Convention Themes Through the Years

In 1968, the National Passenger Traffic Association was formed and subsequently began holding annual conferences across the United States, with the first being in Washington, D.C. Today, we prefer to go by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), and our reach has only expanded since then. A few decades and name changes later, we’re getting ready to host our 50th annual Convention in San Diego this August.

In honor of our event’s 50th anniversary, this week’s Throwback Thursday post takes a look at myriad Convention themes throughout the years. Our first known theme, Stepping Into the Future, dates back to our 28th annual Convention in Dallas in 1996, when GBTA was formerly known as the National Business Travel Association (NBTA).

Since then, the theme has been an integral part of the event, tying into the latest trends, changes and progressions in the business travel industry. Derived from the input of industry influencers, the process for selecting a theme begins the fall prior to Convention, and it can take up to three months to officially nail one down. 

Take a comprehensive look at our themes since 1996:

1996    Stepping into the Future – Dallas

1997    Gateway to Success – St. Louis

1998    Launching Into the Future – Orlando  

1999    Beyond the Expected – Minneapolis

2000    Destination Success: Your Ticket to the Future – Los Angeles

2001    Point of Departure: Rising to Meet Tomorrow – Atlanta

2002    New Frontiers: Worlds of Possibility – Salt Lake City

2003    Expanding Horizons: Dynamic Solutions for Success – Dallas

2004    Make the Connection – Orlando

2005    Charting the Course – San Diego

2006    Buy. Learn. Network. – Chicago  

2007    Discover. Innovate. Connect. – Boston

2008    Network. Learn. Buy. – Los Angeles

2009    Buy. Learn. Network. – San Diego

2010    New Economy. New Thinking. New Rules. – Houston

Spring 2011 – NBTA Becomes GBTA 

2011    Elevating the Business of Travel – Denver

2012    Success in Every Direction – Boston  

2013    No Boundaries – San Diego

2014    Business in Motion – Los Angeles

2015    #Sharing – Orlando

2016    Balance – Denver

2017    Convergence – Boston

2018    Momentum – San Diego

For our veteran members, can you recall any themes for Convention prior to 1996? If so, let us know in the comments section below!

Visit the GBTA Blog every Thursday for more throwback posts to celebrate the history of our industry and our Association as we prepare to celebrate 50 years of Convention. Share your Convention memories with us on Twitter using #TBT and tagging @GlobalBTA.