Highest NBTA Attendance During Tough Year

LCT Magazine
Posted on August 1, 2008
NBTA Holds Most Successful Convention in 40-Year History
Annual Convention Breaks Attendance, Exhibits Records

LOS ANGELES - Attendance and exhibit records were broken this week at the 40th Annual National Business Travel Association (NBTA) International Convention & Exposition in Los Angeles. More than 6450 corporate travel professionals, including more than 1400 travel buyers, filled the Los Angeles Convention Center to attend 40 ground-breaking education sessions. The Expo, the largest in NBTA history, held more than 130,000 square feet of booth space and 475 exhibitors.

"Each year NBTA continues to break attendance and expo records at its Annual Convention, and even in today's uncertain economic environment, this year is no exception," said NBTA President & CEO, Kevin Maguire, CCTE, GLP. "I'm pleased that more than 6,450 corporate travel professionals see the NBTA Convention as the best source for industry education, career advancement, and professional networking, and I look forward to breaking more records at the convention in San Diego next year."

The convention opened on Monday with a Cindy Lauper concert sponsored by LA INC. The Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau at the Nokia Theater at L.A. LIVE! Attendees took advantage of a dozen education sessions on a wide range of topics including the new NBTA Airline RFP, the new 2008 NBTA CSR Toolkit, and Strategic Meetings Management Programs (SMMP), a concept pioneered by the NBTA Groups and Meetings Committee. The impact of rising fuel costs and the steps companies can take to manage increasing travel costs were major topics of discussion among convention attendees. The Expo also opened each day, giving attendees the chance to learn about the latest supplier products and services to help travel managers contain costs and streamline travel processes.

Of particular interest to convention attendees was the Airline CEO Panel, on which Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson and Air Canada CEO Montie Brewer discussed the current state of the aviation industry. The two CEOs addressed the affects of scheduling and capacity cuts and answered questions from attendees about the recent increase in or addition of airline fees.

Attendees heard from industry icons and entertainers each day in General Sessions. In Monday's General Session, attendees got a break with comic relief from Craig Fergusson, host of the Late, Late Show. Alec Baldwin, star of the TV show "30 ROCK," on Tuesday discussed his Hollywood career and business travel experiences. Yesterday Dr. Alan Greenspan, Chairman, Federal Reserve Board (1987-2006), addressed the rising cost of fuel, the current mortgage crisis, and the future of business travel.

For the first time in 40 years, NBTA Convention attendees experienced a moderate earthquake. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, on July 28 at 11:42 a.m. PDT a magnitude 5.4 earthquake occurred in the Los Angeles area. The NBTA Convention continued and no damages or injuries were reported.

Source: NBTA press release

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