Meetings and travel are often managed separately, but there may be a case for integrating the two processes. Though each area has unique challenges and needs, integration can bring great benefits, especially when it comes time for you to send requests for proposals to suppliers.
Benefits of integrating travel and meetings
If your organization's meeting and travel spend are already going to the same suppliers, there's no reason to avoid integration. Doing so can increase transparency and generate savings. By leveraging overall spend volume during negotiations, your organization can find opportunities to improve savings from suppliers.
According to strategic meetings management expert and Business Travel News contributor Shimon Avish, there are five major benefits of integration:
- The ability to leverage combined spend with hotel suppliers
- The opportunity to utilize a single payment platform to earn better rebates
- Increased transparency and compliance
- Reduced redundancies
- More efficient processes
Challenges to consider
Although strategic meetings management and travel programs are very similar, they are not identical. Duty of care concerns are very different for meetings and travel. For example, if your organization is the host of the meeting, your stakeholders may be responsible for ensuring adequate entry security for a large group of people. Meanwhile, travel duty of care will focus on the specific needs of individual travelers.
Learn more about explaining risk to your business travelers in this Navigator Blog post.
How a TMC partner can help
To effectively integrate travel and meetings management, you may need the help of an experienced travel management company. When you partner with the right TMC, you gain access to experts who can assess your current suite of technology and identity opportunities for streamlining processes.
Likewise, trustworthy TMCs have established relationships with suppliers across the globe. Leveraging these connections, TMCs can find innovative ways to reduce your organization's overall cost structure, which can be especially helpful when your organization lacks the volume to effectively negotiate for lower rates.
Every organization has opportunities to improve travel and meetings budgets and processes. Connect with an expert consultant at Direct Travel today to learn more.