April 5, 2019

From NDC to Business Traveler Wellness: What to expect at ACTE 2019

Early next week, travel industry professionals from around the world will make their way to Chicago for this year’s ACTE Global Summit.

This annual conference sees hundreds of travel buyers, suppliers, and other industry insiders come together to learn about the biggest trends, the newest innovative tech, and expert predictions for what to expect next. We’ll be there to get the scoop, of course, and while we’re attending sessions and networking with folks in the InterACTE expo hall, these are the big themes we expect to see:

The new corporate travel leader.

The corporate travel industry has had a difficult time keeping up with the times as legacy solutions have historically hindered innovation in the space. But with new technologies emerging and traveler expectations evolving, we’re finally experiencing a new dawn in corporate travel management. Travelers expect convenience and ease of use, and if buyers can’t deliver, the business risks losing out on visibility, control, and savings. Now more than ever, are the critical leaders for bringing the latest and greatest innovations to their organizations in order to lead the most cost effective, optimized travel programs possible -- while delighting their road warriors in the process.

If you’re curious what’s top of mind for corporate travel buyers leading this wave of innovation inside their organizations — and as a result rising through the ranks — don’t miss out on the following sessions:

  • Monday, 8 April - The Urgency Behind Corporate Travel Innovation – What You Need to Know: Our own Head of Product Anique Drumright will share insights on how to get ahead technology-wise to make sure your travel program doesn’t fall behind.
  • Monday, 8 April - Digital Transformation Panel Discussion: Panelists from Hilton, Salesforce, and HRS will discuss the impact of digital transformation in corporate travel.
  • Monday, 8 April - Winning the Game of Change: Hear from speaker and coach Sarah Finch about how to effectively approach change management within your organization.
  • Monday, 8 April - Build Your Business Case: The 6 Keys to Success: Learn how to build a successful business case for your program strategies in order to obtain your management's endorsement. Hosted by speakers from HRS and Siemens Corporation.
  • Tuesday, 9 April - Become the Travel Programme Leader: Mapping Out Your Career Path: Hear advice about how to build a road map to become successful on your travel program leader career journey.

Business travel booking gets an upgrade.

It’s no secret that how travel inventory is surfaced and booked is changing — and fast. Business travelers accustomed to shopping for personal travel on Kayak, Priceline, and other consumer sites no longer have the patience to sift endlessly through irrelevant search results on outdated business travel platforms. According to our 2018 Business Traveler Trends report, the #1 frustration travelers face when using a company tool was a lack of inventory, followed by time spent booking — 83% reported that it takes them over an hour to book a trip. And because of this, 50% of travelers go rogue and book outside their organization’s provided solution.

How can buyers source and surface a wide variety of inventory to make the booking experience as extensive and seamless as possible? ACTE promises to cover this topic extensively with several sessions, including:

  • Monday, 8 April - The Power of Data to Personalise the Travel Experience: Hear Taimur Khan, GM of Travel at Salesforce Industries, as he speaks about using data — today’s most lucrative driver for growth, change, and success — to derive more and better insights and optimize the business travel booking experience.
  • Tuesday, 9 April - Unconference – Engage or Bust: In this interactive session, attendees will be encouraged to share ideas and opinions about topics such as sourcing, supplier partnerships, how to best engage travelers, and more.

Sharper focus on traveler safety, happiness, and overall well-being.

Business traveler safety, satisfaction, and wellness on the road are hot topics these days, with conversations around duty of care, on-the-go support, and overall health becoming more and more commonplace throughout industry events, publications, and other forums.

In fact, the 9:45 a.m. Monday morning mediation session titled Mindfulness @ Work will help attendees learn how to bring the practice into their day-to-day lives. But this guided exercise is just the beginning when it comes to traveler wellness. Check out these sessions for more on why it’s important to keep travelers happy and healthy on the road, along with tips on how to do exactly that:

  • Monday, 8 April - How to Stay Connected with Your Travellers Before, During and After the Trip: This panel session hosted by speakers from LinkedIn, Loews Hotels, Genesys, and more will be all about traveler adoption, and how providing an end-to-end travel experience that’s simple, efficient, and pleasant can you help you achieve it.
  • Monday, 8 April - From Travel Hell to Travel Well: Inside Secrets to Stay Energized, Healthy and Balanced When You Travel!: During this information session, Chief Balancing Officer John Ayo will help you address head-on the big health and wellness-related challenges business travelers face.

If you’re at ACTE Global next week, come say “Hi!” to your TripActions team in the InterACTE expo area, or book a meeting to learn more about how to optimize your corporate travel program.