GBTA Ladders Summit 2019 – #LadderUp


The fifth annual GBTA Ladders Summit took place this week in Washington, D.C., bringing together over 120 professionals spanning multiple industry sectors. Individuals from around the globe convened to exchange ideas and collaborate on best practices and standard operating procedures for navigating and leading our industry.

GBTA Ladders Co-Founder Caitlin Gomez welcomes attendees to the fifth annual Ladders Summit

“The Ladders team does an amazing job of gathering partners, customers, and even competitors – inviting everyone to not only network but to collaborate on projects and education sessions,” said Dena Fradette, TravelBank Head of Partnerships.

The first day kicked off with attendees rotating through four interactive breakout sessions at the Pod DC Hotel. Each POD breakout featured speakers discussing various topics, and attendees had the opportunity to engage with the speakers, ask questions, and offer their own advice.

Breakout Session: The Future of Flight Booking

American Airlines’ Tim Isik and Scott Sirianni led a breakout on the future of flight booking, where they discussed the challenges and opportunities around NDC. While there are still questions around how NDC will work and how exactly it will be developed, the two suggested that NDC will gain mainstream adoption within the next five to 10 years.

Breakout Session: Dealing with Difficult People

During the Dealing with Difficult People session, American Airlines’ Annisha Brown and Omni Hotels’ John Carter delivered tips on how to interact with challenging individuals. They recommended trying to speak the other person’s language. Recognize an individual’s working style and what they’re more receptive to, and tailor your correspondence to fit their style.

Breakout Session: #LadderUp – A Real Conversation About Getting to the Next Level and Living Your Best Life 

Facebook’s Erin Wilk and International SOS’s Andrew Miller provided five recommendations in their session, suggesting everyone should read a book, golf, be authentic, follow the 6 P’s and most importantly, stay humble and kind.

Breakout Session: Sneak Peek: Tech Trends 2020

During the Sneak Peak: Tech Trends 2020 session, BCD Travel’s Will Pinnell, TravelBank’s Duke Chung and SpotHero’s Arooj Aslam led an intimate Q&A session about technology in the travel industry. Some of the topics discussed were how data privacy concerns are increasing, making it difficult to share data with third parties, and how the finance and technology industries (Fintech) will continue to collaborate more in the future.

Stay tuned as we share additional updates from the Ladders Summit in the coming days. For information on how to apply to the Ladders program, contact ladders@gbta.org.

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