The GTMC has revealed the full centre stage speaker line-up for its upcoming Overseas Conference in Noordwijk, The Netherlands.
Taking place at the Grand Hotel Huis Ter Duin from 30 June to 2 July, the conference will bring together industry colleagues, politics and journalism to discuss “What’s Next” for business travel and the wider UK economy.
The 2019 event will feature a strong aviation theme, with Andrea Caulfield-Smith, head of business development at Easyjet, discussing the latest updates from the airline – especially with regards to its increasing focus on business travel. She will be joined by Easyjet pilot Kate McWilliams, who became the UK’s youngest female captain at the age of 26, and Zoe Ebrey, Britain’s youngest female pilot, in an Easyjet People Innovation panel.
Taking the keynote session on the first day of the conference will be Mike Croucher, Travelport’s chief architect, who will give his insight into the changing face of distribution technology and what the future brings for the business travel sector beyond the NDC debate.
Political commentator Steve Richards, a regular presenter on Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and long-time friend of the GTMC, will kick off business sessions with an inside track on Brexit and the Conservative Party’s leadership contest and will answer delegates’ burning questions on the state of UK politics.
Then, senior Natwest economist Nicholas Stamenkovich will take a look at the current UK and global economic scene, touching on the impact of the US-China trade war and Brexit. James Heappey, Tory MP for the Wells constituency, will give an inside story from the halls of power.
Andy Shand, general manager of consumer affairs for NATS, will examine how the UK’s airspace is handling its increasingly crowded skies, while IATA’s senior vice president of financial and distribution services Aleks Popovich will talk about the organisation’s objectives and strategies in dealing with the ever-changing face of airline distribution. Payments, sustainability and modernisation to boost growth are also on the agenda.
The two will then join Tom Screen, Birmingham airport’s aviation director, for an air travel-focused panel, during which he will update the audience on the latest developments for the regional airport.
Wrapping up day one is Richard Sherwood, customer engagement director for Eurostar, who will discuss the current scenario of international rail travel and its place in the business travel arena.
Day two will feature travel buyer and rail panel sessions alongside a live interview with LNER managing director David Horne, who will describe his life as the boss of the state-owned franchise.
And Charlotte Warburton, global head of rail for PA Consulting, will shine a light on some of the constraints facing the rail industry while trying to maintain customer experience.
Adrian Parkes, CEO of the GTMC, commented: “The last year was an eventful one for the business travel sector. From Brexit uncertainty to NDC and most recently preparing for the new PSD2 regulations effective September 2019, the industry has had to shift focus, adapt and keep up with new regulation, policies and technology. Our annual gathering will certainly touch on all the topics.”
Parkes, who will step down as chief executive following the conference, will also take to the stage to reveal what’s next for the GTMC as it prepares for the next chapter in its history.
Rounding off the conference will be the Entrepreneurs in Business Travel Award, where five start-ups will compete in a Dragon’s Den-style battle to showcase their products and services to the audience of TMC members, industry partners and guests for the chance to benefit from access to the GTMC Partnership programme for 12 months.