The sessions will cover issues faced by travel tech providers and touch on the specifics of the current situation while also looking at how COVID-19 plays into trends
Cape Town, 15 October 2020 Travel Forward Virtual, the free-to-attend online conference for the global travel technology industry has unveiled a pre-agenda for this year’s event, with the running order framed around the event tagline of “Resilience, Innovation, Response”.
The virtual event will be live-streamed over three days, from 9 – 11 November 2020 and while the full agenda is being finalised, Travel Forward Virtual has already secured high-profile representatives from some of the biggest and most innovative brands in travel technology.
Booking.com and Expedia Group Media Solutions are both represented on the virtual stage. Booking.com’s David Adamczyk, Director of Strategy at its transport division, will share its insights into the theory and practice of the connected trip and how unified processes and itinerary management can minimise friction and improve the passenger experience.
Booking.com’s session will take place on the 10th November from 10:45am-11:10am.
Expedia Group Media Solutions is the in-house ad agency at Expedia Group. It works with brands and destinations, getting them in front of audiences across the group’s brand portfolio, which includes expedia.com, hotels.com, Travelocity and more. The group will talk about changing customer expectations in the light of COVID-19 and how marketing technology can help advertisers pre-empt and prepare for the new traveller.
The Moving Target of Consumer Expectations session will take place on Wednesday 11th November 2020 from 11:50am – 12:10pm.
Elsewhere, the power of social media as a way to secure actual bookings during the recovery will be discussed by Nick Cooper, Head of the UK Market for HolidayPirates. The Berlin-based brand is a deals publisher which also sources content directly from suppliers. It uses Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and email subscription list as its customer acquisition channels, directing users back to its websites and avoiding other costly forms of marketing.
The Case-Study: Leveraging Social Media to Drive Bookings session will be discussed on Monday 9th November from 13:30pm-13:50pm.
The tours, activities, attractions and events sector was the golden child of the travel tech industry before COVID-19 took hold. Innovation and investment in this sector reflected an upsurge in traveller demands for experiences, a demand which will persist in the post-COVID world.
Nezasa and Travel Curious are two leading innovators in this space and will be represented by CEO Manuel Hilty and CTO Nadal Zin respectively. They will share their perspective on the future for tours, activities and trip planning in general. The session will be moderated by Charlotte Lamp-Davies of consultancy A Bright Approach and will take place on Monday 9th November 2020 from 12:05pm – 12:35pm.
Airlines are suffering, with difficulties likely to continue for some time. New Distribution Capability (NDC) was the hottest topic in the industry before the pandemic, and some airlines have firmed up their long-term commitment to it, believing it to be as the most effective way for them to take control of their inventory and ownership of their distribution strategy.
A panel featuring Lufthansa Group, Travelogix and Focus Travel will look at the specific role NDC can play in helping airlines recover and will take place on Wednesday 11th November from 11:10am-11:40am.
Cruise has arguably been the hardest hit vertical. A session is being prepared which will look at how tech can play a role in helping to not only rebuild consumer confidence in the cruise industry but also how it can help cruise lines improve their operational response ahead of any further outbreaks.
Richard Gayle, Event Manager, Travel Forward, said:
“The excitement is building as we keep adding more A-list speakers and brands to our first-ever virtual show. It’s a challenging task, but we’re confident that we have covered most of the issues faced by travel tech providers in the current climate.
“We’ve made the three-day event free-of-charge as we know that budgets are tight. Knowledge is power, even if the knowledge is free to attain.
“Without fit-for-purpose technology in place, the stated aim to rebuild, recover and innovate will be hard to achieve.”
TF Visitors will have full access to TF Virtual conference programme and meetings with TF Exhibitors free of charge. Registrants can watch the sessions in real-time and access the recording of all the keynotes and panel discussions.
TF Virtual will take place from 9 – 11 November 2020 from 10.30 am to 6 pm each day.
To register for the event, click here.