WTM (World Travel Market) is the planet’s leading travel festival. I’ve been attending for the last three years and last year I participated in my first panel discussion there. Based on that experience I was delighted when the organisers asked if I’d help out from a mobile perspective. I’m now the WTM Mobile Consultant. And goodness me it’s a brilliant role. I have met the great and the good of the travel world over the past few months, not least WTM’s own Simon Press and Micaela Juarez.
Simon runs the whole operation including the big event in November at ExCel in London’s Docklands. About 60,000 folk attend across the 3 main days and each and every single hall is rammed full with exhibitors and activities for the duration. To put this in perspective, Nokia’s huge Lumia launch a year or so ago at Excel wasn’t big enough to use a full hall. WTM takes all 8. It’s so big that Simon and his colleagues work closely with the London Underground and Docklands Light Railway to make get the logistics just right. It’s no stretch to say the travel world comes to London for the week of WTM.
Micaela is WTM’s marketing supremeo. She oversees the brand, the comms and the marketing strategy out to the industry. And it’s Micaela whom I’ve been working with on Decision Makers TV. For anyone who remembers my old Mobile Developer TV service, it’s a bit like that. Most weeks they publish a sit-down interview with some of the travel industry’s top CEOs. I’ve had the privilege of sitting in on many of them. And goodness me it’s been illuminating from a mobile perspective.
In most Decision Maker TV episodes there’s an opportunity for the CEO to highlight a few key trends for the travel industry. Without fail the issue of mobile is always raised. It’s becoming incredibly important to many different areas of the travel world.
Which is why, together with partner publication Travel Weekly, WTM is hosting a roundtable event this evening. The topic is “The Future of Mobile in Travel” and it’s featuring a series of C-level executives from the travel and mobile worlds.
As you might imagine I have a huge list of executives that I’d love to see participate. Space is unfortunately rather limited (by venue) and by the nature of the roundtable format. Although it’s rather premature, I’ve already buttonholed Micaela asking if we can do “The Future of Mobile in Travel II” shortly. I just know there will be no shortage of issues to discuss along with talented executives with excellent perspectives.
Steve Endacott, top man at the On Holiday Group is moderating the event. You can catch his Decision Makers TV interview series right here. He’s an incredibly personable chap and an excellent presenter — and one of the travel industry’s proven entrepreneurial success stories. (Here’s his background at the On Holiday Group website).
Lee Hayhurt, Head of News for Travel Weekly (whose technology section is Travolution) will be there tonight along with one of the publication’s writers. We’ll therefore see a write-up of the roundtable (respecting Chatham House rules) online shortly. I’ll link to it when it’s up.
I’ll also let you know how things go tonight!
If you’re into mobile and travel and you’d like to participate in an industry roundtable do drop me a note to let me know. There are no firm dates for another yet but I am hopeful!
Plus: I’m shortly going to be turning my attention to World Travel Market in November as I’m planning the mobile/travel conference stream for the show. So if you’ve anything to contribute (as a panelist or speaker) please drop me a note: firstname.lastname@example.org).