-booked meetings and had some interesting conversations. It’s been great chance to catch up with some familiar faces too, as this is the event where everyone comes to network.”
Graham Kingsmill, Managing Director, Egencia UK, said: “We are thrilled with the turnout at the Business Travel Show 2015. It exceeded our expectations, especially in terms of walk-on meetings and opportunities in the pan-European and global market.”
Simon McLean, Managing Director, Click Travel: “Click made a substantially greater investment in this year’s event, with a larger stand and the sponsorship of the Central Café, and it has paid off. We’ve capitalised on this great opportunity with record numbers of people visiting our stand, where we’ve been able to demonstrate why we achieve record growth year after year.”
“What a fantastic two days we’ve just had – the biggest ever Business Travel Show on record, the highest number of visitors for at least eight years and a return to Olympia, which has no doubt contributed to an amazing feel good atmosphere in the hall. The buzz of buyers and suppliers networking and doing business has been audible throughout the entire show. It’s a wonderful noise to hear and we thank our exhibitors, visitors, sponsors and speakers for making it such a fantastic event,” commented Sam Cande, Business Travel Show Sales Director.
The Business Travel Show, Europe’s leading specialised event for the corporate travel industry, will take place 24-25 February 2016 at Olympia Grand in London. For more information please visit www.businesstravelshow.com. Registration will go live in the autumn.