GBTA’s McCormick: Creating Conference Content Should Be ‘Like Church And State’

It was a remarkable rebuke. During the Global Business Travel Association convention in August, one of the association's board members chastised a seminar speaker mid-session for turning his education into a sales pitch. The exchange reflected concerns in the travel buyer community about the commercialization of industry training offered by non-profits.

One issue is whether industry suppliers have too much influence over event content. More than half of 72 U.S.-based travel managers polled this year by The Company Dime said they did. Fourteen percent said they didn't and the rest weren't . . .

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Author: David Jonas

David Jonas in 2006 co-founded business media firm ProMedia.travel after ten years as a journalist with Business Travel News. David rejoined BTN in 2010 as executive editor when its parent company acquired ProMedia, and in 2014 co-created The Company Dime. David has a bachelor's degree in communications from Cornell University.

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Claire Langford
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Claire Langford

I applaud the board member for speaking out, as commercials disguised as education should not be tolerated. At past conventions, there are sessions that have a compelling title and description, but if the speaker is directly in the business of the session content, I will not attend. Thanks for this great article!

Caroline Strachan
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Having led industry associations/not-for-profits I can share getting the balance between members, content & revenue is a constant challenge. I’ve seen some do this beautifully and others get this badly wrong. If measures are applied to all 3 drivers you tend to deliver a more balanced member/attendee experience.