Educational conference aimed at business travel sector


Informative discuss-ions, free keynote speeches and interactive discussion panels will feature at this year’s Business Travel Show (BTS) Dubai being held at the Madinat Jumeirah from October 20 to 21.

At this annual networking event airline and hotel groups, travel management companies, car rental providers, private jet hire, chauffeur drive, corporate credit cards and more will showcase their wares. Alongside it will run this two day educational conference, which also examines the results gleaned from a recent BTS Dubai/YouGovSiraj survey.

Topics will include Mandating a Travel Policy - dealing with management obstacles and non-compliant travellers; Time is money – sourcing the best price in the shortest time; and Traveller Safety and duty of care.

“The aim of the Educational Conference is to educate and promote discussion within the business travel industry. Discussion of hot topics such as ‘Sourcing the best price in the shortest time’ has never been so important as in today’s current economic climate and we hope that the conference will create a forum for the industry to exchange ideas and create best practices,” Sally Maltby, event director for show organisers Centaur Exhibitions.

Industry experts from across the Middle East will deliver a comprehensive programme addressing pertinent issues to those involved in organising, buying or arranging business travel and meetings.

David Radcliffe, chief executive officer, Hogg Robinson Group (HRG), will present a keynote speech at the conference on the topic of Future Trends in the Business Travel industry in the Middle East.

“Regional consolidation of corporate travel accounts is becoming increasingly prevalent and it is particularly noticeable in the MENA region.  Multinational corporations recognise the importance of working across borders and the benefits that can be achieved, such as seamless service delivery, consolidated management data and opportunities for cost improvement.  We do see this trend continuing apace in this region,” he said.

Other industry leaders taking part in the conference include Imran Changezi, director of global sales, corporate, Jumeirah Group; Afsha Kohli, events and logistics officer, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar; Hennie Strauss, CitiGroup business services head: Middle East, CitiGroup NA; Walter Knight, director of business development, Avari Hotels & Suites; and Aditya Varma, area manager: UAE, Air Arabia.

The Educational Conference is organised in association with Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE), a not-for-profit association currently serving more than 6,000 executives in over 80 countries.

Monique Swart, regional director for ACTE Middle East and Africa believes that this year’s show will follow on from last year’s launch success. She said, “As education partner, ACTE is in the process of developing learning sessions specifically geared towards supplying business travel professionals in the region with pertinent and relevant travel management knowledge based on local trends. We are looking forward to a well attended and educationally rich event.”

The two opening keynote speeches and YouGovSiraj research presentation will be open to all delegates free of charge but must be booked in advance. The interactive sessions costing Dh200 need to be booked before October 16. Tickets will also be available at the show for Dh300.

BTS Dubai is part of the global Business Travel Shows portfolio, which also includes exhibitions in the UK and Germany. The Business Travel Shows are the only events in the industry that are specifically aimed at buyers and bookers of business travel.

The BTS Dubai is a joint venture between Centaur Media and Dnata World of Events. Visitors can register online to attend for free, by visiting and clicking on ‘registration’.

On offer will be many travel orientated give aways and prize draws. All delegates registering for the event before 12 noon on October 16 will receive a free travel clock on arrival at the show (subject to availability). All attendees will be entered into a free prize draw to win a getaway, courtesy of British Airways.