BTSME drafts in ‘national treasure’ for pivotal role

ADDING to the Business Travel Show Middle East’s (BTSME) exclusive education programme, in partnership with the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE), the man once referred to by then South African President Nelson Mandela as ‘a national treasure’, Michael Jackson, will be moderating an interactive roundtable session on the intrinsic mindset of the business traveller and its significance to implementing successful corporate travel policies.

Participants will have the opportunity to brainstorm and problem-solve scenarios pertaining to traveller behaviour, providing them with ideas and solutions that can be immediately applied to their travel programmes when returning to the office.  In addition, the programme will be opened by Jackson presenting his world renowned keynote presentation ‘The Challenge of Change’ and will close with his follow-up session ‘The Business of Change’.

Monique Swart, project manager for ACTE commented: “Michael Jackson has carved out his reputation as one of the best business-to-business speakers on the global professional speaker circuit and, with his expertise in change management, is the ideal candidate to address the participants at BTSME who will all be hungry to learn of best business practices which can be used to streamline their corporate travel policies”.

‘The Challenge of Change’ is designed for business people across the board from the corporate travel industry, focusing on coming trends and accurate assessment of how best to compete in today’s business environment, this session will encompass a motivational and dynamic future view of the global business world.  ‘Better Business Rules’ will be Jackson’s second keynote presentation. It is designed to encourage innovative thinking and will outline pattern-blindness, stereotyping and refusal to adapt to new circumstances because of change resistance. The audience will be challenged to question their awareness of their daily lives and routines and be inspired to question their own conventional wisdom.

Mike Sherrard, managing director of Centaur Travel which is organising the show said: “Jackson has worked with dozens of the world’s leading companies, and has addressed more than 700 conferences and seminars across Europe, Africa, Asia, the US and the Middle East, to audiences ranging from factory workers to heads of state; it is a coup for us to have him join us this year.” With 20-plus years of business experience, his communication and marketing expertise has been applied by such clients as Dell, Microsoft, Nike, Nokia, Virgin Atlantic Airways and British Telecom, amongst many others.

BTSME will also be going live with the first ever on-line meeting service, which allows exhibitors and visitors to pre-schedule their visit and participation itineraries by setting up and confirming appointments throughout the show.

And from the exhibitor and participant perspective, the regional and global names are adding up. The aviation and hotel sector includes the likes of Virgin Atlantic, United Airlines, Air France, Air Charter International and Empire Aviation Group, whilst the hotel sector takes in Jumeirah Hotels Group, The Address Hotels & Resorts, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts and Premier Inn to name a few. Support services such as ground transportation are to be represented by the likes of Europcar and Hertz, whilst the core component of travel buyers and corporate travel management companies have an impressive presence through providers including Dnata, Alshamel, Travelport, Asuna Travel and Orient Travel.