19 November 2010

Reflections from PCW17: November 2010

My catchword for the conference was maturity. The presence and the absence of it.

In the online space - it is very clear that the world has become conventional - not quite boring but definitely maturing. The VCs were talking about conventional metrics for Online and in general things that are in the Travel space.

Somme of the selections for innovation bore the hallmarks of the length of the long tail. They were niche plays. Surprisingly (in my opinion) the two plays that are truly impactful didnt make it to the finals of the Innovation Summit. The winner has applicability in a fairly small sector of the market.

The absence of maturity was probably demonstrated by the spat between AA and Travelport. While I profess to be biased in favour of the airline's choice in the mater - in standing back and looking at the issue - Travelport's timing and actions were in my view ill advised and now AA is punishing them for it. It reminds me of those TV court room dramas where the bad guy says something on the stand that "opens the door" to the "stuff" that the judge had previously disallowed. The Judge despite the protests says "I'll allow it" and then the good guys win. The battle here will be long and hard and the GDSs now have an uphill battle.

PCW as usual puts on a good show and congrats to Philip and his not inconsiderable team. Some of the comments around the conference attendees were the usual gripes about the cost. However as one influential person confided to me - the number of retread presenters/participants who are not as relevant to the current state of play. This may bias the opinion making that so many come to the conference for - and for the less convoluted version - in my view more new blood is required. But you cannot fault the fact that this is the only conference of its type where the networking and information sharing is done on such a relevant basis.

Not surprisingly PCW has become the time to show off. It creeps into mainstream media. TP in its response to the AA Source Premium surcharge PR release even used the event.

I will put out some more insight into specifics of the show - or head over to TNOOZ for the best coverage.

With thanks to dingers soap box for the interesting image.

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