12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Business Travel Show Europe, presented by The BTN
21 November, London Hilton Metropole
GTMC lobbyists are targeting the Tories in their quest to raise top-level awareness of the economic impact of business travel.
Speaking on the opening day of the Guild conference, Cavendish Communications account director Gareth Morgan told delegates: "Opposition needs ideas, they need resources. It's easier to get in to speak to these guys."
Appointed as part of GTMC chairman Maurice Veronique's drive to raise the industry's profile in the corridors of power, Cavendish is looking to set up a "flying circus" of supportive MPs to represent Guild members' interests.
Much of the consultancy's early lobbying activity has centred in Whitehall - civil servants generally keep their jobs longer than government ministers - but the focus is now shifting to the Opposition benches.
"I don't think they know their policies at the moment - they are two years out of the election cycle, so I would expect the next 18 months to reveal a lot about the way they are thinking. "I would definitely expect to be able to report progress over the next 12 months."
However, Institute of Travel Management chairman Caroline Strachan, international travel manager for Yahoo! and a conference speaker, counselled against taking too narrow an approach.
"There is a much wider, more important PR job to be done," she said, "because there is no real public understanding of what business travel is about. We have hidden for too long, and we need to do something about that."