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The Official Blog of the Global Business Travel Association


Live from the GBTA Broadcast Studio...

The GBTA Broadcast Studio continues to stream live on Monday. With more than 100 interviews with industry leaders scheduled throughout the week, be sure to tune in for exclusive insights into current and future business travel trends.

Here is Monday’s Schedule:

  • 8AM – John Iannini, Vice President Sales, Business Travel Americas, Melia Hotels
  • 8:15 – Mike Eberhard, President, SAP Concur
  • 8:30 – Jon Wohlfert, co-Chief Executive Officer, RESIDE Worldwide, Inc.
  • 8:45 – Steven Diehl, Global Managing Director, Immigration, CIBT, Inc.
  • 9 – Fiona Shanley, CMO, Travelport
  • 9:15 – Kevin McAleenan, Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection
  • 9:30 – Tobias Ragge, CEO, HRS
  • 10:00 – Darrin Grafton, CEO, Serko
  • 10:15 – Sascha Meskendahl, Chief Revenue Officer, Blacklane
  • 10:30 – Mary Ellen George, Head of North America, Tramada Systems
  • 10:45 – Peggy Smith, President & CEO, Worldwide ERC
  • 11:00 – David Seelinger, Chariman/CEO, EmpireCLS Worldwide Chauffeured Services
  • 11:15 – Andy Finkelstein, SVP Global Accounts, Sabre
  • 11:30 – Michael Jacques, Chief Commercial Offer, Lumo
  • 11:45 – Jorge Goytortua, CEO, Cross Border Xpress
  • 12:00PM – Mary Ann Passi, CEO, Corporate Housing Providers Association
  • 12:15 – Ethan Bernstein, Co-Founder and CEO, Freebird
  • 12:30 – Ariel Cohen, Chief Executive Officer, TripActions
  • 12:50 – Scott McCartney, Travel Editor and Middle Seat Columnist, Wall Street Journal
  • 2:30 – Darin Karp, Founder & CEO, Reloquest Inc.
  • 2:45 – David Pekoske, Administrator, TSA
  • 3:00 – David Baga, Chief Business Officer, Lyft
  • 3:15 – Alison Galik, President, Dinova, Inc.
  • 3:45 – Dorothy Dowling, Best Western® Hotels & Resorts; Melissa Maher, Expedia; Traci Mercer, Sabre; Jodi Allen, Hertz
  • 4:00 – Kyle Brown & Kevin Shrier, The Parking Spot
  • 4:15 – Rajiv Rajian, Executive Vice President, Business Travel, Amadeus
  • 4:30 – Reggie Aggarwal, CEO, Cvent, Inc.
  • 4:45 – Chad Fletcher, Vice President of Global Sales, Choice Hotels
  • 5:00 – Omri Amsalem, EVP Business Development, Atriis
  • 5:15 – Jim Carter, Vice President Eastern Division Sales & Annisha Brown, Principal, Corporate Sales, American Airlines
  • 5:30 – Bob Mwaura, Area Manager, Americas, Kenya Airways
  • 5:45 – Michelle Guelbart, Director of Private Sector Engagement, Kenya Airways
  • 6:00 – Matthew Bradley, Regional Security Director, International SOS
  • 6:15 – Andres Fabris, Founder & CEO, Traxo

Live from the GBTA Broadcast Studio…

The GBTA Broadcast Studio kicks off today with Media Day. We’ll be streaming live from Sunday through Wednesday and more than 100 interviews with industry leaders scheduled throughout the week. Tune in for exclusive insights into current and future business travel trends.

Here is Sunday’s Schedule:

Media Day:

9-10AM

  • Luggage Teleport - Benjamin Eu, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer
  • Blacklane - Sascha Meskendahl, Chief Revenue Officer
  • TravelBank- Katie Mentus, Head of Design and Marketing
  • Deem - John F. Rizzo, CEO, COO, President, Deem
  • Way.com - Bhumi Bhutani, Co-Founder
  • Virgin Atlantic - Oli Byers, SVP Sales and Customer Loyalty, Virgin Atlantic 
  • Festive Road - Caroline Strachan, Managing Partner; Thomas Tulloch, Managing Director, NA, Predict.X

 10-11AM

  • SAP Concur – Doug Anderson, SVP, Global Travel Products
  • ReloQuest Inc. - Jeff Mahoney, Chief Operating Officer
  • WorkTrip – Heather Haigler, Co-Founder
  • SpotHero for Business – Becca Rabinowitz, Head of SpotHero for Business
  • Vedius Business – Dr. Constantine George, Chief Medical Officer of EPITOMEDICAL/Founder of Vedius and Vedius Business
  • Yapta - James Filsinger, President & CEO

 11AM-12PM

  • ARC - Chuck Thackston, Managing Director of Data Science and Research
  • AppZen - John Narbaitz, Head of Sales
  • Tramada Systems – Mary Ellen George, Head of North America
  • Conferma - Kelly Cleeton, Director of Business Development
  • FairFly - Aviel Siman-Tov, CEO & Co-Founder
  • Travel Leaders Corporate – Gabe Rizzi, President & Mike Boult, SVP of Sales
  • TRIPBAM, Inc. – Steve Reynolds, Founder & CEO

 12-1PM

  • Oakwood – Rebecca Tann, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing
  • Predict.X - Keesup Choe, CEO
  • TripActions - Ariel Cohen, CEO & Co-Founder
  • Lumo - Bala Chandran, Co-Founder
  • ITS – Preston Smith, Vice President of Sales
  • Carlson Wagonlit Travel – Simon Nowroz, Chief Marketing Officer
  • Uber - Ronnie Gurion, Head of Uber for Business

 

Industry Voices:

  • 2PM - Suzanne Neufang , Vice President – Americas, HRS
  • 2:15 - Rajeev Goswami, CEO/Co-Founder, WWSTAY
  • 2:30 – John Rizzo, CEO, COO, President, Deem; David Grace, Vice President, Global Sales, Enterprise Holdings
  • 2:45 – Steve Reynolds, Founder & CEO, TRIPBAM, Inc.,
  • 3 - Liz Carisone, CEO, GroundLink
  • 5:15 – Gary Bauer, Founder and CEO, iCars Powered by Limos.com
  • 5:30 – Meredith Smith, Principal Consultant & Head of Americas, FESTIVE ROAD
  • 5:45 – Brad Langley, Vice President, Third-Party Markets, Aventri
  • 6 – Rebecca Tann, Senior Vice President, Global Sales and Marketing, Oakwood

Message from the Office of the GBTA President

*The following post was originally sent as an email to GBTA members.*

 

Dear GBTA Members,

Convention is finally upon us! I am very excited to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of GBTA and Convention, and I am looking forward to seeing you all there.

Convention
GBTA Convention has a terrific line up once again this year. We have already announced that Convention Arena will feature sports icon Billie Jean King, and ABC’s Shark Tank investor Kevin O’Leary. I am happy to announce that Wednesday’s Convention Arena will feature victims’ rights and missing children advocate John Walsh of America’s Most Wanted. He was a leading force behind the founding of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. With a powerful message urging others to forge ahead despite setbacks, John Walsh inspires audiences to take steps to make the world a better place, and that every mission toward that goal is significant, no matter how great or small.

I am also happy to announce that we will feature the session Is Bigger Better?: The Impact of Industry Consolidation on Business Travel on Tuesday’s Center Stage. This session will focus on the impact of industry consolidation and discuss future trends. The panel will be moderated by Guy Langford, Deloitte’s U.S. Transportation, Hospitality & Services (TH&S) leader, and will feature David Kong, President & CEO, Best Western® Hotels & Resorts; Christine Taylor, Executive Vice President and COO, Enterprise Holdings; and, Rob Greyber, President of Egencia®.

Also, on Tuesday, we will feature Turning the Tables—Buyers Take Center Stage. Kurt Ekert, CEO of Carlson Wagonlit Travel, will moderate a panel of senior buyers providing their take on the latest trends, top opportunities and major challenges facing today’s business travel industry. Buyer panelists include Isabelle Donovan of The Boeing Company; Stephen Gheerow of the Ford Foundation, Raymond Greeve of New York Life Insurance Company and Denise Lynn Truso of Abbott.

In addition, on Monday, GBTA will also be featuring the Successful Women Leading in Business Travel and The Challenges of Security in Today’s Volatile World panels. Monday will also feature a must-see One-on-One interview with Marriott’s Arne Sorenson.

Election
Elections will be held Monday through Tuesday, August 13-14, at GBTA Convention 2018 in San Diego. You will have an opportunity to hear from each of the candidates at the GBTA Annual meeting which will be held Monday, August 13 at 10:30am. There are four open Board positions—three Direct and one Allied. All Direct members can vote for the three Direct Member at Large positions and all Allied Members can vote for the Allied Member At Large position. The results of this election will be announced on Wednesday at Convention Arena. I encourage you to attend the Annual Meeting and listen to the candidates share their vision for the future of our Association. And of course, I also encourage everyone to vote.

5K-Awareness Run/ Walk
This year we have decided to do something different so we created the 5k Awareness Run/Walk in partnership with ECPAT-USA and made possible by American Airlines. ECPAT-USA is the leading policy organization in the United States seeking to end the exploitation of children through awareness, advocacy, policy, and legislation. All proceeds will go directly to ECPAT-USA. The 5k Awareness Run/Walk will be held on Sunday, August 12 at 7:30am. Start your day off right! Grab a friend because this is a great way to catch up as well as helping to make a difference. If you can’t make the 5k, please consider making a donation onsite at the ECPAT-USA kiosk that will be located on the Expo Show Floor.

Committee Highlight: Payment Solutions Committee
The Payment Solutions Committee’s mission is to provide strategic direction for business travel payment. The committee provides leadership to members and the global business travel community through education, strategic direction and universal standards, as it relates to travel payment.

The committee is driven to define the barriers centered on virtual card use and establish standardized processes to enable great acceptance across the industry by engaging with all of the key stakeholders in the travel ecosystem. The Committee will be hosting several events at Convention on Sunday, August 12 for a Travel Payments Tool Kit session and a Roundtable Discussion. They are also several educational sessions on Virtual Payments being offered at Convention. Please check our website for those dates, times and session descriptions.

Research
GBTA Research has been very busy!  Below is list of newly released research. Please check it out. It is available to all members free of charge and is located in the GBTA Hub.

Simple Meetings: This first-of-its-kind study looks at simple meetings, which are small, company-held meetings with replicable requirements. The study found that half of company-held meetings are simple meetings that are often not managed or measured which cost companies savings and satisfaction.

Business Travel Dining Trends: Did you know that there are clear generational differences when it comes to business traveler dining, payment and expense options?  This new study reveals generational differences as well as insights into healthy eating and technology and dining. This study has fascinating insights into your travelers and their dining habits.

Safety Concerns for Women Travelers: This research revealed travel buyers are concerned about female business traveler safety, however, only 18 percent of travel policies specifically address female safety. To learn more about what concerns women travelers, check out this important study.

Global Travel Forecast: Travel prices are expected to rise sharply in 2019, with hotels going up 3.7% and flights 2.6%, driven by a growing global economy and rising oil prices, according to our research.

Global BTI: This study will be released at Convention. Stay tuned for that announcement.

As always, thank you to our members for your continued support and commitment. Please feel free to contact me with any thoughts or questions you may have. I hope to see many of you in San Diego over the course of this coming week.


Best Regards,

Christle Johnson
GBTA President


Throwback Thursday with Hank Roeder

In less than 48 hours, GBTA Convention 2018 will be kicking off in San Diego! For our last Throwback Thursday post of the year, we brought former GBTA employee Hank Roeder into our offices to talk Convention history.

Choosing Host Cities

 

Hank’s Favorite Convention Memory

 

Famous Convention Speakers


Podcast: Convention Preview Episode: All About Education!

For this week’s episode, The Business of Travel interviews GBTA’s SVP of Professional Development and Research Amanda Cecil to learn all about what to expect out of education at the upcoming GBTA Convention. Hope to see you there starting this Saturday - August 11-15 in San Diego!

 

 

You can download and listen to The Business of Travel in iTunesStitcherGoogle Play and your other favorite podcast directories. Be sure to subscribe to the show so you don't miss out!


Newsletter: GBTA Brasil Agosto 2018

Reuniões representam um importante gasto corporativo, mas metade das companhias não monitoram reuniões consideras rotineiras.

Globalmente metade das reuniões corporativas são reuniões rotineiras e quase a metade das companhias não utilizam canais mais sofisticados para efetuá-las, segundo um novo estudo realizado pela GBTA em parceria com HRS, entrevistando gerentes de viagens de negócio e planejadores de reuniões dos E.U.A. e Europa entre 24 de abril e 7 de junho de 2018.

O estudo, denominado “Como as companhias abordam reuniões rotineiras”, é o primeiro deste tipo que se centraliza em reuniões simples que são aquelas com requerimentos básicos replicáveis e com padrões. Para obter resultados confiáveis foram consultados tanto gerentes de viagens de negócios, membros da GBTA, como planificadores de reuniões, membros de Meeting Professionals International (MPI), com a finalidade de obter uma perspectiva integrada de membros de ambas organizações.

Destaques da pesquisa incluem:

  • 50% das reuniões globais corporativas (49% nos E.U.A. e 58% na Europa) são reuniões rotineiras.
  • 52% das companhias reservam suas reuniões simples fora de canais fornecedores de gestão de reuniões.
  • 70% dos entrevistados não seguem um processo requerido de licitação para comprar / reservar reuniões de rotina.
  • Quando as companhias não utilizam fornecedores tradicionais ou possuem um padrão para reuniões de rotina, 77% buscam hotéis ou sedes para reuniões exclusivamente mediante canais de consumo.
  • Quando as companhias têm um padrão para suas reuniões rotineiras, um 72% dos planificadores preferem usá-la para reservar ou planejar reuniões simples.
  • 52% das companhias não possuem tecnologia e-RFP para reuniões corriqueiras, e não têm planos de adquirir uma.
  • Somente 4% dos compradores localizados nos E.U.A. conta com KPIs corporativos associados ao valor criado por pequenas reuniões, enquanto ao redor de um terço (31%) dos planificadores de reuniões contam com KPIs.

“Para uma categoria que representa milhões em gasto corporativo a cada ano, as reuniões simples escapam tipicamente do nível de escrutínio dado a outros gastos”, afirmou Bernie Schraer, Vice-presidente Sênior da MPI. O estudo completo está disponível para membros da GBTA em www.gbta.org.

 

GBTA lança Capítulo na Itália

Um novo Capítulo da GBTA foi lançado no dia 3 de julho na Itália em resposta à demanda do mercado local, o qual oferecerá educação, recursos e oportunidades de networking a profissionais de viagens de negócio.  De acordo com o GBTA BTI™ Outlook – Annual Global Report & Forecast, a Itália gastou $33.3 bilhões em viagens de negócio em 2017, convertendo esse país no nono maior mercado global e no quarto da Europa. Estima-se que este gasto crescerá de forma sustentável até $44.8 bilhões para o ano de 2021.

“Conforme o alcance global da GBTA aumenta, escolhemos a Itália como nosso próximo passo para expansão”, afirmou Christie Johnson, Presidente da GBTA. “Ao celebrar nossos 50 anos em 2018, o momentum da GBTA continua em compradores de viagens com fornecedores e conectando mercados em todo o mundo”.

A missão do Capítulo da GBTA na Itália é elevar o papel do gerente de viagens de negócio e maximizar o benefício do papel que cumpre para a organização, mediante educação, networking e recursos.

 

Próximos eventos da GBTA na América Latina abrem inscrições com tarifas promocionais

A segunda metade do ano para a GBTA na América Latina está muito movimentada, com próximos eventos no Rio de Janeiro, Brasil; Bogotá, Colômbia; e Buenos Aires, Argentina. Não perca a oportunidade de atualizar-se com as novas tendências na indústria de viagens de negócios na região e no mundo, desenvolver novos negócios e alianças e entrar em contato com colegas.


Newsletter: GBTA América Latina Agosto 2018

Reuniones simples representan un importante gasto corporativo pero mitad de compañías no utilizan canales de manejo

Globalmente, la mitad de las reuniones corporativas son reuniones simples y cerca de la mitad de las compañías las reservan fuera de los canales de manejo, según un nuevo estudio dado a conocer por GBTA en asocio con HRS y efectuado en línea a gerentes de viajes de negocio y planificadores de reuniones de EEUU y Europa entre el 24 de abril y el 7 de junio de 2018.

El estudio, denominado “Cómo las compañías abordan las reuniones simples”, es el primero de este tipo  que se centra en reuniones simples, que son aquellas con requerimientos básicos replicables y en el cual fueron consultados  tanto gerentes de viajes de negocio miembros de GBTA, como planificadores de reuniones miembros de  Meeting Professionals International (MPI), con el fin de obtener una perspectiva integrada de ambos.

Los resultados más sobresalientes incluyen los siguientes:

  • El 50% de las reuniones globales corporativas (49% en EE.UU y 58% en Europa) son reuniones simples.
  • El 52% de las compañías reservan sus reuniones simples fuera de canales de manejo de reuniones.
  • El 70% de los encuestados no sigue un proceso requerido de licitación para comprar / reservar reuniones simples.
  • Cuando las compañías no usan una solución simple de reuniones, el 77% busca hoteles o sedes para reuniones exclusivamente mediante canales de consumo.
  • Cuando las compañías tienen una solución, el 72% de los planificadores prefieren usarla para reservar o planear reuniones simples.
  • El 52% de las compañías no posee una tecnología e-RFP para reuniones simples, y no tiene planes de adquirir una.
  • Solamente el 4% de los compradores basados en EE.UU cuenta con KPIs corporativos asociados al valor creado por pequeñas reuniones, mientras que cerca de un tercio (31%) de los planificadores de reuniones cuentan con KPIs.

“Para una categoría que representa millones en gasto corporativo cada año, las reuniones simples escapan típicamente del nivel de escrutinio dado a otros gastos”, afirmó Bernie Schraer, Vicepresidente Senior de MPI. El estudio completo está disponible para miembros de GBTA en www.gbta.org.

 

GBTA lanza Capítulo en Italia

Un nuevo Capítulo de GBTA fue lanzado el pasado 3 de julio en Italia en respuesta a la demanda del mercado local, el cual brindará educación, recursos y oportunidades de networking a profesionales de viajes de negocio.

De acuerdo con el GBTA BTI™ Outlook – Annual Global Report & Forecast, Italia gastó $33.3 mil millones en viajes de negocio en 2017, convirtiendo a ese país en el noveno mercado global más grande y el cuarto en Europa. Este gasto se estima crecerá de forma sostenida hasta $44.8 mil millones para el 2021.

“Así como el alcance global de GBTA se incrementa, Italia es nuestro próximo paso para la expansión”, afirmó Christie Johnson, Presidenta de GBTA. “Al celebrar nuestros 50 años en 2018, el momentum de GBTA continúa enlazando a compradores de viajes con proveedores y conectando mercados en todo el mundo”.

La misión del Capítulo de GBTA en Italia es elevar el rol del gerente de viajes de negocio y maximizar el beneficio del papel que cumple para la organización, mediante educación, networking y recursos.

 

Próximos eventos GBTA en América Latina abren registro con tarifas promocionales

La segunda mitad del año se proyecta muy movida para GBTA en América Latina con próximos eventos en Río de Janeiro, Brasil; Bogotá, Colombia; y Buenos Aires, Argentina. No se pierda la oportunidad de actualizarse con las nuevas tendencias en la industria de viajes de negocio en la región y el mundo, desarrollar nuevos negocios y alianzas y entrar en contacto con colegas.

Para esto, GBTA abre la inscripción a sus nuevos eventos con tarifas promocionales. El primero es la conferencia GBTA 2018 - Río de Janeiro, que tendrá lugar en el Prodigy Santos Dumont, con tarifa promocional hasta el 17 de agosto. Para mayor información, haga clic aquí.

La tercera edición de la Conferencia GBTA 2018 - Bogotá, por su parte, se realizará el 9 de octubre en el hotel Sheraton Bogotá y cuenta con tarifa promocional de inscripción hasta el 10 de agosto. Para mayor detalle, consulte aquí.

Por último, la conferencia GBTA 2018 - Buenos Aires tendrá lugar el 24 de octubre en el hotel Four Seasons con tarifa promocional de inscripción hasta el 17 de agosto. Para mayor información, ingrese aquí.

 

5 claves de éxito para expositores en los eventos de GBTA

Acciones clave que le ayudaran a tener una mejor experiencia como expositor en los eventos de GBTA en América Latina. Leer más >>


5 Tips for First-Time Attendees at GBTA Convention 2018

GBTA Convention 2018 kicks off in just eight days! To help prepare our first-time attendees for the 50th anniversary of The Business Travel Event of the Year®, we compiled a list of tips designed to help you maximize your time in San Diego.

  1. Attend the First-Time Attendee Orientation & Luncheon. Keynote speaker Vinh Giang will deliver a presentation on the art of performance-enhancing communication. With only six months to graduate, Vinh Giang left his degree in commerce and law to become an online magic teacher, ultimately building a hugely successful online business, 52kards, which now serves over 800,000 students all around the world. This earned him the award of Top Young Entrepreneur in Australia.
  1. Order Fast Passes. Skip the lines and gain early access to our Center Stage sessions and Convention Arena Luncheon with the GBTA Convention 2018 Fast Passes. This year’s Convention Arena lineup features Billie Jean King, Kevin O’Leary and John Walsh. See the full speaker lineup here.
  1. Take advantage of the Buyer Resources page. This page features resources to help you prepare for Convention, including a guide to navigating the Expo Floor and a checklist for everything you should consider before, during and after the event.
  1. Download the Mobile App. Access everything you need to know about #GBTA2018 right at your fingertips. Use the app to view the entire program, schedule education sessions, find your way around with maps, connect with other attendees, and much more.
  1. Participate in the GBTA Convention 50th Anniversary Sweepstakes. Join our live Twitter chat on Tuesday, August 7 for a chance to win an $100 Amazon gift card. Participants will be sharing advice and tips for first-time attendees.

GBTA Unveils Media Day Line-Up for GBTA Convention 2018

The business of travel has brought the world within reach, with borders blurring and people intersecting in all corners of the globe. The momentum never stops as the business travel industry is evolving at an unprecedented rate. New technologies have emerged, transforming the face of the global travel program. New security risks have surfaced, which have proven to threaten the industry on a worldwide scale. In the face of all this, companies are constantly innovating to meet the changing needs of the industry.

On Sunday, August 12 starting at 9am, Media Day is back for its fourth year and will return once again to the GBTA Broadcast Studio. More than two dozen companies will release their breaking news as part of the event from the GBTA Broadcast Studio in Lobby D of the San Diego Convention Center.

A special viewing area immediately directly across the hall from the Studio will be available for press attending in-person and breakfast will be served. Travel industry expert and GBTA Media Day anchor Monisa Cline will interview company executives in one-on-one live, on-camera interviews about their new products and announcements.

Press will have the opportunity to ask each participant questions following their interviews and at the end of each hour of programming or can also arrange one-on-one follow up interviews throughout the week. Reporters who cannot make it in person can tune in via convention.gbta.org or our Facebook Live stream!

This year’s full Media Day schedule is as follows:

9-10AM

  • Luggage Teleport - Benjamin Eu, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer

  • Blacklane - Sascha Meskendahl, Chief Revenue Officer

  • TravelBank- Katie Mentus, Head of Design and Marketing

  • Deem - John F. Rizzo, CEO, COO, President, Deem

  • Way.com - Bhumi Bhutani, Co-Founder

  • Virgin Atlantic - Oli Byers, SVP Sales and Customer Loyalty, Virgin Atlantic 

  • Festive Road - Caroline Strachan, Managing Partner; Thomas Tulloch, Managing Director, NA, Predict.X

 

10-11AM

  • SAP Concur – Doug Anderson, SVP, Global Travel Products

  • ReloQuest Inc. - Jeff Mahoney, Chief Operating Officer

  • WorkTrip – Heather Haigler, Co-Founder

  • SpotHero for Business – Becca Rabinowitz, Head of SpotHero for Business

  • Vedius Business – Dr. Constantine George, Chief Medical Officer of EPITOMEDICAL/Founder of Vedius and Vedius Business

  • Yapta - James Filsinger, President & CEO

 

11AM-12PM

  • ARC - Chuck Thackston, Managing Director of Data Science and Research

  • AppZen - John Narbaitz, Head of Sales

  • Tramada Systems – Mary Ellen George, Head of North America

  • Conferma - Kelly Cleeton, Director of Business Development

  • FairFly - Aviel Siman-Tov, CEO & Co-Founder

  • Travel Leaders Corporate – Gabe Rizzi, President & Mike Boult, SVP of Sales

  • TRIPBAM, Inc. – Steve Reynolds, Founder & CEO

 

12-1PM

  • Oakwood – Rebecca Tann, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing

  • Predict.X - Keesup Choe, CEO

  • TripActions - Ariel Cohen, CEO & Co-Founder

  • Lumo - Bala Chandran, Co-Founder

  • ITS – Preston Smith, Vice President of Sales

  • Carlson Wagonlit Travel – TBD

  • Uber - Ronnie Gurion, Head of Uber for Business


Utilizing Data to Enhance Meetings
By GBTA Meetings Committee

Many companies invest significant capital in meeting management technologies and resources to collect and report on meeting and event data. You might ask, is it worth the time, resource and monetary investment?  What do companies do with the data? Is the data being analyzed in a meaningful way that leads to positive business outcomes such as risk mitigation, quantifiable savings, or revenue generation? Does limiting data collection hurt your SMM program, or is there a such thing as too much data?

Meeting data can include anything from room rates, suite rates, meeting room rates, and décor costs to how many cups of coffee were purchased, who attended and what their t-shirt size is. There can be so much macro and micro level data that it can become paralyzing and time consuming to document and audit for accuracy. There is now the added risk of the GDPR which requires minimizing personal data collection for legal and legitimate purposes and putting fences around data storage.

You might save yourself time by determining what decisions you need to make within the business and your SMM program, or for individual meetings that require supporting data, then collect only that data. Room rates, per person costs, supplier costs, and macro market specific costs can support negotiation and meeting location decisions. Perhaps you could forego collecting some micro level details. For example, how does collecting the price of a cup of coffee help in managing your SMM program? Will your planners use that data to better negotiate coffee in the future? If the answer is “it doesn’t” or “no”, then don’t invest in the collection. Instead, document the final food and beverage spend for the meeting and associate it with the supplier. That higher level of data allows you to negotiate food and beverage discounts and show the value of your business with suppliers based on the total annual food and beverage revenue you contributed. It also enables you to understand how much food and beverage cost per person in one city versus another when deciding on meeting location.

Consider what decisions you face when managing your SMM program, not only the individual meetings, but the collective data, and what data points you need to make those decisions. For example, do you need to manage staff based on peaks and valleys; hiring contractors during peak periods? If so, it is important to track and report when meetings begin the sourcing process and when they take place, so you have a clear historical view to form a future forecast.

Think of potential innovation within your program if you had data to back up the validity of ideas - Is 50% of your spend in a single city? If so, how can you streamline the sourcing and contracting process knowing that the supply base might be limited? For example, if your headquarters is in a second-tier city where sleeping rooms and meeting space are often sold out, consider blocked space or a monthly agreement for a guaranteed minimum number of rooms and specific meeting rooms available only to your company. Think of it as a space lease that your SMM can manage versus sourcing every meeting.

Focus on collecting information that will lead to data-driven insights impacting your P&L, program quality and attendee experience.  Do not collect data for the sake of mere collection.