#Sharing Highlights from GBTA Convention 2015 in Orlando (Part I)

#Sharing Highlights from GBTA Convention 2015 in Orlando (Part I)

We had a great time at this year’s GBTA Convention networking and building relationships with some of the world’s most influential travel management companies and vendors. Along with Robbie the Robot, our team of Certify-ers went to sessions and keynotes, browsed the expo hall and attended some fantastic parties. Here we’re #sharing some of our favorite moments from GBTA 2015.

On Monday, there were two sessions that stood out to us as being particularly relevant to our second-quarter findings on the sharing economy. These sessions focused on sharing economy trends, hurdles and solutions pertaining to corporate travel. Our supporting second-quarter data even made an appearance in the session presentation, demonstrating Uber’s increasing disruption in the corporate travel market:

GBTA Presentation - Q2 Data from Certify

Differentiating Brands in a Sharing Economy
The key takeaways in this short session were the three Cs of the sharing economy: convenience, customer experience and cost savings. Travelers’ increasing reliance on technology is blurring the lines between business and leisure (in fact, the term “bleisure” was referenced), ultimately changing marketing across the travel industry.

Accessibility is imperative when booking and traveling: “It’s not about sharing, it’s about access,” said moderator Guy Langford of Deloitte & Touche. Head of global hospitality and strategy for Airbnb, Chip Conley, elaborated with another critical viewpoint: “It’s not about personal sharing, it’s about sharing the world’s resources more efficiently.”

Embracing the Sharing Economy: Is Safety and Security the Key Hurdle?
“If we’re used to one thing in the travel industry, it’s change,” said Theresa Thomas, VP of Travel Partnerships at iJET International. In Monday’s panel discussion, the biggest topics were the health, safety and security of travelers who are using non-traditional booking systems (i.e. the sharing economy) for corporate travel.

The panelists discussed how the sharing economy is driving the market by being competitive and innovative, and by making business travel social and fun. But, how do we turn disruption into a managed program (or, aligning with corporate needs)? From a purchasing and a safety standpoint, companies need to know where employees are traveling to, and where they’re staying. “It’s the unknowns that make us—as buyers and users—uncomfortable.”

With regards to disruption, the panelists encouraged the industry to ask questions of the traditional marketplace. Raising issues and inquiring about safety and security—even in traditional marketplaces—will only push new standards for all vendors and drive positive change across the market.

Stay tuned for another blog post #sharing Robbie the Robot’s adventures through the convention and expo hall!