Business Travel Show Behind the Scenes: Amon Cohen, conference director

Next month’s Business Travel Show features a packed schedule of educational conference sessions. We asked conference director and long-time BBT columnist Amon Cohen to give us more insight into this year’s programme

How long have you worked with Business Travel Show?
I’ve lost count! This is my ninth straight year of producing the conference programme this time around, but I did it a few times in the early 2000s too.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?
That’s easy to answer. It’s the opportunity to work with the smart and lovely people from many different countries who are heroic enough to share their time and expertise as speakers. On any one day I might be talking to people in Germany, Norway, the US, South Africa and China. It’s the great privilege of my professional life.

If you could change or add anything you wanted to the BTS agenda, what would it be?
Every year I see a massive thirst for education and discussion among our buyer visitors, so much so that even the 49 sessions across our non-sponsored programme seem only to scratch the surface. I’d like to meet that demand with at least one more event at a different time of year.

Why should attendees make time to see conference sessions?
Everyone faces challenges in their daily working lives and that can feel quite lonely sometimes. Many of our conference sessions are all about interactivity and problem-solving. Whatever issues you are dealing with, you’ll be able to share your experiences and learn solutions from your peers and carefully selected subject experts.

What topics can attendees expect to see on this year’s conference programme?
There’s plenty of cutting-edge content on topics like AI, curating your own tech strategy and hot topics like sustainability and traveller wellbeing. But we often find it’s the real nuts-and-bolts issues that buyers value most of all. Examples already proving very popular for 2020 in pre-show indications include procurement techniques for travel buyers and how to engage with your CFO.

Anything new on the schedule?
One I am particularly looking forward to is a new format called ‘Taboo!’ Four buyers each outline their “heresy” about a “you can’t do that…” conventional notion of travel management and then defend their position against challenges from the audience. I’m hoping it’s going to be both funny and thought-provoking.

You can find see the full Business Travel Show conference agenda at

The Business Travel Show runs 26-27 February at Olympia London. Register now for your free visitor pass at

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