In writing this piece I was reflecting on the event theme I wrote earlier this year for the conference originally scheduled to be held in Sydney in May. Our theme was to be ‘Disruption 3.0’. Little did we know how appropriate that might be!
Reviewing my theme updates it is striking to see how rapidly the crisis developed. On 24th January I wrote about disruption via NDC and other technologies, that threatened (or promised?) to drive major changes in the travel supply chain. By 5th March I had expanded the ‘Disruption’ theme to include the sustainability agenda and also the disruption that may occur as a result of the nascent COVID-19 – Coronavirus.
I pointed out that the impact of the Coronavirus could be big, an understatement of ever there was one. Many organisations had stopped non-essential travel stopped by late February, but it wasn’t until mid-March that the shut-down really kicked in, when most were asked to work from home. Back then we thought the situation may be fairly short-lived. Yet here we are eight months later!
Accordingly, we have developed a programme that explores the current and likely future state of the travel supply chain, the strategies that business travel buyers might adopt, the increased focus on traveller safety and wellbeing, and even future career prospects for members of the travel supply chain. When I say ‘we’, I would like to thank Tony O’Connor for all of his work on the conference programme.
The conference features one full day of sessions and networking, followed by separate shorter workshops and webinars over the subsequent few weeks.
For the conference we will be using a platform that provides the best networking experience, enabling you to browse the floor and immediately catch up with others in live video calls at your table or lounge. I encourage you to come together on 5th November to learn, share and, most importantly, stay connected with the business travel community.
Minimal Powerpoint – Tired of sitting through endless online powerpoint presentations? We hear you! While not completely banned, use of powerpoint will be strictly limited.
Table Conversations – The conference platform enables attendees to get together before and after sessions via instant small group video chats. You can browse the conference floor to see who’s there and switch tables or lounge areas to meet new people or catch up with those you already know.
Collaborative workshops – Numbers for workshops will be strictly limited to ensure there are manageable numbers to work collaboratively in small groups. Secure your spot today.
Here are just a few reasons that you should take the time out of your busy schedule to attend:
• Understand the future direction of the business travel sector
• Gain insights into the tactics and strategies others are using to mitigate the challenges posed by the crisis
• Benchmark your policy and programme against other leading buying organisations
• Maintain your business travel network by catching up with old friends virtually during the conference
• Make new contacts in ‘Birds of a Feather’ networking sessions
• Connect with other attendees 1-2-1 or in small group video calls
• Meet potential new suppliers or catch up with existing ones in the hosted sponsor lounges