Reed Travel Exhibitions is launching Travel Forward, a brand new event co-located with WTM London 2018 and part of the WTM portfolio of events.
The inaugural Travel Forward conference, exhibition and buyer program will take place from 5 – 7 November 2018 at ExCeL London, UK offering the next generation in technology for travel and hospitality.
It will bring together suppliers and buyers from the travel, tourism and hospitality ecosystem, who are responsible for leading, managing and delivering their business’ strategy and employing innovative technology and applications.
Travel Forward is a standalone event, with a dedicated entrance and registration process. It will have its own keynote speaker stage and two conference theatres. These will host a world-class line up of technology-focused speakers representing all aspects of the global travel industry, as well as experts from other verticals and disciplines.
Travel Forward has already received strong support from the travel and hospitality industry. “The concept for Travel Forward sounds really exciting and highlights the need for the industry to come together to take advantage of technological change and stay at the forefront of innovation,” Utpal Kaul, Head – New Product Incubation, Carlson Wagonlit Travel.
It will replace The Travel Tech Show @ WTM, which launched in 2013 as a show within a show. The Travel Tech Show has grown during this time, reflecting not only its success in attracting buyers, suppliers and visitors, but also technology’s increasingly prevalent role across the travel industry. Launching Travel Forward as a standalone event illustrates the commitment RTE has to technology and allows for further expansion in the future.
In terms of content, payments, digital marketing, consumer insights and needs, connectivity and big data, and advances in AR, VR, AI, robotics and machine learning will feature as prominently as established travel technology topics such as booking engines, revenue, yield and property management systems and end-user tech.
There is also a dedicated product theatre, exclusively available to Travel Forward exhibitors to host product demos. The intention is to cap the number of exhibitors to 250 in order to align suppliers and buyers more effectively and to manage the ratio of suppliers to buyers for the pre-scheduled meetings at one-to-one.
Other features befitting Travel Forward’s status as a standalone event is a dedicated Buyers’ Lounge.
There is also an area for the travel-focused start-up and scale-up community, where early-stage businesses can meet, present and interact with investors, large corporates and their peers. Furthermore, the “Pitch It – Prove It” banner will have an emphasis on showing how ideas work in practice as well as the theory behind them.
Travel Forward exhibitors also benefit from the year-round dedicated marketing and communications program.
Another advantage in launching Travel Forward as a dedicated event is that it will provide a greater selection of stand locations for exhibiting companies. The intention is to allow travel technology firms to be creative in their use of space and how they engage with attendees during the three days.
Travel Forward, Senior Director, Charlie Cracknell, said: “Travel Forward is a significant move for Reed Travel Exhibitions and confirms our commitment to continuously innovating our offer for our key constituents – buyers, exhibitors and visitors. We have carried out extensive research with all these groups and have devised what we believe will set the standard for technology-focused business-to-business events.
“By leveraging our insight from all our industry-leading events across Reed Travel Exhibitions and the WTM Portfolio events, Travel Forward will become the leading event for the global travel and hospitality technology industry.”