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Simon Press Simon Press

Q & A with Simon Press, Senior Director, World Travel Market, London

WORLD TRAVEL MARKET (WTM) LONDON HAS LONG ESTABLISHED ITSELF AS ONE OF THE WORLD’S LEADING TRAVEL TRADE EVENTS.

HERE SIMON PRESS, SENIOR DIRECTOR, WTM LONDON, TALKS ABOUT THIS YEAR’S INSTALLMENT.

TRAVEL TRADE EUROPE: What makes WTM a must-attend show?

SIMON PRESS: WTM London is the leading global event for the travel industry.

The new-look three-day format provides a unique opportunity for the whole global travel trade to meet, network, negotiate and conduct business under one roof.

All sectors of the travel industry are represented, including tourist boards, airlines, cruise lines, hotels, luxury travel, responsible tourism and travel technology.

WTM Means Business. WTM London 2015 saw almost 50,000 participants, including 9,100 buyers conducting business worth more than GBP2.5 billion (EUR2.78 billion) with almost 5,000 exhibitors from 182 countries and regions.

TRAVEL TRADE EUROPE: What can exhibitors and attendees expect from this year’s WTM? What is new at the show?

SIMON PRESS: WTM London 2016 is poised to be the most successful yet.

The new-look three-day format has been universally well-received by all participant groups, and delegates will be able to conduct even more business than 2015’s record GBP2.5 billion (EUR2.78 billion) and save on the ancillary cost with WTM London being one day shorter.

Opening hours have been extended from 10:00am to 7:00pm on all three days of the event, to increase the business opportunities available.

The WTM Inspire Theatre, a new 300-seater amphitheatre, will be added to the exhibition floor in the North Hall of ExCeL – London, while the WTM international press centre has been moved on to the exhibition floor for the first time in the South Hall.

More than 80 conference seminars will take place throughout the three days covering all the key sectors, including aviation, hotels, sports tourism, responsible tourism, blogging, social media and travel technology Monday, November 07 will remain an exhibitor invite-only day, allowing exhibitors to conduct business meetings with key suppliers.

The event will kick off with the WTM Speed Networking in the WTM Global Stage before the exhibition floor opens. A taste of ILTM at WTM returns for the fifth year on Monday and Tuesday.

Tuesday, November 08 is the new day for World Responsible Tourism Day, keeping sustainability at the heart of the event.

Wednesday, November 09 is the new day for the World Tourism Organization and World Travel Market Ministers’ Summit, which is this year celebrating its 10th edition.

WTM London 2016 will conclude with the WTM Festivals, which will see a number of exhibitors hosting parties showcasing their culture, music and cuisine.

TRAVEL TRADE EUROPE: How are modern market trends shaping WTM’s setting and schedule?

SIMON PRESS: The digital world is so fast-paced. Blink and you miss a new trend, feature or tool. Ever since blogging was added to the event programme at WTM London in 2011, our sessions have been incredibly well-attended.

This year’s sessions focus on key elements that make successful digital and social media campaigns, drawing on a variety of case studies, with insight from some of the best digital influencers, bloggers and marketers.

And of course, it would not be social media if we did not get the audience involved, so there will be plenty of time for views and questions from the floor at the end of the sessions.

The first blogging session, Mobile and Live Social Media, on Monday will look at the impact of the major players in the live social media arena and experts will discuss the merits of Snapchat, Facebook, Periscope and YouTube […].

YouTube and the Continuing Rise of Video looks at how bloggers and brands can jump start their own video channel and how brands and marketers can effectively work with YouTubers and video creators. […]

Wednesday, November 09 is the day that 100 of the world’s leading bloggers meet exhibitors and their public relations representatives to discuss ways to increase media exposure.

TRAVEL TRADE EUROPE: What advice would you give to exhibitors and visitors looking to make the most of their time at the upcoming WTM London 2016?

SIMON PRESS: Exhibiting at WTM London provides organisations with a unique opportunity to meet, network, negotiate and conduct business with more than 50,000 international travel professionals, from over 38 sectors of the travel industry.

We give our exhibitors the opportunity to start booking meetings [...] through our portal.

Exhibitors are able to receive direct enquiries from others companies and from visitors and [have] the ability to arrange meetings.