Business Travel 2002 (BT2002) has closed its doors, following its 8th consecutive year. As always, the quality and quantity of both exhibitors and buyers was highly commendable. With such a variety of products and corporations, Business Travel 2002 was a highly enjoyable event.
Prior to the event, Paul Ryon, Exhibition Director, commented that “BT is fast turning into the most competitive travel exhibition”. This year`s Business Travel Show has indeed provided a unique forum for business and corporate travel suppliers to promote their products to an audience of decision-makers and key media. BT2002 has seen the launch of over 20 new high-tech management tools, along with a host of upgraded sites, systems and solutions. New services were also launched by four airlines, all showcasing upgraded in-flight products. Exhibitors clearly perceive this show to be an appropriate forum to unveil many new initiatives into the business travel market.
Amongst the most impressive launches were Galileo`s Special Agent, Rosenbluth`s Travel Manager tool, Cathay Pacific`s new business class & notiFLY Auto Messaging, Sabre`s Corporate.Res product, Qjump`s Online rail ticket service, Amadeus`s Corporate Traveller Tool and TQ3`s Optimiser.
Galileo have supported the Business Travel Show since it was first instigated in 1994.
This year`s event saw the first public demonstration of Galileo`s Special Agent. Terri Godwin, EMEA Marketing Communications, commented “We have supported Business Travel Show since its initiation. Unlike some of the travel shows, this one is very focused. It has a strong inclination for business and corporates. We want to know exactly whom we are targeting and this is possible at Business Travel”
According to Terri, this year`s show has been just as busy as last year. “We`ve certainly taken many enquiry forms at this show”. Regarding the launch of the Special Agent, Terri added “We have had a lot of interest here and we have a lot of follow up to do after the show. It is certainly looking very promising”.
Amadeus were launching Version 3 of their Corporate Traveller -their browser based `look and book` tool at Business Travel 2002.
Amadeus do not attend many of the travel shows, however they consider Business Travel to be ideal for their product offering.
Mark Lewsey, Marketing Director comments, the show to me is a very different show to last year. I have felt that there may have been more people attending last year. Whilst we have been busy and there has been a constant flow of people on our stand for the last 3 days, it doesn`t seem to be the same. Maybe that`s a result of September 11th and maybe not”.
Regarding interest in the Corporate Traveller launch, Mark added that “It`s been great and we`ve been getting some excellent feedback”.
Sabre attended BT2002, demonstrating the `Sabre Virtual Classroom`
David Morton, Regional Marketing Manager of Sabre, has a high opinion of the Business Travel Show. “It`s great. You get a great cross-section of corporate travel industry players on the supplier side as well as a lot of corporate travel managers and agencies themselves. The last couple of days have been really good because we`ve had a good mix of both our own existing clients, coming to learn more about the products that we`re rolling out in 2002, as well as a lot of people who are new to Sabre and coming forward with questions about the types of services that we can provide them with”.
David has been attending the show for the last three years. He felt it was gratifying that only seven months on from September 11th, the show has had such a strong turn out, with a good cross section of people. He added that “It has been a little sporadic with waves of people coming now and again, but overall it has been good”.
One company that really can boast of every success is Rosenbluth International.
Facing the industry challenges of last year, Rosenbluth ended the fourth quarter with their operating profit in the UK up to 81%. This was their second best year on record.
At this year`s show, Rosenbluth International, have been showcasing their revolutionary suite of travel security products. This includes a web-based product to provide the traveller with critical information updates, a revolutionary e-mail product, and finally, the tool that everybody has been talking about: Rosenbluth have now designed a product that directly addresses the needs that have arisen as a result of September 11th - a tracker product. At the click of a mouse, travellers can find where their people are anywhere in the world.
Rosenbluth International have been exhibiting at BT for 7 years. As one of the original exhibitors at the event, General Manager, Jeremy de Souza still has positive things to say about it. “These shows are great fun and a very good opportunity for people involved to look and learn Maybe the number of corporate visitors has been a little bit down, but in general, the actual quality of visitors we have met on the stands has been extremely good. We are been delighted with the corporate clients who we have met here” adding, “We have signed up for next year already”.
Rosenbluth International is very pleased with the response from the travel tracker. Mark commented “It has such a buzz. Everybody`s been talking about it, especially our competitors”.
Despite the recent downturn in the travel industry, BT2002 has seen a constant flow of both corporates and other businesses, interested to learn how they can improve their presence. Everyone has been pleased with the high quality of visitors at this year`s Business Travel 2002.