With some shows losing visitors, others being cancelled and organisers closing, the exhibitions industry is a tricky market for many of those currently operating within it. This is no truer than in the travel sector. Luckily, at Centaur Travel Group, we are bucking this trend and have two successful events under our belts in the last four months alone.
The most recent was the Business Travel & Meetings Show, which took place last month in Dusseldorf, Germany, attracting 76 exhibitors and 2019 visitors. A brand new hosted buyer programme delivered 150 key purse-holders to suppliers and we curated 30 top class conference sessions. The event was such a success that more than eight out of every 10 (84 per cent) exhibitors rebooked their stand in situ.
At the Business Travel & Meetings Show in London this February, there was an equally excitable buzz of business in the air. More than 5,000 business travel industry professionals from all over Europe poured into the halls to meet around 200 world-leading suppliers, enjoy unrivalled networking opportunities and access to the best free to attend educational programme for the business travel and meetings markets in Europe.
So what did we do right to allow us to buck the trend? Well, I mentioned luck in my opening paragraph, but actually in this industry luck has a very small part to play. The Business Travel & Meetings Shows have been a success in 2011 thanks to experience and significant investment over a number of years, which have allowed us to keep track of who our customers are, who our customers’ customers are, the state of the market they are operating in, and what they need from us to help them to do business better.
This means we’ve been able to evolve the show over the years – and that means every year - to ensure we continue delivering the buyers who mean business to our suppliers. It also means we can continue to provide market-leading content to help buyers improve their programmes and policies in a way that actually translates into increased efficiency and reduced costs.
What you’ll never find us doing, though, is sitting on our laurels. We’re already working hard to ensure we continue to deliver strong products in 2011 and beyond. Over the summer we’ll be conducting in-depth buyer research, strengthening our partnerships, building our databases, hosting the BT Club in June and launching the 2012 European Travel Buyer Awards in July. And – time to take a deep breath here – I’m excited to say that’s just for starters.
If you think we’re missing something, though, then please tell us – all feedback is gratefully received, whether as a comment on this blog, by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or over a glass of wine at the BT Club on June 14th. I shall look forward to hearing from you.
by David Chapple, BTMS event director