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FROM conferences and exhibitions to Christmas parties, we list the not-to-be-missed events of the business travel industry coming up in the months ahead.


NICOLA LOMAS Chair, Institute of Travel & Meetings

The big picture O

h the noise – it’s hard to cut through sometimes and

NOVEMBER 5-8TH World Travel Market Excel, London

NOVEMBER 8TH ACTE London Executive Forum Grange Tower Bridge, London

NOVEMBER 14TH Gray Dawes Travel Show BMA House, London

NOVEMBER 27-29TH EIBTM Fira Gran Via, Barcelona

DECEMBER 10TH HBAA Corporate Forum etc Venues, Dexter House, London

DECEMBER 12TH TBTM Christmas Party Grange Tower Bridge, London

FEBRUARY 5-6TH The Business Travel Show Earls Court, London

APRIL 16-18TH ITM Conference Beaumont House Hotel, Berkshire

JUNE 4-5TH The Business Travel Conference Novotel London West, London

NOVEMBER 6-7TH Business Travel Market ExCel, London

figure out what is real and what is rhetoric. I’ve learned a lot in the last couple of months and though the topics aren’t new, some of the information is. The ITM staff and board have been busy turning ideas into actions: the first buyer-only focus groups were held late in the summer, and buyers from top UK companies had the chance to discuss best practices and topical issues that most of us have to deal with. Leading from the hotel focus group, Simone Buckley organised an excellent hotel RFP workshop which fulfilled the need for many buyers that are either embarking on a formal hotel programme or looking to improve their existing hotel procurement.

process which resulted in a national embarrassment on how the trustees of this country spend our money. The positive outcome, if there is

one, highlights that procurement has a place in large decisions such as this one, and on-going training and oversight of those responsible for the analysis is a critical aspect. It’s not good enough to simply tick the procurement box; procurement has to be done properly. The other debate which has me shaking my head is the suggestion that rather than maximse existing infrastructure and resources, a new airport may be the best way forward to address our country’s aviation crisis. I’m not speaking as an economist, merely as an observer, but I can’t see how it would make

"As I look with a degree of pride at the quality of knowledge sharing we have in our business travel industry community, I shake my head at the amount of posturing and rhetoric around some business travel issues"

Some of the topics discussed during the air focus group tied directly into the subjects addressed at the ITM October forum where we followed the flow of data. Many buyers (myself included) were shocked to find out how easy it is for third parties to acquire it and sell it on. The ITM Industry Affairs Group has the issue of data and who it belongs to high on their list and will be releasing a statement soon. As I look with a degree of pride

View previous event picture galleries at


at the quality of knowledge sharing we have in our business travel industry community, I shake my head with the amount of posturing and rhetoric around some business travel issues – it's noise which seems designed to confuse the general population. Take the West Coast Main Line issue: there were clear flaws in the

sense for London or for Britain – Heathrow is a major employer and contributor to the tax base with more than 76,500 employed at Heathrow, countless supporting businesses on its periphery, as well as robust road and rail infrastructure and of course the local communities. From an environmental

standpoint I see even less logic. There are areas of the Thames Estuary that are protected wildlife sanctuaries and there is a huge environmental cost of not just displacing the natural habitat but also building a four-runway airport. The silver lining? Both of these

topics get people talking about our business, and through debate and deliberation we can be open to ideas from those outside of the industry, and perhaps a totally different solution can be found.


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