Wednesday 20 September 2017


In Conversation With… Elizabeth Anderson, Global Travel Risk Assistant, Inmarsat

Elizabeth is presenting 'Ask the experts: how to implement a risk management programme' at Business Travel Summit Amsterdam, which takes place at the city's RAI from 25-26 September. Book your free place now at

Tell us about your session in one sentence?
It's a good opportunity to get into the practical details of setting up a travel risk plan.

What is the single most important piece of advice/information buyers will take away from your talk?
Identifying the loopholes and joining up the dots to ensure a comprehensive travel risk programme.

What are the top three tips you would give to travel managers/buyers when it comes to implementing a risk travel management programme?
Write your own Travel Safety Policy with the assistance of your security provider to understand the various risks and use this as a guide for your travel safety management. Know who your travellers are - understand the various profiles and types of risks.
Learn effective ways of communicating with your travellers.

Do you think – overall – organisations provide adequate travel risk management? Do you feel some countries are better than others? Why is it so essential right now?
I don't think that companies yet provide fully adequate travel risk management but there is a growing focus on it and while larger companies are often better prepared due to the widespread recognition of risks and availability of resources, smaller and medium sized companies are increasingly aware of the need to have a plan in place but often have less resource. It is particularly important now where the risks at least appear to be growing and it is an opportunity to advise travellers on the various risks surrounding travel. I don't know if certain countries are better than others but those such as the UK, US and Germany as well as Asia-Pac countries are likely the most focused.

What’s the biggest challenge facing buyers now and why?
Getting senior management and colleagues from different departments involved (establishing ownership and types of risks), communicating effectively with travellers as well as understanding the different types of risks that can affect travellers.

What’s the biggest opportunity they should be taking advantage of and why?
Keeping up with publications to constantly review your travel risk programme, using the resources you have and speaking to your security provider regularly. 

Why is it important to have a summit dedicated to buyers in the Nordics and Benelux?
Because of the number of companies based in this area who engage in regular international travel including travel between these countries.

Why are you looking forward to BT Summit Amsterdam?
To meet peers and find out what they are doing.

Wednesday 13 September 2017

In Conversation With… Xaveer Fluitman, Regional Director Business Travel,

Xaveer is speaking about 'How to be traveller-centric while keeping control' at Business Travel Summit Amsterdam, which takes place 25-26 September at the city's RAI. Book your free place now at 

Session title: 
What does traveller centricity mean to you?
To us at, traveller centricity means choice, flexibility, transparency and ease of use. And that's what we aim to bring as the core of all our solutions for business travellers and travel managers. We believe that booking a business stay should be every bit as smooth and enjoyable as making plans for your next holiday. 

What will it look like in the future?
Business travel is undergoing a transformation inspired by technology, which continues to positively disrupt how we plan, book and stay, whether travelling for leisure or business. The traveller centric future is seamless, personalised and easily adaptable on the go. It's all about removing complexity and opening up additional freedom and choice.

What is the single most important piece of advice you would share with buyers about traveller centricity?
A traveller centric approach that provides optimal flexibility and choice doesn't mean sacrificing oversight or duty of care. With the right platform, tooling and technology, buyers can keep up with travellers' ever-evolving expectations and needs with the confidence that they're making the right choices, all the while maintaining the desired levels of control.

What impact will it have on buyers and travellers?
If you give travellers the personal choice and flexibility they crave, it not only means happier travellers and more productive trips, it also means peace of mind and efficiency for buyers, not to mention more travellers booking their travel within policy. It's all about leveraging the right tooling and finding smart solutions that are tailored to modern business needs and a workforce increasingly on the move.

Why are you looking forward to being part of BT Summit Amsterdam? 
We're really looking forward to being a part of BT Summit Amsterdam, as it's a great opportunity to connect with more of our customers and share ideas with other like-minded companies in the business travel space. We always learn a lot from the discussions that occur and leave inspired with additional ideas to keep innovating and enhancing our product offering further.

Monday 11 September 2017

Meetings management – can you honestly say that you are achieving this successfully?

Meetings management – can you honestly say that you are achieving this successfully?  Having a general view of what you are spending is nice, but it’s not really managing a part of your travel spend which is no doubt growing higher and higher with little visibility and control. 

We know that TMCs are process and financially challenged by having to deal with meeting requests for venue finding, small number of attendees, etc. and do you really want your bookers spending hours looking for somewhere that doesn’t comply with your policy?  Whoever is involved, we know the process of booking meetings offline is very labour and time consuming.  62% of European companies admit they are not effectively managing this spend, and with 80% as offline bookings, it more than proves that the current process is outdated and disconnected.  The legacy systems are just not coping in today’s more accountable world.

Having a system that is fit for purpose for all users delivering a world class B2C experience for B2B users is where WIZME comes into the solution.  Built on an adaptable platform that can integrate into the corporate, agency and hotel venue systems, with minimum set up fuss and speedy adoption, with practical functionality that drives and reports the right choices, why wouldn’t you want to know more about it?!

So if you think there is room for improvement in your current meetings programme and you’re going to be in Amsterdam at the Business Travel Summit, then please come along and find out more about the WIZME end-to-end system that brings complete transparency, control and order to meetings management. 

Nour Mouakke is founder & CEO of WIZME - you can meet him and hear more about his product at Business Travel Summit Amsterdam from 26-27 September. 

Wednesday 6 September 2017


In Conversation With… Paul Raymond Director of Strategic Relationships, Conferma

Session title: The EU and your card programme

What is the biggest political development to affect corporate payment programmes and how/why?
One of the most significant changes in the corporate payment space is the European Union Regulation on Interchange Fees for card-based transactions (also known as the IFR).
This means that consumer card transactions are subject to a lower interchange rate. Additionally, individually settled corporate cards are defined within the same rules as consumer cards with the associated reduced interchange. However, payment cards that are for business expenses only and centrally billed to a company are not subject to the cap on interchange fees.

Our belief is that the differential in interchange for the two card definitions will lead to a significant move towards centrally settled solutions in order to maintain existing rebates and remove the exposure to potential transaction fees on individually settled cards. Centrally settled virtual payment solutions now offer an established route to address the IFR challenges and a growing number of corporates see this as the optimal solution when planning their corporate payment strategy.

What is PSD2 and what impact will that have on buyer’s programme? 

The objectives of the EU’s wide-ranging Directive on Payment Services (known as PSD2) include regulating new types of payment service providers, prohibiting card surcharges and improving the security of online payments. It is scheduled to take effect in January 2018. The outline of the directive has been agreed for several years, but the most recent draft suggests that corporate payments will be exempt.Corporate cards tend to be subject to much lower levels of fraud because their usage is already under stringent security processes. This means that the additional cost and complexity of PSD2 controls do not have the same level of urgency in the corporate payments space that retail payment mechanisms attract.

What opportunities and challenges will Brexit prove to have on travel programmes? Clearly, the biggest challenge Brexit creates is that of uncertainty. It would be a brave person who was able to state with any confidence that the overall effect of Brexit will be either positive or negative. Ultimately, commercial practices will be subject to change and with that, there is likely to be cost implication. How significant those costs are will depend on the ongoing discussions between the UK government and the wider EU. At this stage, indications are that the divorce will be relatively amicable as both sides recognise the requirement to remain trusted trade partners, any more than that would be supposition.

If you were erring on the side of positivity the UK could characterise a decoupling from Europe as an opportunity to strengthen trade relations with other key partners, most notably the USA, and to leverage the independence to allow a more flexible approach to all aspect of a trade agreement. While this position has some credence, it is also possible to make an alternative argument that as a single entity the UK has less leverage in any negotiations and indeed the EU is weakened by the loss the UK`s involvement.

Why are you looking forward to taking part in the Summit this year?

From Conferma`s perspective 2017/18 is a very exciting period in the business` history. With a number of key developments and partnerships coming to fruition, it is an ideal time for us to extend our reach, build on our brand awareness and network more closely with the quality of attendees that the Summit attracts.