How to Present at a Travel Conference

By Bob Morrell on April 29, 2016

At a recent travel conference we presented a session on time management. Whilst delivering this to a group of successful travel homeworkers, we reflected on the many presentations we have seen over the years from attending larger conferences in the travel industry.

The presenters really split into 3 types:

1. The Travel Pro

2. The Travel Sponsor

3. The Grandee

There are also ‘panel’ sessions where the audience basically watch somebody else’s prepared conversation.

There are clearly variations on these types but that’s pretty much it.

The Sponsor has the hardest job because it’s very difficult to present a valuable perspective from a company with a vested interest.

The Grandee has got to think about voice, tone and stance. Sitting there agreeing with people is one thing, what people want is the challenging ‘thought leadership’ - which is what sessions like this must contain to deliver value for attendees. If you are a Grandee (and you probably know you are), then only agree to appear if you have something really challenging to present that will spark debate. As a Grandee you are in a far better position to state something controversial or new, and get the industry as a whole commenting and discussing it.

The Travel Pro would seem to have it all. They are challenging because they face the future and eagerly anticipate the uncertainty that it brings. They are there to take the industry forward and help you throw out old thinking. Get on with it, keep it brief, make it funny. Have 3 core messages. Challenge the room to really think about the future, and change.

So what are our top tips?

    Travel Pro – make sure you are speaking at every conference – your vision is very much needed.
    Travel Sponsor – ditch the presentation and present something radical - ‘You thought I was going to talk about data? No way, I’m going to talk about adventure!’
    The Grandee – shake things up - ‘We’ve been doing things wrong for 40 years!’ or ‘Here’s how to save the industry...’

As for the ‘panel’ sessions, let’s leave these to plenary sessions and keep the big stage for the Travel Pro!

For more information on Presentation Skills, go to our Presentation Skills Training page, or contact Ann at for information on how Reality Training can help you with your skills and techniques for influencing audiences both large and small.