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Travel 27th February 2018 - 3 min read

A Recap of the Business Travel Show 2018

By Femi Ajayi

The PredictX team attended the BTS show last week. We were delighted to be launching our new product BehaviourX with Influence at Work. Combining behaviour science with predictive analytics, Influence at Work plans to enable travel managers to positively influence travellers’ behaviour. Bestselling author and Director of Influence at Work Steve Martin stole the show with some insights from behavioural science so businesses can understand travellers’ behaviour better. 

Day 1

The PredictX team at BTS 2018


With long, winding queues and a brisk start the show already had a great atmosphere. Countless innovations were on display making the BTS a growing event on any business calendar. 

Pepper the robot from Amex


The content agenda was packed with new, thought provoking ideas on what was in store for travellers and travel managers alike. The Connect Supplier technology: Good for travelers, good for travel managers was a great example. Some of the speakers were

  • Niklas Andreen, SVP and Managing Director of Hospitality and Digital, Travelport
  • Kevin May, Editor in Chief, Phocus Wire
  • Max Waldmann, CEO, Conichi
  • Neal Sunners, Senior Vice President Innovation, Avis Budget Group
  • Andrew Dyer, Vice President, Global Supply, Egencia

Whilst there are more tools than ever for travel managers – the question is how can they use them to effectively understand both travellers and their journey? According to the panel, one size doesn’t necessarily fit all. The tools to support frequent business travellers who love to use technology might not work for the infrequent travellers who needs more of a helping hand with the technical side. Companies’ travel policy will now need to accommodate all types of travellers.

The question on all speakers’ lips was “Will Google take over?” With so much access to information Google does seem to corner the market when it comes to travel data. Some panelists believed it was about more than just data. The growing trend to own the journey rather than own the customer was highlighted throughout the talk. This was a delight for travel managers in the audience to hear as they can use a strategy to manage the ever present problem of leakage (what kind of leakage?).

After a fun-filled afternoon, the drinks reception flowed into the Gala Dinner. Bestselling author Steve Martin joined the PredictX table for dinner and a magician tried to match the mind-bending content of the thought leadership speeches by bending some spoons.

Keesup Choe with the magic fork


Day 2

Day 2 kicked off with Keesup Choe, PredictX CEO, introducing the keynote presenter Director of Influence at Work and bestselling author Steve Martin. He led a fascinating session on the Psychology of Persuasion where small changes in communication can result in substantial changes in their business travellers’ behaviour.

Steve Martin with Simon Carmouche at the Psychology of Persuasion presentation


Keesup had to hotfoot it to his own panel- a primer on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and bots. Kessup was accompanied at the panel by:

  • Nicola Lomas, Director of Travel Partnerships, International SOS
  • Keesup Choe, CEO, PredictX
  • Florian Stege, Managing Director, Voya
  • Johnny Thorsen, VP Global Travel Strategy & Partnerships, Mezi
  • Yvonne Moya, Principal, Festive Road
Keesup Choe on AI and Bots


The audience got a glimpse into what other companies in this space are doing and how they are adapting to traveller behaviour. For example, if you send emojis to a travel booking bot- the bot will send emojis back. All panelists agreed that a combination of bots and human agents will be required in the short term but eventually the bots will take a lot of the heavy lifting from the agents and allow them to focus on more strategic work. According to Kessup we are moving from Analyse and Fix to Predict and Prevent. This will be instrumental in helping travel managers answer some key questions. such as whether we should be supporting travel policy compliance or optimising it for all travellers.

Steve Martin, delighted many of the visitors to our stand by signing copies of his book Yes! 60 Secrets from the Science of Persuasion.

From left to right: Angela O’connell, Steve Martin and Simon Carmouche


We will be holding a webinar with BTS on the 9th March for all who missed Steve Martin’s keynote or would like a recap. Click here for sign up details. We learned so much at the BTS 2018 and we hope to see you next year!

Femi Ajayi
By Femi Ajayi
3 min read


Tom Tulloch February 27th, 2018 at 3:45pm

Great recap, thanks for sharing!


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