With the 2020 Business Travel Show right around the corner, BTN Europe caught up with hosted buyer manager Graham Angus to find out what attendees can expect from this year's programme
How long have you worked on BTS?
I have worked on Business Travel Show since 2011 when we launched the hosted buyer programme. It was the perfect role for me because, in a previous work life, I worked in business travel for HRG so it was a little like coming home!
What’s your favourite thing about your job?
Being at the exhibition itself; you just can’t beat the buzz of a busy event.
If you could change or add anything you wanted to the BTS agenda, what would it be?
There are lots of little things I would like to change simply because I’m a firm believer in evolution. There’s never any excuse for complacency; things can always be improved. My ultimate dream, though, would be to throw open the hosted buyer programme to buyers from outside of Europe…
How are hosted buyers recruited for BTS?
We recruit hosted buyers a couple of ways. For example, we run email campaigns backed up by our amazing tele-sales team, who are hitting it out of the park right now. We also work with our exhibitors and partners as group coordinators, and they invite their clients, prospects and members to sign up and register as hosted buyers.
What do hosted buyers get as part of the package?
It’s almost easier to tell you what they don’t get! There are many elements to the hosted buyer programme, including complimentary travel and accommodation. Once they are in London there is the pre-show conference, which takes place the day before Business Travel Show and is exclusively for hosted buyers. This is followed by an evening dinner where buyers can network, which is particularly useful for those attending Business Travel Show for the first time, and also those who are new to the industry.
Once at the show, we have the online diary where hosted buyers book their appointments with the exhibitors and also book conference sessions so they can create their own personal agenda for the day. There is a hosted buyer lounge with complimentary refreshments and lunch, allowing hosted buyers to take some time away from the show floor to catch up on emails and take a break. There are hosted buyer-specific conference sessions during the exhibition and an exclusive hosted buyer networking party on the Wednesday evening. It’s all go.
Is there anything new on the agenda for hosted buyers this year?
Oh yes, there are a few changes this year. The venue for the pre-show conference is new; we are using the ILEC Conference Centre. The networking party on the Wednesday evening is a completely different format and in a new venue; it will be a real party as the carnival is coming from Rio to West London!
Business Travel Show takes place at Olympia London on 26-27 February, with a pre-show conference and networking event on 25 February exclusively for hosted buyers. To find out more about the hosted buyer programme or to register, visit businesstravelshow.com/hosted-buyers