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Programme Of Support Starts with RADA Masterclass

We are delighted to announce the first activity in a planned programme of direct action designed to increase the number of women on the business travel industry’s conference stages.

Our overarching aim, in an industry which clearly embraces working women, is to replicate that balance onstage at industry events.

The first of this action sees us teaming up the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) to fund and develop a “Speaking Masterclass” to help women in travel management with confidence and tips on how to own the stage.

The classes are open to any woman in business travel in the UK who feels they need support to speak effectively on stage, with a preference for those who haven’t spoken already at an industry event. The first is being held at the RADA Studios in London on the afternoon of the Business Travel Awards on 21st January 2019. A RADA instructor with a focus on supporting women in business will lead the Masterclasses supported by Caroline Strachan and Louise Kilgannon of FESTIVE ROAD.

The introduction of the masterclass is being supported by Business Travel Show and ITM, both of whom have committed to sourcing speakers from the class cohort in order to widen stage gender diversity at their upcoming events. We are grateful for the support of these organisations.

About the Speaking Masterclass


The “Speaking Masterclass” is a 90-min masterclass delivered by RADA to help with confidence and how to “own the stage”. A RADA instructor with a focus on supporting women in business will lead the masterclasses supported by Caroline Strachan and Louise Kilgannon of FESTIVE ROAD.


The First Masterclass is on Monday 21st January 2019.
There are two (2) sessions. At 2pm & 4.15pm.


The Studio Theatre, RADA Studios, 16 Chenies Street, London WC1E 7PA


In the event of over-subscription, applications will be selected based upon getting the right mix of speakers in the first cohort. Selection criteria will be based upon:

  1. A broad spread of industry topics covered
  2. A good mix of suppliers and buyers across the value chain
  3. Experience to date (we encourage those with very little experience to apply)

All applicants will be acknowledged and confirmed by 14 November


Complete this application questionnaire by October 31st

“We know there are large numbers of talented, vocal women in this industry. Just look at who we have attracted to FESTIVE ROAD as evidence of this. And yet we so often see stages with male dominated panels (or manels as we call them). We believe that by supporting the female community in our sector we can help to introduce a rich vein of new female speakers from whom we can learn.” Paul Tilstone, Managing Partner, FESTIVE ROAD

“We are delighted to be supporting FESTIVE ROAD with this initiative. We have some amazing women on our advisory board and our hosted buyer programme, and we would love to feature more women on the Business Travel Show conference programme as speakers, panelists and masterclass moderators.” David Chapple, Group Portfolio Director, Business Travel Show

“Getting up on stage can be a daunting prospect, after all these years I still get nervous! Having a perspective and being prepared to speak is only part of the equation. It takes confidence in your ability to impart the message well and there’s no doubt that the women who embark on this masterclass and the industry itself will benefit from this great initiative.” Karen Hutchings, Chair of ITM

Contact details

Caroline Strachan
Managing Partner, Festive Road


FESTIVE ROAD is on a mission for better business travel and meetings management. Headed by business travel thought leaders Paul Tilstone and Caroline Strachan, together with their network of international Roaders, they provide strategy, sourcing and delivery services to the buyer community and strategy, marketing and delivery services to the supplier community. The FESTIVE ROAD team has been recognised multiple times in prominent industry leader lists and industry awards as leading lights in the global business travel market since 2007.

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