03 May, 2018
At the recent ACTE Global Summit in New York, a forum for business travel industry executives, we facilitated several sessions to provide strategic guidance around next practices in travel that will provide enhanced traveler experiences.
You may ask what the meeting experts could possibly lend in terms of guidance or advice at a corporate travel summit? Well, we have a unique view on this challenge and a perspective that might shift the paradigm.
It starts with a simple concept… the business traveler is actually the meeting attendee. Let that settle in for a bit. The business traveler for whom we all want to provide an enhanced experience is actually the very same person as the meeting attendee.
Let us explain. On any given week, let’s say ‘Joe’ is our business traveler and he books his next trip to visit a key client. The next week, he’s been invited to a leadership meeting and again must book travel. Two different trip purposes – but the very same traveler/attendee. Two different bookings, with likely two different experiences.
The reality for most corporations is that the booking experience for an individual business traveler is dramatically different than that of the meeting attendee. For Joe, this can’t be the best experience – two different booking processes, perhaps two different technologies, the payment process and form may vary, itineraries will be different, etc.
How then can we provide the best possible experience for Joe if we force him to use different processes based on the type of trip he is taking? The answer is that we can’t possibly optimize his experience without addressing this reality.
So what is the answer? A consolidated travel strategy across both business travel and meetings! If we designed an end-to-end seamless process for Joe for any type of trip he needs to take, we will not only enhance his experience - but also receive a bonus buy in the process!
The bonus comes in the form of additional benefit – to both Joe and to the travel manager. Joe is more likely to follow the company travel policy and process, and the journey is personalized and customized to his needs.
Compliance to the program will increase, use of preferred technologies and payment tools will grow, and the safety and security protocols usually in place for just business travel will automatically be extended to all meeting attendees. So Joe is happier and safer, the travel manager is increasing value to the corporation, and everyone wins!