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Travel Managers Office Hours: Town Hall

On September 29th, we hosted our first town hall during the Traxo Travel Managers Office Hours webinar series. This webinar was only open to travel buyers to facilitate an open conversation regarding the countless hurdles travel managers now face, from traveler safety to expense reporting and what to do about unused tickets.

Roughly 100 travel managers joined to share their advice and ask questions about improving their travel programs. 

[Poll] What Percentage of Your Travel Program has Resumed to Date?

The webinar kicked-off with a poll asking the group how much of their company’s travel had resumed since the pandemic began. Here are the results from 47 respondents:

Traxo Travel Program Poll

Addressing Duty of Care During COVID-19

From there, the conversation started right up. One of the primary areas of concern for everyone was duty of care and how to ensure travelers feel comfortable and well-prepared while traveling. 

One manager said her team provides personal protective equipment (PPE) kits. Another noted her team prepared a 70-page pandemic response manual to help them manage the existing situation while prepping for the next possible health crisis. Other attendees mentioned the use of COVID-response websites, resources, and FAQs to educate traveling employees. 

What’s Keeping You Up at Night?

The event’s moderator, Justin Morris, asked the group what their biggest challenge in Q3 2020. Haliburton’s travel manager explained that her biggest challenge was traveler communication.

Because information on how to travel safely changes day-to-day, keeping up with traveler communication was an issue many managers agreed was an obstacle. However, some find help from their TMCs and the resources they have prepared to help companies address these evolving issues. 

Business Travel Approvals & Program Mandates

Other issues travel managers face were travel approvals and changes to corporate travel program mandates. One attendee, Carmen from ICF, said her travel program had transitioned from being loosely-mandated to tightly-mandated. Thanks to ongoing communication and collaboration with each division in her company, she said she feels that travel and travel policies are better understood within her organization.

Another travel manager from Leggett mentioned that all of her company’s travel requires executive approval until travel resumes more fully. 

Travel Program Overhauls

Justin Morris asked the group if they had implemented significant changes to their travel programs during the lull in corporate travel imposed by COVID-19. Another manager from Leggett said their program used to be a traditional “rent-a-plate” program but moved to a new TMC that’s helped them through their transition. 

Another attendee mentioned that her company was taking this time to review its carbon footprint and produce a new sustainability initiative. She expects that her company’s operations will include a blend of in-person meetings and virtual meetings to keep travelers safe while reducing emissions.

Another attendee recommended TroopTravel, a travel technology tool, for planning the optimal location for in-person meetings based on emissions, travel time, cost, and other factors. 

TMC Subscription Vs. Transaction Models

One travel manager from the University of Chicago brought up his concerns over suppliers and how well they’ll continue operating as the pandemic drags on. This led to a discussion about the sustainability of TMC transaction models. While several managers said they did use a transaction-based model, some agreed they were looking to transition to a subscription model in the future as travel ebbs and flows. 

[Poll] How Much Are You Changing Your Travel Program During the Lull in Business Travel?

Traxo Travel Program Changes Poll

Travel Supplier Changes

The next topic of discussion centered around the changes within the supplier industries. One attendee said she suspects industries, such as the airline industry, will shrink, adapt, and continue operations, as it has during past disruptions. As an example, she sited larger airline’s partnerships with smaller airlines to expand their reach. 

Restricted Suppliers: AirBnB, Lyft, and Uber

Many of the attendees weighed in on the suppliers currently restricted from their travel programs. Some said AirBnB was not a current option for overnight stays and others said their company’s never allowed the home-sharing platform. Many agreed they allowed for rideshare services, but they’re encouraging travelers to opt for rental cars during the pandemic.

Unused Tickets and Credits

Other issues attendees agreed they were facing were unused tickets and airline credits. Carmen from ICF said her company asked the airlines to place their credits on a UATP card  so they could be used for anyone later on, rather than being reserved for certain employees. 

Another attendee said she had an unused ticket protocol in place and asked her agency to help them identify tickets due to expire in the coming months so they could use those for essential trips. 

A final note from another attendee reminded travel managers to negotiate the terms associated with UATP cards, as some come with high fees and restrictions.

Try Traxo for Free

To close the webinar, Traxo’s CEO, Andres Fabris, introduced a new opportunity for travel managers to try the Traxo platform for free. For travel managers who deploy Traxo before Nov. 30, 2020, they can experience how Traxo eliminates travel booking blindspots to improve duty of care, expense reporting, travel program compliance, and more. If you’re interested in learning more about trying Traxo for free, contact us today.

Watch the Town Hall Webinar Recording:

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Traxo Introduction Video:

 

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On March 30th, 2021, we hosted our second town hall during the Traxo Travel Managers Office Hours webinar series. This webinar was open to all travel industry professionals, including travel buyers, suppliers, and TMCs. More than 150 travel professionals joined the session to ask questions, share their experiences and connect with industry peers.

Customer Stories

Case Study: Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers

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(ICF-hosted Webinar) Return to Travel: The Digital Divide

On October 15, 2020, ICF hosted a webinar about the return to travel after COVID-19 and the role of technology in managing this restart successfully. The webinar was hosted by ICF’s senior travel manager, Carmen Smith, with three travel data experts as panelists, including Traxo's Chief Product Officer, Matt Griffin.

The Webinar Panelists:

Dave

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Travel Managers Office Hours: Town Hall March 2021

On March 30th, 2021, we hosted our second town hall during the Traxo Travel Managers Office Hours webinar series. This webinar was open to all travel industry professionals, including travel buyers, suppliers, and TMCs. More than 150 travel professionals joined the session to ask questions, share their experiences and connect with industry peers.

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Travel Managers Office Hours: What's Next for Program Compliance?

 

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Travel Program Compliance Webinar Panelists:

  • Suzanne Boyan, ZS Associates (2019

Customer Stories

Case Study: Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers

Despite having a mandated travel policy, like many companies, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers struggled with travel program leakage. Recurrent reconciliation and budgeting data challenges presented by this leakage activity was a key factor that drove Travel Administration Manager Michelle Grant to find travel data capture and intelligence provider,

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Travel Managers Office Hours: Managing Travel Program Changes

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the business travel industry experienced a massive amount of disruption in 2020. This disruption created the necessity for several travel program changes, from urgent adjustments in how companies address duty of care to policy changes enforcing greater program compliance. On October 27th, Traxo brought together three

Ebooks

How to Embrace an Omnichannel Strategy eBook

How to Embrace and Omnichannel Travel Management Strategy eBook

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These are two prominent questions answered in Traxo's eBook, "How to Embrace an Omnichannel Strategy." By taking a closer look at

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Solving the Data Puzzle with Grasp and Traxo

For Travel Programs, data exists everywhere, in different formats and systems. Unfortunately, up to 40% of that data falls outside the traditional booking channels, making it invisible to travel managers. This has become a massive problem for end-to-end travel management and proper duty of care. During the "Solving the Data Puzzle Webinar with

Webinars

Travel Managers Office Hours: Effective RFPs & Hotel Spend Management

In the August 2021 edition of Traxo's Travel Managers Office Hours webinar series, executives from BTP Automation and an experienced Sabre travel manager joined Traxo to discuss crafting hotel RFPs quickly and optimizing hotel program spend. 

Our Webinar Panelists:

Webinars

Travel Managers Office Hours: Town Hall March 2021

On March 30th, 2021, we hosted our second town hall during the Traxo Travel Managers Office Hours webinar series. This webinar was open to all travel industry professionals, including travel buyers, suppliers, and TMCs. More than 150 travel professionals joined the session to ask questions, share their experiences and connect with industry peers.

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Travel Managers Office Hours: Uncovering Value in Travel Leakage

In this edition of Traxo's Travel Managers Office Hours webinar series, we brought together three experts from travel industry areas to discuss the hidden value of travel leakage, from savings opportunities to enhanced traveler satisfaction. 

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Travel Managers Office Hours: What's Next for Program Compliance?

 

As we approach 2021, it's critical to think strategically about travel program compliance and put a plan in place that safeguards your program. On December 8th, Traxo brought together three experienced travel managers to discuss what's next for program compliance.

Travel Program Compliance Webinar Panelists:

  • Suzanne Boyan, ZS Associates (2019

Webinars

Travel Managers Office Hours: Managing Travel Program Changes

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the business travel industry experienced a massive amount of disruption in 2020. This disruption created the necessity for several travel program changes, from urgent adjustments in how companies address duty of care to policy changes enforcing greater program compliance. On October 27th, Traxo brought together three

Webinars

(ICF-hosted Webinar) Return to Travel: The Digital Divide

On October 15, 2020, ICF hosted a webinar about the return to travel after COVID-19 and the role of technology in managing this restart successfully. The webinar was hosted by ICF’s senior travel manager, Carmen Smith, with three travel data experts as panelists, including Traxo's Chief Product Officer, Matt Griffin.

The Webinar Panelists:

Dave

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Travel Managers Office Hours: Stages of Recovery

Supplier Perspectives on Corporate Travel Recovery

As companies gradually restart business trips and the gears begin to turn again for airlines, hotels, and ground transportation suppliers, the world of business travel will look quite different for everyone.

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Wondering what industry experts are saying about the future of corporate travel and what to consider when adapting and evolving your travel program?

View a candid conversation with three strategic, innovative thought leaders in corporate travel, moderated by Chad Costa from Traxo.

In this webinar, we discuss:

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Travel Managers Office Hours: Addressing the Impact of COVID-19 on Our Travel Programs

Wondering what other corporate travel managers are seeing and doing in these confusing times? View a candid conversation with fellow travel managers on the front line and moderated by Chad Costa from Traxo. 

 

In this webinar, we discuss:

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