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Corporate Travel and Events

Industry Experts on the Future of Business Travel and Events

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Paul H. Deutch

Senior Vice President, Omni Management Group

Why are in-person events important?

When it comes to business development, quality face-time rules. Email blasts, telephone calls, and a great company website all have their benefits, but there is nothing like a few minutes (or more) of direct and personal interaction. 

What do you think the future of events will hold for corporations across the country?

I think that a corporate event of high quality and value, and which stays current with the times (e.g., technology, issues, etc.), will always play a major role for corporations with respect to business development and product education.  

What is one thing you’ve learned about corporate events?

I have attended nearly 90 conferences over the last 10 years, sometimes also serving on their planning or advisory boards. One thing I have learned is that the success of a conference rests primarily on two factors: the quality and timeliness of the substantive agenda, and how well the physical location of the conference facilitates networking. Recognizing that not all industries are the same, I believe that one reason a conference will be remembered poorly is if ample time was not provided for social interaction, and/or if the conference hotel, convention center, etc. did not have hospitality space or a central lounge or bar where attendees could gather comfortably on a social level.

What is one thing you want all companies to keep in mind during events?

Over the years, I have hosted dozens of events (dinners, parties, etc.) at industry conferences and have probably attended 10 times as many events hosted by other companies. From a marketing/business development perspective, it is imperative for all attendees to be respectful of the time, effort, and expense put in by their hosts. If your plans change, let them know. If you want to bring five people with you to someone else’s event, be courteous and ask first.

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Jason Wynn

Chief Commercial Officer, Upside Business Travel

What is the top concern of planning business travel and how can it be combated?

Planning business travel is like shopping online before Amazon. Employees waste time searching across a host of sites to find the best prices and convenient options. The solution is a one-stop shop that’s backed by expert customer service and that understands the ins and outs of business travel.

What do you look forward to most when traveling for business?

Accomplishing the mission of my trip. The best part is getting business done, where the travel is invisible and simply a means to an end. We envision a future where a business trip is less about getting there and more about getting business done.

How has technology improved business travel?

Technology is starting to improve the experience, but it’s not quite there yet. Personalized, on-demand, location-aware, socially connected, predictive, proactive – these are the expectations of modern services. Travel has a huge opportunity to catch up, meet, and exceed those expectations.

What should planners keep top-of-mind when organizing trips for employees?

Always remember the goal of the trip is to get business done. Everything should work toward ensuring traveler productivity and happiness. That means balancing price, comfort, and convenience to ensure a successful trip for both the traveler and company.

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