Outstanding feedback from inaugural btTB-GBTA conference
The btTB 2017 conference, produced in partnership with GBTA, closed on Wednesday 3rd May to resoundingly positive feedback from all participants.
The event was also the platform to formally announce the launch of an ongoing partnership between btTB and GBTA to deliver education and networking opportunities to the business travel community in the ANZ region.
With 330 attendees, of whom over 130 were corporate travel buyers, numbers exceeded initial expectations and the ratio of buyers-suppliers was at an all-time low. (Low is good!)
Nigel Wardropper, managing director at btTB, commented; “The event pretty much ticked all the key boxes. We had record numbers of buyers, from whom the anecdotal feedback has been very positive in regard to the programme and opportunities to meet with suppliers, the venue at Royal Randwick was excellent, and most crucially these days, the sponsors and exhibitors who provide the vast bulk of the funding for the event have all been effusive in their praise for the event and the opportunities to engage with the buyer audience. No other event gives them this level of opportunity. Indeed many of them have already confirmed their participation for next year.”
These sentiments were echoed by Mike McCormick, executive director and chief operating officer at GBTA. McCormick said “We are delighted with the relaunch into the Australia and New Zealand market. The atmosphere at the event was very positive and it bodes well for our future plans to deliver world class education and networking opportunities in the region. I look forward to working with the btTB team and seeing GBTA membership in the region take off”.
The programme commenced with an outstanding keynote from Bhart Sarin, GBTA Board Director and Head of Indirect Procurement for Ingredion, a Fortune 500 ingredients manufacturing company. There were plenary panel discussions on a variety of key issues such as mobile technology, the sharing economy and TMC relationships, interspersed with excellent insights into the future direction of the airline and accommodation markets and the broader business travel market based on the GBTA Business Travel Index. The first day concluded with a thought-provoking and highly entertaining presentation from Gus Balbontin, the man credited with driving digital change at Lonely Planet.
The seminars/breakout programme had an increased procurement focus which seemed to resonate well with many of the buyers and there were plenty of opportunities for interactive engagement in mini-workshops and round-tables.
A highlight of the two days was of course the presentation of the btTB-GBTA Travel Management Awards, with The Whole of Australian Government Travel Programme from the Department of Finance (WoAG) taking out the buyer award and the Lido Group taking out the supplier partner award.
To capture the atmosphere of the event, check out the pictures.
A big thank you to all who participated.
BTTB has been the premier provider of information, education and networking opportunities to the business travel community in the ANZ region for 17 years. BTTB launched the regions longest running dedicated travel management magazine, Business Travel Monthly, in 1999 and in 2000 staged the first BTTB Conferences and exhibitions in Australia and New Zealand. While publication of Business Travel Monthly ceased in 2013, the BTTB Australia Annual Conference continued through to 2016 as the leading event for buyers, suppliers and managers of corporate travel. The BTTB Australia event will now be replaced by the combined BTTB-GBTA Annual Conference.
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is the world’s premier business travel and meetings organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. area with operations on six continents. GBTA’s 7,000-plus members manage more than $345 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA and the GBTA Foundation deliver world-class education, events, research, advocacy and media to a growing global network of more than 28,000 travel professionals and 125,000 active contacts.