New research out today from the GBTA Foundation shows technology is playing a key role in knocking down barriers to consolidation. Also, more companies are consolidating their meetings, events and travel programs with a 14 percent growth in adoption over the past five years including a 28 percent increase in completed consolidation.
The study, Meetings, Events, and Travel Programs: Consolidation Drivers and Barriers, sponsored by Lanyon, revealed one-half of Travel Buyers currently have or are in the process of creating a consolidated meetings, events and/or travel program. Buyers with consolidated programs almost all say their travel (96 percent) and meetings (94 percent) programs are consolidated, while less than half say the same of their events program (43 percent).
Strong majorities of buyers are satisfied with the meetings, events and/or travel management technology used at their company and consolidated programs are more likely to use management technology than non-consolidated programs (48 percent and 39 percent, respectively).
Even for non-consolidated Buyers, there remains a strong interest in a number of additional features and functionalities when it comes to management technology for their travel programs. More than four out of five Buyers want accurate negotiated hotel rates displayed in the GDS, searchable hotels for receiving and negotiating RFPs and to learn about hotel rates and amenities secured by other companies. However, while there is a huge interest in the features and benefits management technology can bring to a meetings and events program, only one non-consolidated buyer reports currently using such technology.
The study revealed improving visibility and transparency of meetings, events and/or travel costs is the most cited driver and goal for consolidating individual programs, and nearly four out of five buyers feel their company has been successful in this area. Survey respondents report each of the goals for consolidating are met by a strong majority of those with fully consolidated programs.
Popular goals and drivers for fully-consolidated programs include better leveraging and maximizing spend, obtaining better negotiated rates and dynamic pricing, and increasing efficiencies and improving service for stakeholders. The benefits of consolidation appeal to Buyers as four in five travel buyers found all facets of consolidated programs appealing.