During the ACTE Global Conference in Paris on October 15th, I will be moderating a panel discussion on this subject: The future of corporate travel management. I write about it today to each of you because I think this is a really cool subject - one where opinions are varied and wide. I imagine that not everyone can go to such a wonderful location as Paris - so I wanted to give you a preview. But, if you do have the opportunity to attend, I hope you find it both entertaining as well as rewarding. We have planned some exciting questions that speak to a lot of subjects about the future.
I think we all must have a foundation of understanding about the future: and that is no one knows what will happen in the future. However, educated speculation should provide a glimpse into scenarios that may come true. What will happen if airlines stop using a GDS to distribute their product? What if an airline starts to offer standing room only? What if hotels no longer give discounts to their most favored customers?
Each answer to these questions can be varied depending on those that are answering it. This is what is so exciting - what I hope will be a panel full of civil discourse borne out of different opinions. But since no one knows what will happen, these opinions are all valued and valuable. They help us shape our future.
Too often in our world of corporate travel management, there are new products or services that claim to be the best - claim to be the wonderful solution to all problems - but it seems like they failed to speak to the end customers about that. In fact, more often than not they end up being a dud. I tell my students in entrepreneurship to always find your customers and speak to them. Customers know best.
So, if you will be in Paris, please look for me. I hope to meet many of my customers and colleagues at the conference, and hope you can come to our session.