LONDON — Speed networking is one of the major features lined up for this year’s WTM London.
WTM London 2021 is scheduled to take place this November as a hybrid event. In-person events will take place Nov. 1 – 3, 2021 at ExCeL London, followed by the virtual shows Nov. 8 – 9, 2021.
WTM organizers say the live event will be one of the first face-to-face gatherings for the international travel and tourism sector since COVID-19 restrictions eased. WTM 2021 – both the in-person and the hybrid dates – will run concurrently with travel technology conference Travel Forward
The speed networking sessions take place from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. on all three days during the in-person portion, Nov. 1 – 3.
Organizers say the new structure builds on the success of previous speed networking initiatives, maintaining the underlying principle of using five-minute sessions as a way to introduce buyers to exhibitors, matched by business needs, with a view to a longer meeting on-site or later.
Each day’s Speed Networking session has a different focus.
- On Nov. 1, buyers interested in Europe will have the floor;
- On Nov. 2, representatives from specific verticals – responsible tourism, cruise, travel technology, adventure travel etc;
- On Nov. 3, the floor reverts to the regions, with the spotlight falling on buyers interested in the rest of the world.
Members of the WTM Buyers Club are invited to apply for one of the 80 available slots on each of the three days.
Exhibitors interested in attending these sessions can buy tickets through the exhibitor portal.
The tickets allow access to buyers at all three sessions and can be used, if necessary, by a different person from the same company, each day.
“These laser-focused five-minute meetings are ideal for buyers and exhibitors to not only rebuild and reconnect with existing partners but also to forge new relationships for the return of travel,” says Simon Press, WTM London Exhibition Director.
“The Buyers’ Club has been growing and now has representatives from more than 80 countries, giving exhibitors the chance to engage directly with a global audience of decision-makers,” he added.
“Recent research has demonstrated that buyers can’t wait to get back to physical events – and trade shows in particular – to look for new business opportunities.”
Press notes that back in May, WTM London held three roundtables with over 60 buyers who expressed the wish to meet face-to-face.
Effective Aug. 30 Canada was added to the UK’s green list, meaning that Canadians can now enter the UK without a mandatory quarantine, regardless of whether or not they are fully vaccinated. Canadian travellers will still need to take a pre-departure test and a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 of arrival. Quarantine is only necessary if the test is positive. Travellers can find test providers in England by visiting the test provider site. Travellers must also fill out the passenger locator form, up to 48 hours before arriving in the UK.