Meeting planning is sometimes rolled up under the business travel department, other times it’s separate—and justifications can be made for either set-up. In the simplest terms, consolidation gives companies better insight into total travel spend, which can be used to achieve better negotiated rates. But meetings are working toward business outcomes beyond travel, leveraging speakers, meals, room formats, engagement technology, décor, and more to achieve their goals.
While these differences can put up barriers to a consolidated department, there is plenty that meeting departments can learn from their business travel counterparts, and a new survey shines a light on the visibility business travel departments have achieved at their companies.
In total, 347 travel managers responded to a survey from the Global Business Travel Association and BCD Travel asking about their engagement with corporate leadership and other departments.
• Cross-department collaboration: Most travel managers work together with stakeholders from finance and accounting (79 percent), human resources (66 percent), security/risk management (63 percent), C-level (61 percent), and legal/compliance (59 percent).
• Topic specialists: More than two-thirds of travel managers (68 percent) say they or someone from their department serves on a cross-department taskforce, committee, or working group. Those committee members address travel policies (84 percent), expense policies (70 percent), safety/risk management (66 percent), and technology (48 percent).
• Data sharing: Travel managers “frequently” or “regularly” share data with finance/accounting (70 percent), C-level (66 percent), and security/risk management (50 percent).
• Risk leadership: More than half of respondents (58 percent) say their travel department is the primary decision-maker when selecting the company’s travel risk management providers. Almost half say the travel department is the primary owner of communicating with travelers in an emergency (48 percent) or developing the travel risk management policy.