As we work to re-envision Skift Global Forum — the flagship global conference on the business of travel, happening on Sep 21-23, live on U.S. ET timezone and on-demand by next day to view anytime — we are planning a number of updates to bring this event to life as an online global conference this year.
Evolving this event and its ideas to a purely video format requires a laser-focus on the key topics and questions that inspire, engage, and connect leaders from across the travel industry as it faces its greatest crisis. Almost everything is different this year, with the exception of our relentless focus on quality.
These volatile times require agility and being able to react quickly to consumer demand. This September’s conference will examine the provocative questions facing an industry in peril as it works to shift rapidly post-crisis:
- What parts of global travel are gone forever?
- Is overtourism dead or do we need to embrace it even more right now?
- How has the pandemic accelerated digital transformation in travel?
- What does the future of online booking look like, and can it drive a faster rebound?
- Did the pandemic kill the value of human touch in hospitality?
- Can hotels even re-open through uneven and unpredictable waves of return?
- Will hotels finally embrace technology and enter the 21st century?
- How will the airline industry ever be able to rebound from this crisis?
- Can long-haul International travel return and will anyone want to do it?
- Is the future grim for convention-driven, big-box business hotels?
- Are cruises going to survive this crisis largely un-phased and return as strong as ever?
- Where are the new travel tech innovators going to come from, and what parts of the industry will they disrupt?
- What are perennially outdated, or frankly bad, practices that travel can finally lose out of this pandemic?
- When a vaccine is available, how does travel return to “business as usual”, but also uphold its promises?
- Is the world better off with a travel industry that is, say, 20 percent smaller going forward?
- Out of what has been travel’s biggest challenge to date, where has hope and resilience prevailed?
- Through this prolonged, stationary existence, will people still want to travel as readily on the other side of this crisis?
From these questions we are working to build upon SGF’s reputation as a must-attend event for anyone in the industry looking to understand travel’s future:
THE STATE OF THE INDUSTRY: As always, we will hear from top CEOs and leaders in travel from Booking Holdings, Marriott, Accor, JetBlue, IHG, Expedia Group, Intrepid Group, Valerie Wilson Travel, and more to discuss what’s next and how to drive the industry’s rebound. These big-picture conversations will be largely channeled on September 22, which is Day 1 of the conference.
DEEP-DIVES: On Day 2, September 23, we are excited to bring a new facet to our online programming at SGF. Skift will present a series of topical “deep-dive” conversations that will focus on the sectors that are changing rapidly in 2020, including: “Rethinking Destination Marketing.” “Scaling Digital Transformation,” “The New Shape of Loyalty,” “Business Travel’s Rebound,” and “Contactless Travel Tech.”
SKIFT’S EDITORIAL & RESEARCH: Above all, bringing Skift’s point-of-view and the broad lines of enquiry that define our coverage to the forefront of this event is paramount. It’s what differentiates Skift’s Forums from other events across the industry. Our signature executive interviews and in-depth panels will probe the global, economic and technology trends that are re-shaping travel, complimented by presentations by our research team showcasing the latest data on the industry’s recovery.
OUR THEME: When we set our 2020 theme at the end of last year — “The Decade Ahead: Safeguarding Travel’s Future” — we had no idea of the crisis that would face our world in the following months. Now, so many leaders realize that it is our responsibility collectively to make the travel ecosystem more resilient, sustainable, and communicative as we rebuild trust with consumers. Really, it is about: “What is the travel industry we want to see on the other side of the crisis?”
Join us as we bring Skift Global Forum online in 2020, asking the hard questions, finding the top ideas, and exploring the leading strategies that many hope will help foster a rebound.
As noted previously, this year we have opened our doors and pricing for a beleaguered industry that needs it. Starting at $195, this ticket price is far less than our in-person pricing and as our team works tirelessly to bring this event to life, this reflects our effort to make SGF affordable for the widest possible industry participation. We hope you will join us.
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