Conference will remain in Orlando but dates are shifted in recognition of ongoing COVID-19 issues >>
by: Harvey Chipkin
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) has shifted the dates of its GBTA Convention 2021 from July to Nov. 17-19 in Orlando, the original site of the conference. The decision to change the dates, according to a statement, was made after taking into consideration feedback from members, exhibitors and sponsors and in recognition of the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic and the global travel sector. This year’s convention will be the first of its kind, said the statement, providing attendees firsthand experience on how to travel post-COVID that they can bring back to their respective organizations, plus insights around the future of work and what travel and mobility will encompass coming out of the pandemic. Programming will include new and different ways to learn together and opportunities to share best practices, educate and be educated, cultivate new opportunities, and solve looming challenges to help the industry recover and rebound. Suzanne Neufang, CEO, said that ensuring this year’s convention — the organization’s first large-scale meeting since 2019 — is a valuable experience for all attendees is a top priority, “and we are upping our game to provide practical and strategic tools to help attendees get business done in the new, post-pandemic normal.” This shift, she said, allows GBTA to better accommodate all members, especially those traveling from outside the US, and “to send the important message that global business travel can be accomplished safely, as vaccination programs gather momentum and as COVID-19 testing becomes easier and less costly.” A virtual event is being planned for July 20 and is expected to include a midyear association update and business meeting, education sessions and the announcement of the election results of the new board members.