This year’s Business Travel Show featured presentations and panel discussions with experts from across the industry. We’ve collated our highlights for those who missed the event.
Big changes are afoot in the travel industry with lots of hype around artificial intelligence, blockchain, bots, augmented reality and virtual reality. This panel discussion looked at how various companies are transforming their businesses with disruptive digital technologies and discussed how other businesses could incorporate similar changes.
Automation is Imminent
By the early 2030s, up to 30% of existing UK jobs could be impacted by automation1. “Let’s call it the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” says Keesup Choe, CEO of PredictX. “It will be more transformative and more destructive than anything we’ve ever seen before.” Stressing that business travel needs to be ready for change, he urges the industry to augment with machines and AI.
Instead of waiting for new technologies to come to you, seek them out and invest in them. “You need to convince somebody to give you the budget,” says Johnny Thorsen at Mezi.com. “Those of you in procurement, you are known negotiators, that’s part of your genes. So, negotiate with your boss. Ask for 0.1% of the travel budget for innovation.”
If you’re not sure where to introduce new technologies, discover what problems exist from a travel manager’s point of view and then work backwards. Don’t do the tech first. Know your pain points and use the data you have to improve your business and the traveller’s experience. Outline why this spending is an investment. Your budget for this will grow as your business grows.
That’s where the real innovation is happening but, unfortunately, many projects are stopped due to a lack of funding. You need to invest, take risks and use your data as fuel.
- Smart businesses will be prepared for changes triggered by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
- Don’t wait for new technologies to come to you, seek them out.
- Ask for a travel budget for innovation. You need to invest and take risks to improve your product.