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Conferences 3rd August 2017 - 2 min read

GBTA 2017: Geopolitical Uncertainty & Technology Innovations

By Femi Ajayi

In the business travel industry, there is no bigger event than the annual Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) convention, which attracts nearly 7,000 industry professionals from across the globe. This year, the event was held at the Boston Convention & Exhibit Center in downtown Boston, Massachusetts.

The theme for this year’s GBTA Convention was “Convergence,” a nod to today’s shifting geopolitical climate and its growing impact on the global travel industry. Proposed travel and technology bans, as well as an increase in terrorism all have a bearing on industry innovations and decisions. In particular, this past year’s changes’ have drawn a spotlight to matters such as duty of care, risk management, to the influx of new booking and data technologies.

GBTA Conference Education

Like previous years, GBTA continues to offer extensive educational programs—with more than 70 different educational sessions for travel professionals with all levels of experience and backgrounds. These sessions covered a wide range of topics across the following subject matters:

  • Travel Management
  • Data Analytics & Trends
  • Technology & Trends
  • Risk Management
  • Procurement
  • Vendor Programs (Airlines, Hotels, Ground Transportation)
  • Leadership
  • Sustainability
  • Geopolitical Disruptions
  • …and more!

Conference Speakers

In addition to an array of education and panel sessions, we had the opportunity to hear from industry experts and professionals such as General David Petraeus, Tom Derry of the Institute for Supply Management, Turkish Airlines Chairman Ilker Ayciand Olympic gold medalist swimmer Michael Phelps.

GBTA Vice President Mike Ziegler opened GBTA by addressing the many facets of change currently impacting those close to the travel industry. Next, General David Petraeus, former head of the CIA, spoke about topics such as national security, terrorism, and the importance of keeping the focus on the traveler experience.

Delta Airline’s CEO Ed Bastian discussed a wide range of issues impacting the business travel marketplace. Bastian addresses open air policies, airline alliances, privatizing air traffic control, and of course, improving the traveler experience. He also touched upon the evolving political climate in the US and Delta’s personal duty of care policy—to which he described as the highest priority for the airline.

Expo Hall

GBTA 2017’s Expo Hall brought nearly 400 exhibitors offering an array of travel-related technologies and services. Pi Travel was proud to be amongst those exhibitors, and in case you missed us at our booth, schedule a demo here to learn more about our data consolidation software.

Tom Tulloch: Leveraging Data Panel

In case you missed Tom Tulloch’s session at GBTA 2017, here’s a quick video from GBTA On-Demand explaining how mobile tools, changing geopolitical risk factors and travel ecosystem economics are creating new conditions for travel buyers. Panel members include: Johnny Thorsen, VP Global Travel Strategy & Partnerships, Mezi; Lexi Honohan, Senior Director of Business Solutions, Advito; Patrick Linnihan, CEO Gant Travel; Robyn Grassanovites, CPO, Flightstats.

Please watch and learn more here.

*If you didn’t attend GBTA and are unable to view the on-demand content, please see the panel PowerPoint by clicking here.

Femi Ajayi
By Femi Ajayi
2 min read

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