Centaur Exhibitions’ 2012 Business Travel Show (BTS) at Earls Court attracted 197 exhibitors, up from 134 in 2011.
Show director David Chapple claimed its exhibitor numbers were double those for nearest competitor show, Business Travel Market. The exhibition was held from 7 to 8 February.
Among the changes made to this year’s BTS were a decision to strip out the meetings element, leaving a show concentrated four square on business travel. “We found that procurement of bedrooms is really the only touching point between those two sectors,” Chapple said. “The corporate travel buyer is our bullseye visitor.”
Chapple also noted the success of the exclusive masterclass sessions for buyers. With ex-Reed Travel Exhibitions Paul Kennedy, MBE, advising on show strategy, the show had put together a programme combining hosted buyers and executive buyers for around 500.
“Many buyers do not want to be hosted, but see the value in participating in the meetings diary and Masterclass sessions,” Chapple continued.
“We’ve taken a show that was on its knees four years ago and this year moved it four rungs up the ladder, partly thanks toover £300,000 worth of investment in the show across the board.”
BTS attracted 29 partners including associations ITM, GBTA and HSMAI. Centaur said it plans to remain at Earls Court for the foreseeable future despite uncertainty around the venue’s future.
“We will definitely be back in 2013 and possibly 2014, but if not, then at Olympia,” said Chapple. He ruled out a move to Excel, home of the BTM event, which was acquired by Reed Travel Exhibitions in November.
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