Visit Berlin CEO, Burkhard Kieker, opened the GBTA Conference 2014 | Berlin conference with a moving speech on the developments that led to the fall of the wall; his experience of the night itself and the journey Berlin has been on ever since.
This message of courage and the power of positive action was reinforced by featured speaker, Debra Searle MVO MBE, professional adventurer who inspired delegates with her mantra of “choosing your attitude” to overcome the challenges that life brings.
The conference has received overwhelming support from the industry,selling out two weeks before its opening. Over 800 delegates from more than 22 countries across the globe have come to Berlin for what will be Europe’s foremost business travel conference, hosted just days after the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall.
“While businesses continue to be mindful of unnecessary expense and productivity, it’s evident that travel managers and suppliers alike are prepared to invest in the development of their knowledge and networks,” said Catherine McGavock GBTA’s Regional Director for EMEA. “The spirit of the Berlin Wall celebrations pervades the event and our industry. We are thrilled with the response to this conference. GBTA in Europe has been founded on strong partnerships with likeminded associations and the success of this event demonstrates clearly the success that such collaboration can achieve.”
“The extraordinary response is overwhelming. The 800 participants show that the interest and the need for a common European platform for business travel is bigger than we expected it to be”, says Dirk Gerdom, President of the German Business Travel Association VDR. “The VDR is the contact for business travel in Germany, with a strong network within Germany. GBTA is our major international partner, working alongside us to help shape the future of business mobility.”
The full conference programme is available on www.gbta.org/europeconference.