The debrief: Business Travel Show 2018

A fresh look at humanising tech

Last week’s Business Travel Show was an exhibition of the latest and greatest from suppliers and buyers alike. The overarching theme was certainly a ‘fresh’ approach, with new and unique products and services showcased by everyone from airlines to risk management companies. This is surely a response to the increasingly competitive nature of the industry, with everyone wanting to stand out from the crowd.

One of our first encounters of the day was with American Express’s very friendly show robot! This set the tone for what proved to be another major theme – technology with human impact.

Conversations with travel buyers and bookers confirmed an increasing appetite for comprehensive end-to-end online booking tools. This doesn’t mean that personal relationships are becoming redundant though, as clients still look for TMCs that provide exceptional customer service with real industry expertise. Real people like speaking to real people, and no technological advancement can replace that.

Demonstrations of our all-in-one online booking tool, OrBiT, went down particularly well, with visitors keen to explore ways of simplifying the booking process. Buyers and bookers are being drawn to the most intuitive, easy-to-use tools which mimic web online booking processes. They simply don’t have time to fuss through complicated processes, and tools with too much clutter are likely to fall by the wayside in months to come.

Our key take-home message was the importance of developing cutting edge technology and standing out from the crowd without compromising on exceptional customer service. We want to make travel management as hassle-free as possible, and if we’re able to develop and maintain fantastic client relationships along the way, it makes it all the more worthwhile.

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