Two days of fascinating discussions and debates at the Business Travel Show 2017
Duty of care, cost control and the sharing economy were just some of the key talking points in an extremely productive and successful Business Travel Show.
Cabfind were among the exhibitors and key participants at Europe’s largest specialised exhibition and conference for travel buyers and travel managers at London’s Olympia Grand.
Commercial Director, Daniel Price collaborated with partners and clients in discussions that really got to the heart of important matters for the business travel sector.
He hosted a discussion about ‘Ground transportation and its role in the future of corporate mobility’ and was joined by Ian Bates from ethical transport provider, Green Tomato Cars, Paul Casement, Director of Sales and Account Management at Portman Clarity, and Duncan Fendom, Chief Information Officer at Transdev.
Daniel was also a panellist in a debate entitled the ‘Connected Journey: Joining the dots of your travel programme’. Hosted by CTi, other panellists included representatives from AirPlus, AirRefund, Concur and Maiden Voyage.
Cabfind’s Managing Director Lee Wasnidge and members of the senior management team, including Head of Sales, Mike Guerin were also a very visible presence at the show.
Here’s a taste of some of the issues that Cabfind discussed and debated.
Innovation is amazing but what about when things go wrong?
Paul Casement from Portman Clarity discussed how the advent of the sharing economy had delivered amazing innovation but raised concerns about safety issues. He asked how serious circumstances could be managed, such as death, repatriation and religious issues. “In severe scenarios, what happens if a traveller dies, who deals with repatriation? What religious factors need to be taken into account?”
From another point of view: one-to-one needs
“How does a travel policy consider the needs of female travellers?”
Carolyn Pearson of Maiden Voyage, a social network for women business travellers, highlighted how initiatives to promote more women into senior positions meant there was an increasing need to consider their specific business requirements.
Beyond gender specific travel risks, the discussion also recognised the need to ensure that travel policies evolved to take other under-represented groups into account too.
Bringing the taxi journey into the travel policy arena and out of expense processing
The value of sophisticated ground transportation policies came increasingly to the fore in many of the debates across the two days. Data visibility and cost control as well as providing total duty of care were highlighted as the main drivers behind the trend. Discussions on market shifts generated by the sharing economy revealed how ground transportation was gaining greater prominence, bringing the taxi journey into the travel policy arena and out of expense processing.
Partnerships are paramount
Chris Baker from Concur discussed how partnerships and collaborations were leading the way, shaping innovation through combined expertise. This point was validated by Ian Bates from Green Tomato Cars who spoke about how integration with travel platforms was important to delivering service excellence to their customers.
The connected journey
The Business Travel Show was an excellent opportunity for Cabfind’s Daniel Price to voice the benefits of on-demand transport networks, offering total coverage for both the traveller and travel buyer. In an interactive session, Daniel walked delegates through a typical journey, detailing the potential pitfalls of ignoring this crucial mode of transport. He amplified this message by demonstrating how a defined taxi policy could help businesses control costs, remain agile, and ensure passenger safety.
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Future looks bright
Exploring the future of travel, Duncan Fendom of Transdev discussed how the advent of automated vehicles would bring a whole new mode of transport for travel buyers. Tied into mobility as a service proposition alongside global payment options, Duncan explored how there were likely to be dramatic changes in the way business travellers consumed travel options in the future. When asked how travel management companies will adapt to this change, Paul Casement of Portman Clarity responded by explaining that while the mode of transport may change, the importance in choosing trusted, high quality partners remains the same.
So, one week on from the Business Travel Show, what have we learned?
Issues surrounding business travel are more diverse and fluid than ever before. A combination of technology-driven on-demand services and key issues such as duty of care are shining a light on ground transportation that has probably not been seen or felt before.
When considering these factors against businesses’ continuing search for value-added innovation, it is clearly giving travel buyers an appetite to put what has been traditionally considered the less critical element of the business travel mix, higher up the agenda.
New and emerging on-demand mobility solutions are without doubt very exciting but one thing that is constant is the need for strong, client-focused partnerships that deliver exceptional service and expertise.
To find out how Cabfind’s managed taxi service can provide value to your travel policies, speak to our team today.
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