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Largest buyer-led European conference draws to a close

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA)—the voice of the global business travel industry— concluded its annual GBTA Europe Conference yesterday on a high with keynote speaker Didier Marlier, managing partner of the Enablers Network and Co-Author of bestselling business book ‘Engaging Leadership’.

Didier concluded the conference with a session engaging delegates to embrace change, challenge pre-conceived ideas and overcome barriers to reinvent their business.

Referring to Gerd Leonhard’s opening keynote, to redefine what Global business travel will be about in the future, Didier urged delegates to draw on the key points raised over two days of education, debate and networking to find the courage and inspiration to lead the necessary programmes of change.

Catherine McGavock, GBTA’s Regional Director for Europe said: “The theme of our conference ‘No Boundaries – beyond the process’ has really asked delegates to look at the way they conduct business and to challenge both the status quo and themselves. Key themes which were discussed at length included big data, travel management 2.0 and the impact of NDC. We hope our delegates will leave the conference armed with insight of the changing nature of the industry to come and equipped with the latest thinking on how to respond to these challenges”.

Earlier in the day, delegates had participated in their chosen breakout streams, selected by buyers as topics high on their agenda, including ‘Data aggregation – the key to Travel Management 2.0’ and ‘Delivery - re-thinking your role as a communicator’.

The closing remarks summarised all the news of the week, which included the launch of a new GBTA white paper with AirPlus International, the winners of the sustainability awards in conjunction with ICARUS, and the much coveted Luoma award, awarded to Mr Stanislav Kostyashkin, Chief Executive Officer for the Russian travel management company, Continent Express for his outstanding contribution to GBTA in Russia.

GBTA Europe also announced a strategic partnership with the German business travel association, Verband Deutsches Reisemanagement (VDR), to host the GBTA European conference in Germany in the Autumn of 2014. The partnership between the two associations will combine VDR’s annual autumn event with the GBTA Europe Conference in 2014, expanding delegate numbers to create the largest European event of its kind.

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