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More than 100 suppliers have booked to exhibit at the Business Travel Show in Earl’s Court in February, up 25% on this time last year.
According to David Chapple, the show’s event director, the positive trend reflects an upbeat attitude among the business travel community.
Despite talk of a global downturn, business travel suppliers are keen to be at the show, said Chapple.
He expects the final number of exhibitors in February to hit up to 200, a year-on-year increase of 30%.
Speaking to ABTN, Chapple said the new hosted buyer programme was largely to thank for the increased uptake.
“The show has been successful for the industry,” he said, “and when it’s been successful people talk about it positively.
“By bringing in the hosted buyer programme, the industry can see that we’re committed to creating Europe’s number one event, and continuing to deliver more buyers and arrangers that ultimately they need to do business with.”
The Business Travel Show has committed to hosting 1200 buyers at the show from the UK and across Europe, and expects at least an additional 500 to attend independently.
“We have made big improvements in the quality of the audience over the last couple of years,” Chapple said, “and the ratio of buyers to suppliers has improved as well.”
This year, the Business Travel Show has concentrated on providing more of what buyers are interested in – networking, education and meeting with suppliers – to encourage them to attend, he added.
Chapple has also renewed his call for buyers to take part as speakers, moderators and panelists at the conference. Nominations can be emailed to [email protected].