The Business of Travel

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The Official Blog of the Global Business Travel Association


Matt Konetschni
Matt Konetschni
Matt Konetschni's Blog

GBTA to Offer Online Strategic Meetings Management Courses Beginning This Month

GBTA prides itself on being the leader in delivering high-quality education designed to power the careers of business travel professionals at every level. Given that over half of our convention attendees and so many of our members engage with meetings as part of their job responsibilities, we wanted to design a new program focused on strategic meetings management and creating enterprise-wide smart business solutions.

Corporate Meetings Program and Design: It’s about TIME does just that. The course focuses on both the key competencies and advanced principles required to start a corporate meetings program or advance your existing program. We know how difficult it can be to attend educational workshops due to limited financial resources, time, and family commitments, so this online course beginning on April 26, 2017 and spread out over five weeks is the perfect solution to meet your needs.

Designed specifically for mid-level meetings management and procurement professionals, this course will be led by Cindy Heston, the Director of Travel and Events for Anthem. Cindy oversees a team responsible for the travel and event needs of more than 50,000 Anthem associates. Her focus on the strategic management of innovative supplier partners has elevated Anthem’s corporate travel program to one of the industry’s best-in-class.

The five, 90-minute modules that make up the course will cover the following key learnings:

  • Stakeholder Identification (April 26): This module will help you learn how to identify the benefits and attributes of successful meetings management programs, discover the importance of knowing all the stakeholders and customers in an enterprise, and learn to understand the importance of aligning strategic business goals and objectives to the meetings management program.
  • Building a Business Case (May 3): In this module you will learn the key components of building a business case, learn how to build an effective business case for any part of the meetings management methodology and uncover the resources that are available to you.
  • Architect Your Meeting Program (May 10): The third module will help you identify the key elements, benefits and outcomes of meeting policy creation. You will also learn how to craft and communicate effective corporate policies and procedures by demonstrating subject matter expertise in legal and risk management terms.
  • Procurement and Travel Synergies (May 17): You will learn to track the evolution of procurement in relation to strategic meetings management. Find out how to differentiate between RFI, RFQ and RFP while demonstrating the value and application of each approach. In addition, you will understand how to evaluate the common measures of success for procurement while developing a specific strategy to manage contracting work for meetings.
  • Technology and Data Visualization (May 24): In this final session, discover the latest technology available for meetings management and procurement professionals. Find out how to maximize the efficacy of your program by obtaining and analyzing data from various sources and learn how to organize your stakeholders into groups and evaluate them with specific SMMP metrics. Finally, you will review best practices in the implementation, training, launch and post-launch of technology products and services.

Participants who complete all 5 modules and pass a 10 question quiz following each module will earn a Certificate of Achievement. More importantly, you will be equipped to implement or improve your strategic meetings management program driving company success and elevating your position within your organization. Learn more and register today.


Spotlight: Popular Education Sessions at GBTA Convention 2016

As we approach the 48th annual GBTA Convention, there is no doubt it has become the premier destination for travel managers to gather, discuss and share the latest trends and innovations in business travel through its series of acclaimed education sessions. This year’s edition will feature more courses and workshops in Academy Hall than ever before and will cover the most buzzworthy topics from the past year—including everything from how to’s on incorporating data-driven initiatives into your travel programs to guides on utilizing the latest technology to help you streamline your goals.

Below are some of our most-anticipated education sessions for Convention to-date and just a small sample of what we have to offer. All of the sessions can be bookmarked through My Convention Planner.

5 Things Your Hotel Booking Data is Trying to Tell You – If You’re Listening
We all know that hotel prices seem to fluctuate on a frequency on their own. But what can you learn by tuning into the noise? Join James Filsinger, President and CEO of Yapta and a group of panelists that include Steve Sitto, Global Travel Manager for Tesla, Sharon McManus, Travel Operations Manager at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and David Moran, Executive VP of Global Marketing & Strategy for Carlson Wagonlit Travel, as they discuss the methodology of hotel price tracking and guide you through your hotel booking data to benefit your company’s bottom line—now and in the future.

A Glimpse into 2017: Forecasting Supplier Prices
Ready to get a head start on planning your 2017 program? If so, you can join the GBTA Foundation and Carlson Wagonlit Travel as they examine the upcoming supplier market for 2017. This education session will teach you about the factors affecting air, hotel, ground transportation, and meeting & events costs. The value of planning ahead is immeasurable and this session is definitely one not to miss.

Mobile Strategy: Bridging the Gap Between Traveler Experience and Travel Management
The rise of travel apps has benefited business travelers and has helped to redefine the overall travel experience. However, current research shows that there exists a dichotomy between what travelers value in terms of mobile apps and what travel managers perceive as valuable mobile tools. This presentation will address the various technologies and platforms that exist and how you can take advantage of them. We’ll also explore the origins of this mobile apps and help you understand how to leverage its power to create value, improve traveler experience, and increase loyalty.

Developing the Strategy in Strategic Meetings Management
Are you a travel manager that now has to manage meetings too? Take a crash course on the fundamental components of strategic meetings management programs and meetings management strategy. This session is designed to help you build a foundation while going a step beyond the basics by exploring the specific elements of strategy, including service configuration, insourcing versus outsourcing, and more.

Why is Corporate Hotel Procurement So Screwed Up?
It’s no secret that the current hotel procurement process isn’t the most efficient. That’ll be the launching point for an open, and lively, discussion between travel managers and hoteliers on the issues behind the current corporate hotel procurement process. We’ll touch on a number of issues from the RFP process to the differences in public rates.

‘GLOCALIZATION’ / glo·cal·i·za·tion: The Practice of Conducting Business with Both Local and Global Considerations
Managing a business with both local and global interests is just as much of an art as it is a craft. It’s important not to lose sight of your organization’s local interests while establishing your place on a global level. Finding the right balance between these, often, competing interests is what we refer to as the process of “globalization.” In this session, we’ll discuss this phenomenon and the obstacles faced by your companies with a hotelier, travel managers, and a Travel Management Company. You’ll learn about customizing a Global Hotel Program while addressing the local nuances of your business. Other topics of discussion include: adaptation, integration, and the use of data and travel technology to determine your best approach to developing your ‘globalized’ program.

#ItsNotJustApps: Digital Travel Experience in a Managed Travel Program
In addition to our seminar on mobile apps, this course addresses the ongoing digitization of corporate travel. Refine your company’s implementation of digital and mobile technology. Learn how smart technology affects your travelers and keep up with a constantly evolving corporate travel industry.

GBTA Convention 2016 will feature nearly 100 education sessions, in addition to several Peer-to-Peer Think Tank Sessions and opportunities for a number of credentialing programs. With Convention only a few weeks away, be sure to book any of these education sessions in My Convention Planner and start planning your agenda today. Looking forward to seeing you all in Denver!