The Caterer takes a look at some of the highlights of this year's show.
Next month some 6,000 travel and hospitality technology professionals will descend on Olympia in London to assess the latest innovations that are designed to help deliver the ultimate guest experience.
Travel Technology Europe (21-22 February 2018, Olympia London) will feature over 130 exhibitors alongside a series of seminars addressing the latest in AI and chatbots, risk management, in-room technology, advances in mobile apps, changing distribution models, payment systems and how the industry is getting ready for GDPR.
We round up 12 reasons why you should make a day of it.
- David Elton's keynote on chief technology officers
As the hotel industry undergoes a wave of mergers and acquisitions, Lime Wood Group and Home Grown Hotels director David Elton will explain why the role of the chief technology officer is now crucial to the success of any deal. He will describe the vital role technology plays in the success of the Pig hotels and Lime Wood, detailing its influence on all areas of the guest experience.
21 February, 13:25-14:05
- Innovation 20:18
This is a new session to the show. Innovation 20:18 will be a search for industry visionaries of the future. In ‘Pecha Kucha' style, the session will give five people the opportunity to present 20 slides on stage on a thought leadership topic. After 18 seconds each slide will automatically move on, prompting the presenter to work against the clock to get their message across. The audience will then vote for their favourite presentation.
- GDPR countdown: are you ready?
The EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), due to come in force in May 2018, will change the rule book on how you collect, manage and store personal data. Make sure your travel business is prepared with this live five-point guide on the key elements of GDPR.
Speakers to include: Farina Azam, partner, Travlaw
21 February 15.30-16.30
- Going local to raise new revenues
Accommodation providers are recognising that they can generate additional income from local services, whether that is from acting as parcel drop-off points, offering personalised art or nightclub tours or collecting dry cleaning or a rental car. Will it work and how can this be managed with technology?
Speakers to include: Aisha Shuaibu, AirBnb host; Tony Barker, Paxport
22 February at 10:00-11:00
Following an explosive premiere in 2016, Launchpad returns once again with 15 young businesses showcasing their innovative travel tech products and services. The Launchpad offers travel companies the opportunity to be among the first to discover new and disruptive technologies.
- Digital business cards
Last year the show piloted virtual business cards called Poken. These are hand-shaped USBs attached to visitors' lanyards that allow visitors to swap business cards digitally with suppliers, speakers and other buyers simply by tapping the hands together. This year Poken will be available to everyone attending the show. At ‘Touchpoints' visitors can easily download the information and contacts from their Poken, eliminating the need for fumbling in pockets.
- Automation analysis Find out how to use automation to overcome digital deafness, to converse and connect personally in a data deluge and to humanise your brand for sales conversion. Hear the latest thinking on how to further drive digital change management in your organisation and impact your bottom line with dashboards and analytics. This session will also discuss effects on the retail industry.
Panel led by: Steve Lowy, chairman, The Hotel Marketing Association; Sean O'Connor, head of online experience, John Lewis; GG Hospitality
22 February, 10.00-11.00
- Disrupt Awards
The third annual Disrupt Awards will recognise new interrupters breaking onto the travel technology scene. Last year's award was won by Wanderpay (previously Flyto), which offers customers the option to pay for their travel in instalments.
- Advice Clinics
Travel Technology Europe will be offering visitors the chance to book a limited number of free 20 minute one-to-one advice clinics with industry experts at the show. The show website will provide details of what sessions are available and how to book.
- How to implement personalisation
Red Carnation Hotels will explain how it has been using Sitecore to personalise its web offerings. It will describe how it has successfully implemented a group-wide strategy that has improved page speeds, integrated TripAdvisor reviews and improved Google rankings.
Session speakers: Paul Stephen, CEO, Sagittarius Marketing and Red Carnation hotels 22 February at 12:30-13:10
- Tech huddles
In addition to the advice clinics there will opportunity for visitors to join a number of Tech Huddles. These are group discussions of up to a dozen visitors on a specific topic, with the view to share ideas and learn from each other. Details of the Tech Huddles and how to sign up will be available on the Travel Technology Europe website.
- Two shows in one
A visitor pass to Travel Technology Europe also includes entry to the Business Travel Show, the biggest event in Europe for corporate travel buyers. Not only can you find out about the latest hotel technology, but you could also make some contacts that might encourage guests to your business.
To register please visit: www.traveltechnologyeurope.com