Technology was the buzzword at this year’s Business Travel (BT) Show, where over 7,500 attendees gathered at London’s Olympia Grand to find out the latest from the biggest players in the business travel world.
Various sessions over the two days gave insight on topics such as digitalisation, virtual meetings and consumerism from the industry’s experts – including CWT’s Nigel Turner, Senior director of programme management & business services, UK & Ireland sharing his thoughts on a panel discussing the sharing economy.
Evidence of the growing sharing economy was rife, with Uber and booking.com both taking exhibitor stands to showcase their new corporate offerings. Many others were rolling out new technologies, from online booking tools to mobile apps, Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) was promoting live demos and diagnostic sessions with its new reporting tool CWT AnalytIQs.
On the gallery level Travel Technology Europe (TTE), Europe’s leading specialist technology exhibition, ran simultaneously allowing visitors to step into the future of business travel, with the tech-leaders of tomorrow pitching their latest ideas and products to the market.
A recurring topic discussion was that the distinction between corporate and leisure travellers is not as clear cut as it used to be, with key speakers noting that business travellers have come to expect the same user-friendly systems that they use for leisure travel. CWT recently announced that users of its mobile booking tool CWT To Go can now book Uber rides directly within the app, as it pre-populates user and destination information. David Moran, CWT executive vice president of global marketing and enterprise strategy, said CWT To Go "knows you have arrived at your destination and prompts Uber to pop up."
According to the word on the street at the BT Show, the way forward is to continue to consumerise and mobilise business travel technology in order to keep up with the demands and expectations of the travellers of the future.