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Three things we learned at the BTN Travel Program & Policy Workshop

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AmTrav was proud to sponsor the Business Travel News “Structuring a Managed Travel Program & Establishing a T&E Policy” Workshop – wonderful to see everyone there to learn and share the latest strategies and tactics!

Afterward AmTrav Relationship Managers Greg, Shawnda and Kyle shared their three biggest takeaways from the workshop:

The balance shifts sometimes, but it’s still about balance! GoldSpring Consulting’s Will Tate led off the workshop describing the delicate balance that travel administrators achieve between compliance, cost control, duty of care, satisfaction, efficiency and social responsibility. Will observed – and we’ve seen this as well – that during the COVID pandemic the need for duty of care to track and keep travelers safe has increased, but cost controls have receded in favor of satisfaction and efficiency to keep travelers safe and happy on the road through the crisis. Cost control and compliance may make a comeback as the pandemic slowly recedes, but the “great resignation” and environmental concerns keep pressure on travel administrators to ensure traveler satisfaction and social responsibility.

Policy’s only good if people are aware of it – here’s how you make them aware of it. The ace panel of JLL’s Leslie Andrews, 3M’s Chantal Courteau and Pintrest’s Mira Rosenzweig was a highlight of the workshop, in particular sharing tips and tricks to get travelers to learn and remember travel policies. One idea from Leslie: videos are more engaging, how can you make a quick video to get a point across, say about when it’s appropriate to break hotel policy. Likewise breaking policy messages into bite size pieces – reading the whole policy might put a traveler to sleep, it’s a lot easier to remind them when booking premium cabins is and is not permitted. 

Put yourself in travelers’ shoes. We said the panel was good, didn’t we! Mira explained how she overhauled her company’s travel policy by putting herself in her travelers’ shoes, understanding what was worth more to her travelers so the policy would allow those high-value perks while discouraging low value perks (it’s still about balance!). Likewise Chantal took the pandemic travel slowdown as an opportunity to talk with travelers, learning about their experiences on the road – what was it really like to navigate different booking systems and travel in China? In both of these cases a travel administrator who understands the experience of travelers on the road can craft travel and expense policies that meet the needs of travelers – travelers who will in turn follow the policy and help the program realize compliance and savings!

Did you miss our sponsor message? If so, check it out to see the hard way to set up a travel program vs. the easier way!

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It was an action-packed afternoon at the virtual workshop, thank you to everyone who attended and everyone who said “hi!” to our AmTrav team. We’re looking forward to sharing these learnings with our clients, please reach out if you’d like to talk further with an AmTrav Travel Advisor about applying this advice to your travel program – we’re ready to help!

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