Business Travel Show Behind the Scenes: David Chapple

With a new owner and tonnes of new content, we ask Northstar Travel Group’s UK managing director David Chapple what buyers can expect from Business Travel Show this year and what he’d like to see on the agenda at future events

How long have you worked on Business Travel Show?
I’ve worked on Business Travel Show for 13 years. I originally launched our sister show Travel Technology Europe before migrating across to business travel, and ultimately taking on responsibility for both events. Last year, the two shows were bought by Northstar Travel Group – the largest travel media, information and services company in the world – so we now sit under The BTN Group alongside you guys at Buying Business Travel.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?
The industry. The business travel industry is full of hardworking, talented and fun people. It’s also very close-knit – everyone knows everyone – and I love that. I also love being able to create content and experiences that support and facilitate the industry – and individual businesses and buyers within it – to be more successful; to do business differently and better.

If you could change or add anything you wanted to the BTS agenda, what would it be?
Wow. That’s a big question. One of the key attractions for buyers to the show is innovation. They want to see what’s new and how the industry is likely to change over the next three to five years. That was why we introduced Launchpad and why, this year, we’ll debut the Innovation Faceoff and the Wellness Retreat. So, in short, my answer is more and more innovation, and the more mind-blowing the better. I would also love to see Business Travel Show become more representative of the global travel industry. We welcome a significant number of buyers from continental Europe, and I would love to see even more attend from the rest of the world.

Why should travel buyers and travel managers take time out of the office to visit the show?
The travel industry is impacted directly by political, economic, environmental and social issues, which means it’s continually evolving. This means it’s crucial that travel managers are up to date, informed and capable. The Business Travel Show is the biggest event of its kind in Europe, with the most on point conference programme, networking and exhibitor showcase, and that’s why it’s unmissable.

Anything new for the 2020 show?
Yes! There is. I hinted at them earlier. We have The Wellness Retreat, which will be a haven of serenity on the show floor; a place where visitors can take time out and relax while getting hands on with innovative wellness products and services designed to help them to look after their travellers better.

And the Business Travel Innovation Face-off. Kick-starting both days of the show, eight disruptors will present to a select audience of 150 buyers. After seven minutes of uninterrupted airtime, they each face a four-minute Q&A from the judges, and then the mics are handed over to the audience for a no-holds-barred grilling. We’ll announce two winners – one selected by the judges and one by buyers – at the show on Thursday, 27 February.

Is there anything on the schedule you think attendees “must” see?
Apart from all of the above… please don’t miss the networking events. There are so many to choose from and you can see what’s on here.

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

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