BTN Interview: Bob Offutt on the Travel Innovation Summit

Bob Offutt, Senior Technology and Airline Analyst at PhoCusWright tells Breaking Travel News all about the company’s plans for next week’s Travel Innovation Summit, a new event that showcases the travel industry’s hottest, most innovative Web and mobile-based applications. BTN: The Travel Innovation Summit is a new event, what were the motivations
behind creating it? 

Bob Offutt: New Innovations have been happening in Travel and Tourism every year but
there was no world class travel industry forum that allowed innovators to
showcase their ideas.  There were technical forums such as Tech Crunch and
Demo but those were not focused on and lightly attended by the Travel
Industry movers and shakers.  Adding this to the PhoCusWright Conference
provided a world class forum attended by key Travel Industry executives.

BTN: What format does the event take and who should be attending?

Bob Offutt: This is a one day event with each demonstrator having 10 minutes to showcase
their innovation.  The audience is primarily business executives looking for
the next new ideas that will drive business value.

BTN: Heading into the event, has the take-up been good? Have you been
surprised by the level of interest?


Bob Offutt: The response has been outstanding.  We initially planned on 24 innovators
but because of the overwhelming number of applications, we qualified 32 to
be on stage. Innovators are coming from around the world to be part of this
inaugural event. Attendee response has been good as well with a significant
number of attendees at the PhoCusWright Center Stage conference coming early
to attend the Travel Innovation Summit.

BTN: What do you hope will be achieved next week and what are the
longer-term plans for this event?

Bob Offutt: Our goal is to give connect Innovators with potential partners and customers
and to get them constructive feedback so they can shape their business and
technical directions. It is where creativity meets reality.  As I said, this
is an inaugural event.  We are already making plans for Travel Innovation
Summit ‘09 at the PhoCusWright Conference in Orlando and are considering how
it would fit with other PhoCusWright conferences such as [email protected]
and the PhoCusWright India Travel Summit.