Leading the way

We were proud to deliver ABTA’s first blended Travel Convention on Wednesday! Delegates attended the event in person at the iconic East Wintergarden in Canary Wharf, with online attendees watching the event being televised live via our virtual event portal.

Expertly moderated by Chris Ship, ITV News Presenter and Royal Editor, the Convention was themed Leading the Way: envisaging and inspiring in extraordinary times. Attendees heard from a range of industry leaders who spoke about their experience of leading through the coronavirus crisis and about their plans to lead the way out of it for their organisations and for the industry as a whole.

It was a powerful female line-up this year, featuring presentations and interviews with Julia Simpson, the new President & CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council; Ailsa Pollard, who takes up her position as the CEO EMEA for dnata Travel Group in November, and Suzanne Horner, CEO of Gray Dawes Travel and Chair of The BTA. ABTA’s Susan Deer steered a panel discussion about responsible travel, reiterating the need to set an industry target to decarbonise, whilst Travel Weekly’s Lucy Huxley led a discussion on future proofing travel businesses and navigating the next normal.

External speakers talked about the longer term trends that leaders must prepare for, the pressing need to focus on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and that values are empty slogans unless they relate to the everyday experience of customers and staff.

A standout moment was from guest speaker Mohsin Zaidi who shared his poignant personal experiences as a Muslim gay barrister from East London and taught us about the Japanese art of kinsugi, which finds beauty in what was once broken.

Thank you to ABTA for trusting us to organise, stage and live stream your first blended event. We can’t wait to get going on the next Convention in Marrakech!