The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) – the voice of the global business travel industry – and German business travel buyer association VDR – wrapped up their third successful joint conference in Europe this week with record attendance. The event brought together over 950 attendees from 20+ countries for networking, education and top-notch speakers.
Featured speakers included international counter-terrorism and security expert, Hagai M. Segal. Hagai talked risk and security to the packed audience of travel professionals from across the globe covering everything from the impact of ISIS and Boka Haram to the current situations in Africa and the Ukraine, and more. He discussed terror threats to business travellers and focused on the different type of threat felt from numerous small, and seemingly random, attacks saying it has a major psychological impact.
GBTA Executive Director and COO Michael W. McCormick hosted industry leaders Mike Eberhard of Concur and Doug Anderson of American Express Global Business Travel at Centre Stage for one-on-one interviews. Eberhard gave his first European interview as the new President of Concur, sharing his thoughts on leadership, consumerization, duty of care and the future of the buyer role. Doug Anderson spoke about acquisitions, company culture, risk, mobility and the importance of diversity.
Grayling government relations experts Russel McCleave Patten and Richard Jukes took the stage Wednesday for a lively debate on Brexit moderated by Caroline Strachan of Festive Road. While the two had differing opinions on the matter, both agreed that now is the time for engagement and dialogue no matter what side you agree with.
Centre Stage was also the sight of two thought-provoking industry panels. The New Leaders of the Technology Revolution Unplugged featured some of the brightest and best leaders of technology startups sharing their perspectives on innovation in travel technology. The Industry Leader Distribution Outlook Panel featured C-level executives from across the industry sharing their views on industry consolidation, NDC, direct connect and other issues impacting the constantly evolving business travel distribution landscape.
Attendees were also treated to high-level education sessions covering from risk and data privacy to travel policy and more to help buyers find the right balance in their travel management roles.
Next year’s Conference will return to Frankfurt 28-30 November 2017.
About the Global Business Travel Association
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is the world’s premier business travel and meetings trade organization headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area with operations on six continents. GBTA’s 9,000-plus members manage more than $345 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA and the GBTA Foundation deliver world-class education, events, research, advocacy and media to a growing global network of more than 28,000 travel professionals and 125,000 active contacts. To learn how business travel drives lasting business growth, visit www.gbta.org.
Verband Deutsches Reisemanagement e.V. (VDR)
The VDR represents the interests of German industry and deals with the general and competitive conditions surrounding business trips and mobility. It campaigns for efficient, economical, safe, unhindered, worldwide travel possibilities for companies. The VDR with its over 530 member companies represents a total annual turnover in the business travel sector of more than EUR 10 billion.