Last week, our team had the opportunity to attend and showcase Zeno at the ACTE Global Summit in Chicago. As is often the case at the close of industry conferences, we came away with several topics that led to some great internal conversations about the current state and future of the corporate travel industry, as well as where Zeno by Serko, our travel expense and booking tool, fits into that landscape.
What were these topics that prompted such spirited discussion among our team, you ask? Here are our top takeaways from this year’s ACTE Global Summit:
1. Traveler expectations change fast and often
With all the airline, hotel and ground transportation options available today, corporate traveler expectations are high. Travelers are now able to pick and choose what is important to them: Wi-Fi, entertainment, food, comfort, travel time… and the list goes on. Because of the wide variety available, traveler expectations change fast and often. To keep up with the trends of the traveler, data is being used to power, monitor, and execute all of this change. If you aren’t harnessing the data on your travel program available to you to monitor these changes and proactively respond to them, you are missing out.
2. Procurement is changing
Successful procurement requires data-driven, automated technology allowing for continual improvement. Therefore, we must seek to secure data in easily usable formats. Travel management and procurement professionals must motivate their suppliers to provide timely, reliable data in a format allowing for quick analysis and decision making. The supplier must be committed to not only providing this data now, but to providing better, more reliable and easily digestible data in the future.
3. Hotels are the biggest target for credit card fraud.
In an era of increasing data security scrutiny, travelers are still battling credit card fraud. At one of the sessions on this topic, it was claimed that 88% of all credit card fraud is generated from hotels. Travelers are already at risk from other security threats while taking time away from their families and the comfort of their own homes. Now the “safe space” of hotels or apartments when traveling are one of the greatest threats to their credit card security. How can travel managers mitigate this risk? Check out virtual payments options such as Serko partner Troovo, which issues one-time use numbers that restrict the use and amount charged to a card and thus reduces the likelihood of credit card fraud.
4. Focus on your customer when it comes to travel technology.
Most corporate travel managers do not have a clear vision of their internal customers. Start by defining: “Who is your customer?” Then develop a strategy to effectively reach your customers quickly and directly. Quick tip: When building new products or offerings it’s okay to fail fast. Gather a willing test group in your organization and then introduce new offerings often and consistently to gain feedback before rolling out new services or products to the entire organization.
5. Work/life balance is gone.
The long-standing dilemma of work and play is still unmastered in 2019. For many of us, the assumption that technology, and the different opportunities allowed for when and where work is done, would allow more flexibility to make life outside of work a higher priority. The general consensus at ACTE was that in fact the opposite is happening. Messaging, email and workplace mobility allow bosses, co-workers and clients to interrupt 24/7. Additionally, the trend of increased business travel is taking a toll on employees. For the average employee, the line between work and life hasn’t just blurred, it’s gone.
Was there a topic we missed that you want to discuss? Did you miss us at ACTE? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below