Procurement professionals and business travel professionals will meet May 14-15 in Las Vegas for ProcureCon Travel 2019, a conference for senior sourcing travel leaders. Andy Menkes, BCD Travel’s senior vice president of Global Client Solutions, will moderate a May 14 panel discussion about the ever-changing world of business travel and the tools and solutions shaping the industry. In this Q&A, he shares his perspective on how travel programs can prepare for the future.
5 questions with Andy Menkes
You’re moderating a panel on corporate travel innovation and ways travel management companies can adapt to an evolving environment. Can you tell us more about that evolving environment? Where do you see the biggest areas of change/evolution?
We have a new generation of business travelers who would rather use their thumb than dial a phone number and speak to an agent. Mobile technologies, including chat supported by artificial intelligence (AI), enable a traveler to have a “digital conversation” with one hand while multi-tasking with the other. Unlike telephony where a recording can tell you, “All agents are busy, please continue to hold,” mobile technology provides instant feedback and an audit trail of the interaction.
Some people doubt that TMCs will exist in the future. What’s response to them?
I don’t see that ever happening in my lifetime, and I’m in good health. Online bookings still require the resources of a TMC and offline/VIP bookings will always require a TMC.
What are two or three takeaways attendees can expect to get from this session?
In addition to getting direct feedback from travel managers with a procurement background, attendees will get a supply-side perspective from me.
In your opinion, what recent tool or technological development in business travel is the most impactful?
TripSource® by BCD Travel. It simplifies business travel by giving users instant access to trip details, hotel booking, risk alerts, flight notifications and itinerary sharing.
Have you ever been to Vegas? Away from the strip, what’s your favorite thing to do?
I’ve been to Vegas a few times. Apart from the strip, I like to catch a comedy show and try the one-of-a-kind restaurants.