Ladders FAQ

How does Ladders work?

Each GBTA Ladders season is centered around a chosen topic, which is presented to participants via an industry subject matter expert. Teams meet separately to discuss the topic and prepare presentations. Groups present their final presentations virtually, with the top 4 presenting live at the GBTA Ladders Summit. The winner is chosen by Summit attendees and presents at GBTA’s annual convention. Throughout the season, additional professional development webinars and networking opportunities are held monthly.

How do I join Ladders?

GBTA Ladders seasons run from Convention to Convention. All participants must have an active GBTA membership. You can register your interest here, and we’ll notify you when next season applications go live.

Do I have to be a GBTA member to participate?

Yes – if you are not currently a member, you can become a member here

How are teams judged on their presentations?

The panel of judges use the below criteria to judge all presentations:


10 points | Preparedness – Prompt to scheduled presentation calls, ease of technology use, rehearsed, within time parameters
25 points | Information Presented – Organized, clear message, topic appropriate, research cited, fully formed ideas
20 points | Originality – Fresh approach/interpretation, cannot rehash previously stated ideas, unique solution to industry issue
15 points | Team Interaction & Involvement – Positive team dynamic, understanding of team member contributions, all team members engaged in some part of presentation (either presenting or Q&A)
20 points | Delivery – Voice, style, appeal, persuasive, enthusiastic, not audibly nervous or shy, polished, articulate
10 points | Spontaneity – Ability to think quickly, pivot/recover successfully if necessary, and articulate answers accurately

What is the topic for Season 9?

Get inspired: Looking beyond travel to drive change

The travel industry is no stranger to change, but true transformation is elusive. Elusive, though not impossible. Amazon revolutionized the retail landscape. SpaceX re-imagined space exploration. And social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok shape how people educate themselves, think and communicate around the world. How do they do it? What lessons, processes and inspiration can we take from industries outside of travel? How can we think beyond our typical environment to find new paths forward?

Who is this season’s Keynote?

Barbara Rose, Ernst and Young

How many teams are there this season?

This is our largest season to date, with 18 teams participating. Participants span 14 countries.

When are presentations scheduled to take place?

April, specific dates will be announced later this season