As a keen reader of Travolution online I signed Chris Brown and myself up for the Travolution Summit 2009 which was on the 21st April at the Renaissance Chancery Court Hotel in London.
I arrived very early at the venue having arrived via the Sleeper and settled down with the delegate pack, mentally marking down which speakers I thought would provide value.
First up was Dennis Turner, Chief Economist at HSBC and I can’t say I was looking forward to a “State of the Nation” speech at that time of the morning. I couldn’t have been more wrong, he was highly entertaining and informative, providing great insight into the current recession but taking the sensationalism out of it all. While he gave indications as to when he thinks the current recession will end he did warn that the effects of personal credit will take a long time to solve.
The other highlights for me were
The panel discussions didn’t really do much for me, with very little audience participation in the Q&A’s, possibly due to time constraints (and that panelists often rambled on for an age )
Overall the speakers that did tick my boxes made the ticket price worthwhile, and I’d recommend next year’s event wholeheartedly.
After the event we had a couple of hours with a free bar provided by those very nice people at Tripadvisor, then people just seemed to drift away. I’ve often found the greatest value from any conference is in the socialising/networking before and after, it would have been nice to have something more structured for after the event to encourage more attendees to stick around.
We ended up in the hotel bar with Graham Donoghue (Travelsupermarket.com), Gregg Brockway (TripIt), Juha Huttenen (TripSay), Giles Parnwell (Affiliate Future) and Sandra Moore (Tripadvisor). The few hours spent here chatting over a few drinks was as useful and interesting as any other part of the event, if not more so.
Lastly, kudos to Kevin and the team for embracing Twitter at the event, with TV screens around the hall streaming the feed as well as it appearing on the main stage occasionally too. This was used a few times to ask questions of the panels, would be nice to see that used even more next year (You can follow @travolution on twitter too for some great travel and online insights, and some questionable music selections).Tweet