This time last week we held the sixth Elman Wall Travel Directors’ Summit, and what a day it was!

Moderating the first half, Jonathan Wall MD of Elman Wall Travel Accountants, welcomed the audience to the fabulous venue that is Emirates Stadium before introducing our theme, Changes: Opportunity out of Chaos. The day also celebrated the life and works of David Bowie and in true Elman Wall style, we pulled out all the stops when it came to cheesy puns.

Below are a few photos from the day:


Starman’: Future Gazing
For our first session, we heard from the Starman Professor Eddie Obeng, a British organizational theorist, educator, and author. Eddie is also a TED speaker and his energetic, upbeat session really woke people up!


Under Pressure’: Expert Line-up
With only 4 mins to get across an area of expertise they specialise in, The Elman Wall Group and friends led the second session and into the coffee break. Above we have Toby from Moneycorp.


‘Where are we now?’: The Economy post-Brexit
The question that is on all of our lips was addressed by the brave RBS senior economist Marcus Wright in an informative, relieving and surprisingly graph-easy presentation.


Heroes’: Overcoming Obstacles
If you’re going to listen to a motivational speaker, who better than the first and only person to have rowed across the Atlantic Ocean, successfully summited Mount Everest, and cycled 18,000 miles around the world.. Seven years post-breaking his legs in a motorbike accident? James Ketchell was truly inspiring!


‘Dancing in the Street’: 500 for 500 Campaign Industry Update
Now this is special. A few years ago, the brain child of Debbie Potts, Director of Summit Advisory and ambassador for the Family Holiday Association, was launched at our Summit. The idea was for 500 travel businesses to pledge £500 to help the lives of disadvantaged children in the UK and this was achieved!


‘The Man Who Sold the World’: Highs, Lows & Hindsights of Selling Your Travel Business
Debbie Potts moderated this session made up of Suzanne Horner, CEO Gray Dawes (‘the buyer’), Graeme Mitchell, former MD & founder of Brightwater Holidays (‘the seller’) and Graham Simpson, Chairman of Simpson Travel, (‘the seller and buyer’). Selling your business is one of the most important decisions you make in your career and this session unveiled just how important from all angles.


‘Suffragette City’: Everyday Sexism
Laura Bates, Founder of The Everyday Sexism project then gave a very thought-provoking and eye opening presentation into sexism in general and then more specifically in the travel industry. So eloquently spoken and passionately delivered… I think we all took away something from this one.


‘Oh You Pretty Things’: Know Your Customers
Before tea, the travel journalist Alison Rice interviewed 3 companies who have segmented their customer target by lifestyle stages centred around age. Wendy Shand from Tots to Travel, Rob Hill from The Eventa Group and Debbie Marshall from Silver Travel Advisors all discussed issues of particular interest and concern to them, and generally explored how the market is evolving.


Ashes to Ashes’: Life post-Brexit
Even if people wanted to avoid talking about Brexit, you just can’t and probably won’t be able to for a long time. So what better way to discuss how things have been going and how things are looking for the travel industry than by having Deirdre Wells, Chief Executive of UKinbound, Julia Lo Bue-Said, MD of Advantage Travel Centres and Derek Moore, Chairman of AITO all convene and be interviewed by TTG’s MD, Dan Pearce.


‘This is Not America’: How post-Brexit Britain Should Conquer the World
Back by popular demand, Chris Smith closed the Summit for us with his witty and comical presentation on cultural integration, cultural diversity and company culture. And then it was a wrap.


The day culminated in the prestigious Diamond Club drinks reception and the real party animals stayed out even later at a local pub.

Thank you to all who came and supported the Summit for our fifth year. We hope you enjoyed the day and took away some valuable insights.

To see all the photos from the day, please click here.

If you are the owner or director of an independently owned travel business and you feel like you too, would like to attend our next Summit, please do drop me a note on

Have a great week!

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