Created as a day to recognize, reward and honor the often ignored business travel community, National Business Traveler Day (NBTD) took place on April 24th, and attracted the support of over 20 national brands, including Wall Street Journal, Hertz, MasterCard, JetBlue, and Upside Business Travel, amongst many others. Across the country, business travelers were celebrated and rewarded with prizes and giveaways, the day was a success!
Q&A with Genevieve Holmes, Project and Research Director, Upside Business Travel
How has the landscape changed in the last few years as far as booking business travel?
The days of the older male DIY business traveler — with his attitudes toward travel, his expectations as a customer, and his priorities as a consumer — is giving way to a significantly more diverse picture. Or at least so says our just released study: The New Face of Business Travel. The headline is in the report’s cover photo; the new face of business travel is female, and she’s a force to be reckoned with.
With the rise of virtual options for meetings, how does it stay buoyant?
Taking a lesson from neurologist and author Donald B Calne: “reason leads to conclusion, but emotion leads to action.” An email, slide deck and a conference line may equip your audience with the “reasons” to believe in your meeting’s purpose, but will it drive them to action? Probably not. Face-to-face meetings are emotive. Everyone leaves connected, inspired and engaged–your audience included. The power of face-to-face meetings are beyond a virtual experience, they’re emotive, they’re actionable, they’re memorable–and they’re not going away any time soon.
With the rise in the “bleisure” segment, how does that change the game for online providers?
Personalization more important than ever. Business travelers expect customized, curated recommendations in their destination city. Things like where to stay, what to do, where to eat, and the best remote working spots are key pieces of intel that will differentiate on OTA from another. But it’s even more than that, it’s proactive notifications. There’s a swirl of information out there: air travel, weather, traffic, etc. Business travelers now need someone making sense of this information and proactively alerting them to things that could get in the way of the mission of their business trip.
What shifts have you had to make to accommodate this demand as far as marketing and online offerings?
At Upside Business Travel we sell business travel, and we’re bringing a product to life that uniquely meets the needs of the do-it-yourself business traveler. We have a team of travel experts who look out for you 24/7 to make sure your trip goes off without a hitch on mobile chat, email and by phone–at no cost. We curate your newsfeed right in the Upside App to showcase destination specific recommendations like remote work spots, client-friendly restaurants, hot city-specific conferences, local-fitspo…what-have-you, so that you have one hub for all your business travel needs. Beyond that, we’ve got competitive prices and privately negotiated deals you get access to when you buy two or more travel items together (flights, hotel, rideshare or rental car). It’s all wrapped up on a bow with our smart software that crunches terabytes of travel inventory in seconds to present you with the best business travel options for you based on criteria other sellers don’t consider, like arrival/departure time, meeting location, and overall flexibility, all to get you the best travel deal when you’re jetsetting making your next big company deal.
Do you see any trends in the way men book business travel vs the way women do?
Absolutely, you should check out our report, The New Face of Business Travel, for key insights by cohort, gender included!
Have you seen a shift in markets of interest for meetings & special events? Are there any newer, particularly “hot” destinations that you see trending in this segment?
Not yet, but we will absolutely add to upcoming studies from Upside Business Travel.
Quick Fire- -Top 3 tips for any business traveler- GO!
- Make your business travel dreams come true with free first class domestic upgrades for 20 years. Yes, that’s 100% real. You can enter for your chance to win here: http://bit.ly/2raiySy
2. Here’s a favorite tip from a coworker of mine, Maggie Skinner, on our Instagram.
3. Another one of my favorites, by a coworker of mine, Christopher Rung, on our Instagram.