At World Travel, Inc.’s Spring Symposium 2019, we had several breakout sessions that enabled travel managers and procurement officers to learn more about topics that were important to them. These sessions included a Hot Topics Roundtable, Sourcing Strategies with Data Insights, Strategic Meetings Management with Cvent, and Going Global.
The Hot Topics Roundtable was a huge hit! Barb Cubbler, World Travel, Inc.’s Senior Vice President of Account Management, led the session as attendees from around the world discussed the pressing challenges they face while managing corporate travel.
What were the “hot topics,” and what did attendees share? Below is a quick recap, as well as a recording of the session!
Hot Topics in Corporate Travel Management
1. Methods of Payment – What is your preferred method of payment for airline tickets? Do you utilize virtual payment for hotel bookings / is this of interest?
Attendees in the session discussed the use cases for virtual cards versus corporate cards (i.e. when it is appropriate to use one method of payment instead of the other). They also expressed pain points of virtual payment and possible solutions to improve the process.
2. Cost Savings Initiatives – Where is your primary focus for reducing costs?
Are your travelers utilizing preferred suppliers to get the most bang for the company’s buck? Attendees discussed the challenge of educating their travelers on the difference between booking in-policy as opposed to going rogue and booking their travel online.
3. Online Adoption – How do you increase your rate of adoption?
Some companies who attended the Hot Topics Roundtable can boast online adoption rates of 95%, while others don’t utilize an online booking tool for their travel program. Having a mix of these folks in the room helped to spur conversation and inspiration.
4. Unmanaged Travel – How do you encourage travelers to book through your TMC?
A big suggestion that came from the group surrounding unmanaged travel was to utilize Concur Expense to capture information from travelers who are processing their expenses. For example, you could build in the question, “Did you use the online booking tool for your travel reservations?” The information gathered would enable the travel manager to have more targeted conversations with travelers who are not booking through the appropriate channels.
5. Travel Policy – Advance Purchase, Approvals, Car Services, Airbnb, International Travel (Business/Economy), Etc.
Improving compliance with travel policy was a popular topic among the group, and many shared strategies for monitoring compliance, as well as reflecting the policy in reimbursement processes.
Another discussion surrounded the use of Uber and Lyft, and how that worked within a company’s travel policy. For example, what are the implications to your travel policy and duty of care when travelers utilize rental cars versus Uber and Lyft?
6. Risk Management – Do you utilize a 3rd party provider? Who handles risk at your company?
Duty of care is one of the hottest topics in corporate travel management, and for good reason. Nothing is more important than the safety of your travelers.
7. Buy In – How do your senior leaders support your travel program?
Another comment shared from the group was about the importance of buy-in, not only from senior management but also from travelers, especially when it comes to risk management. For example, travelers need to book through the travel management company, including hotel bookings, for travel managers and their TMC to know where they are and be able to provide or coordinate support in an emergency.
To learn more about the topics above, check out the recorded session below!
Please note that World Travel, Inc. is available to answer any questions you have about the topics mentioned above and in the recording.
Although the Hot Topics Roundtable was a peer-to-peer brainstorming session, should you wish to dig a little deeper and learn best practices, you can contact your World Travel, Inc. Account Manager or our sales team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have Topic Suggestions to Share?At World Travel’s Fall Symposium 2019, we will have another Hot Topics Roundtable! Feel free to share your topic suggestions in a comment below.