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.
A panel of senior corporate travel and procurement managers discussed the fundamentals of running a successful multi-country travel programme, offering up the following advice:
Make It Traveller-Centric
“The traveller needs to be at the centre,” says Christian Spieker of Zeb. Some employees are travelling up to 100 days a year. If you put them in the wrong hotel and they’re not comfortable, they may be wondering if they chose the right job. “Of course, the company might have saved money, but maybe the people are unhappy, they’re non-productive, they’re leaving. You have to find out where the standards are so they’re comfortable.”
Make it Flexible
Ana Gibson, of Hilti, commented: “It’s all about simplifying and making things easier.” To do this we need to understand what’s important, Ana says, but also be able to keep the flexibility as well.
The difficulty when it comes to global policy is that each culture has different needs. “While you want to be able to standardise everything, you have to remember it’s not going to be one-size-fits-all,” says Ana. It’s important to adjust policy accordingly and figure out a solution so everyone is pleased. Even within the same cultures, you have other challenges – millennials will have very different needs to more seasoned travellers.
Make it Compliant
Christian suggests putting boundaries in place to help with compliance. “People are lost without policy. It gives them a framework to work within,” he says. It’s also about company culture. If a company is strict, employees will realise they need to adhere to the policy. If a company is not so prescriptive, travellers are allowed some leeway. Putting the onus on the traveller will help with compliance and long-term success.
- Put the traveller first. Find out what their requirements are and meet them.
- There is no one-size-fits-all solution and policies need to be adjusted according to country and culture.
- Clear boundaries will help with compliance