Advisory Board

Advisory Board

Business Travel Market has recruited an Advisory Board comprising leading travel industry figures from both the supplier and buyer communities

BTM Advisory Board

The Advisory Board will help shape the event to ensure it is a relevant, dynamic and worthwhile forum for all to learn, meet, do business and network.

  • To maximise ROI for hosted buyers, visitors, sponsors and exhibitors
  • To suggest educational content and speakers to Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE)
  • To determine key note addresses
  • To assist in recruiting hosted buyers
  • To review hosted buyer benefits & criteria
  • To develop a relevant trade audience
  • To identify additional visitor benefits
  • Advisory Board Members

    • Darren Williams, Eurostar

      Darren joined Eurostar’s Business Sales team in September 2003 after spending his previous life in Eurostar operational management. Since then he has risen through the department, spending time on both the Corporate and TMC sides of business sales before adding the leisure market and international sales to his portfolio. He now has an expanded role as Head of Global Sales which includes the account management teams in France and Belgium, and full responsibility for all of Eurostar’s third-party relationships globally.

    • Paul Simmons, easyJet

      Paul Simmons, easyJetPaul Simmons is UK Director at easyJet. In this role he is responsible for the UK commercial programme and revenue delivery of the airline across their 11 bases and 110 aircraft in the country. He also has commercial responsibility for a number of “non-base” easyJet countries including Israel, Egypt and Russia. Finally he also has responsibility for easyJet Holidays across the network.

      The airline’s biggest individual operation is now at London Gatwick, with 54 aircraft based there this year serving 102 routes. Overall easyJet is now comfortably the UK’s largest airline, carrying over 60 million passengers a year. The airline joined the prestigious FTSE 100 in March 2013. Paul originally joined easyJet in June 2006 as Head of Brand Marketing, Product & Distribution. In this role he led the initiative that saw the airline join the GDS for the first time. He also led the launch of Speedy Boarding, and the commercial integration of GB Airways.

      Prior to easyJet Paul was in the Hospitality industry as EVP Sales & Marketing at Oberoi Hotels, based in New Delhi. Before that he was VP Global Brand Marketing, for the InterContinental brand at IHG. His work there saw him win the lead award by the Hotel Marketing Association in 2002. Paul has been listed as one of the leading Marketeers in the UK for the last 3 years by Marketing Week magazine, and is a member of Visit Britain’s Industry panel, “Welcome to Britain”.

    • Herman Mensink, Prism Group Inc

      Herman Mensink, Prism Group IncHerman Mensink is an industry veteran, and is Vice President EMEA for The Prism Group Inc., a global, technology company specialising in contract management systems and consultancy for the business travel industry. Until February 2003 Herman was Director, EMEA for the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE). Preceding these positions he was Director of Worldwide Corporate Travel for Philips Electronics as well as Managing Director of the company’s own IATA travel agency for two decades. Additional to his role at PRISM Group Inc., Herman is President of Corporate Travel Association CORTAS, a joint platform initiative of the top 20 large multinational corporations in the Netherlands. In 2004 Herman was appointed professor in business travel management and airline economics at the NHTV Breda University in The Netherlands. Prior to that in 1997 he was awarded the ACTE Industry Professionalism Award for significant contributions made to the Travel Industry. In 1998 Business Travel News named him as one of the business travel industry’s top 20 most influential executives in the world. Herman serves on various advisory councils and task forces on transportation for the European Commission in Brussels.

    • Tony Pilcher, Pilcher Associates

      Tony Pilcher, Pilcher AssociatesFollowing his retirement from HSBC in June 2007 as Head of Business Travel and Expense Management, Tony established Pilcher Associates, which provides independent consultancy to the Corporate Market across all aspects of Business Travel Management. In January 2007 Tony received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the prestigious Business Travel World Awards ceremony in London and the following month was named as one of the top 25 most influential Business Travel Executives in the USA by Business Travel News (BTN) for his work in raising the profile of the impact of business travel on the environment. Both Judging Panels made particular mention of the hours Tony had spent sharing his knowledge with both travel managers and travel suppliers at formal conferences and in one-to-one briefing sessions, thereby demonstrating his influence and leadership across all aspects of Business Travel Management. Tony was chair of The Institute of Travel Management’s ICARUS Project’s Advisory Group from its inception in 2006 until he stood down in April 2009. Project ICARUS was established to promote carbon efficiency and reduction in travel management programmes throughout the UK business travel industry as well as providing guidance on wider sustainability and duty of care issues.

    • Linda Bekoe, GHS

      Linda Bekoe, GHSLinda currently works as VP of Sales and Marketing for Global Hospitality Services. She is responsible for managing the global sales team with offices in America, Europe and Asia.

      Global Hospitality Service is a sales and marketing company which gives a global voice to the independent hotelier.

      Prior to this role she was working as Head of Sales for Grange Hotels and was responsible for overseeing new business, business development and setting the overall sales and marketing strategy. She was also an excellent ambassador for Grange Hotels in creating awareness of the group and brand.

      Linda has worked with both independent and larger chains. This includes a central London Hotel where she was responsible for the overall sales and marketing for 875 bedrooms, which included the rebranding and repositioning of the hotel. She has also worked with the Holiday Inn, Intercontinental, Marriot and Jury’s in various sales positions.

      Linda has over 12 years’ experience in the industry and has had the opportunity to work in operations which enables her to understand and identify client’s needs. She has been an ITM board member for several years.

    • Tom Stone, Sirius Management

      Tom Stone, Sirius ManagementTom began his career as a business travel agent predominantly looking after the requirements of the music industry. He moved into his first travel management position with CBS Records, (later Sony Music) and this was followed with global procurement roles at SmithKline Beecham, Seagram’s and Universal Music. He left to establish his company, Sirius Management in 2003; providing both outsourced travel management and project based travel procurement consultancy to a wide range of organisations. Tom has served two terms on the Association of Corporate Travel Executives Board of Governors and was Chairman of the Institute of Travel Management 2003-5. He continues to support the industry through various working parties and as a speaker/moderator.

    • Chris Crowley, BCD Travel

      Chris Crowley, BCD TravelAs leader of BCD Travel’s Global Client Management team in EMEA, Chris Crowley is responsible for driving satisfaction, financial performance, retention and expansion across markets for core global customers. Chris is a 20-year travel industry veteran whose background in the travel management and hotel sectors offers a firm understanding of the need for corporate travel programs to establish clearly articulated positions on a host of ever-changing industry challenges. An industry leader, Chris recently completed a two year term as President of the Association of Corporate Travel Executives remaining a Board of the Association through his Chairmanship of the ACTE Centre to close of 2013. A UK native, Chris holds a degree from the University of Kent in law and modern languages.

    • Paul Wait, GTMC

      Anne Godfrey, GTMCPaul Wait joined the GTMC as chief executive in January 2013 a position he was highly qualified for having previously held high profile TMC and TMC supplier jobs.

      He entered the travel industry aged sixteen as a rail clerk with American Express Travel in Liverpool, where he wrote on tickets made out of card and spoke directly with British Rail staff on the phone. He moved up the ranks at American Express with an illustrious twenty-seven year career, rising to the position of VP sales. There then followed a thirteen-year period at Virgin Atlantic Airways – culminating in GM UK, global and multinational sales.

      Wait now heads up an organization whose thirty-nine members account for more than 80% of the business travel spend in the UK. During the short time he has been onboard membership has increased by more than 10%, likewise the recruitment of GTMC partners and he has orchestrated a highly successful conference in Barcelona entitled ‘Are We Ready’, which notably headlined only two speakers from the travel industry.

      Since arriving at the GTMC Wait’s mantra has been ‘Travel is An Investment not a Cost’; companies must invest in business travel if they wish to see their businesses grow out of the recession.

    • Jo Layton, BridgeStreet

      Jo Layton, BridgeStreetJo Layton is responsible for the sales and marketing efforts throughout the EMEA and APAC region for BridgeStreet Residences, Serviced Apartments and Suites. Jo joined BridgeStreet in January 2005 and was instrumental in the expansion of the UK office. She is an active committee member of the Hotel Marketing Association and serves as an Executive Committee Member of the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP) in the UK, responsible for the development and delivery of the annual industry conference. Jo’s passion for service excellence and dedication to industry advancement played a leading role in creating the UK grading system for serviced apartments in conjunction with Visit Britain. Jo began her career in the hospitality industry working for Marriott International for 9 years within the Marriott and Renaissance brands. Prior to joining BridgeStreet, she was the Director of Sales and Marketing for the flagship InterContinental London on Park Lane, part of the InterContinental Hotel Group for 4 years.


“Business Travel Market was well organised. As hosted buyers, we were kept well-informed in advance of the show. We particularly enjoyed the seminars which were very informative as well. We shall be taking the educational content back to our teams.”
Ekaterina Afanasieva, Accenture (Hosted Buyer)

“There is a great selection of suppliers at Business Travel Market, with the show being a good, manageable size. The conference sessions were excellent.”
Karen Adni, Anixter International (Hosted Buyer)

“Air Berlin enjoyed a good stand location amid the traffic flow, and enjoyed the clear and helpful nature of the automatic confirmation system for appointments with registered visitors.”
Rogier Dejager, Air Berlin (Exhibitor)

“We had a fantastic event and all our pre-registered appointments were of a very high standard. We have generated some great new business relationships and will definitely return next year. Thank you for a professionally arranged event.”
Sally Raith-Riches, Brooklands Hotel (Exhibitor)

“Great show! I received tons of leads and had a full diary of top notch meetings both days.”
James Swift, Skyline Worldwide Accommodations (Exhibitor)

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