It Feels Like Only Yesterday: Our First Thoughts on GBTA Convention 2022 

Group pic FCM GBTA
We may have only just begun to unpack our suitcases or adjust to the jet lag, but that won’t stop us from giving you the skinny on what we observed (and overheard) at GBTA Convention 2022 in San Diego. From the moment the FCM team touched down in the Sunshine State, we kept our eyes and ears open for the trending topics and burning questions that were on the minds of vendors and buyers. 


We’ll dig even deeper in the coming weeks, so watch this space for more updates. In the meantime, here are the top five takeaways from GBTA 2022 that you should know about: 
The State of Sustainability GBTA
1. Sustainability dominated conversation

During the Sustainability keynote, GBTA devoted main stage time to assert the following: the future is green, and the business travel industry is going to lead the charge. GBTA offset 835 metric tons of convention carbon emissions by providing plant-based lunch options, locally donating ~750 pounds of edible food waste, eliminating single-use plastic water bottles, and more. Ryan Panchadsaram, co-author of Speed and Scale, spoke about the steps the industry (and the world) needs to take to avoid a disastrous 3° Celsius temperature increase by 2050. To round it out, Jan Toschka, President of Shell Aviation, announced Shell’s goal to be a carbon-neutral company by 2050 and reaffirmed their commitment to developing SAF and other sustainable fuel options.

AI GBTA 2022
2. Travel tech reigned supreme

59% of surveyed travel managers stated that a TMC’s tech offering was their most important consideration when selecting a new TMC partner (read the full report here). TMCs responded by placing their tech offering front-and-center at their booths, further solidifying the shift to a full-service, self-service, one-stop-shop travel management experience. GBTA 2022 panels such as “OBT Deathmatch” point to this transformation being a battle.



3. AI ushers in next-era travel reports

Artificial intelligence was a huge focus when it came to the data science around travel reporting. There is a renewed focus across the industry to adhere to the Triple Bottom Line, or 3BL: people, planet, and profit. While many of the proof points under people and planet have been historically relegated to qualitative data, the argument was made that AI can help those more abstract concepts (like traveler wellness) be measured and illustrated.  

4. all eyes on LatAm

A standout observation from the expo floor was the amount of booths and vendors dedicated to the Latin American market. Panels like the LATAM Ask an Expert round table reminded attendees of the profit possibilities in key travel markets in LATAM, like Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina, while also making travel buyers aware of the current in-region struggles, like political unrest and inflation.

GBTA 2022 good vibes
5. Good vibes for all

The energy on the expo floor was *chef’s kiss*. Vendors had great activities and giveaways, while many booths were bustling with robust conversations, exciting demos, and glass-raising happy hours. Expense was not spared when it came to having a good time, with after parties and invite-only dinners galore. It feels like a good time to be back in corporate travel.

Ready for more? Next week, we’ll be sharing video interviews from top FCM experts about where they see the future of corporate travel in 2023 and beyond, updates on FCM innovations, and industry observations.

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We'll be attending major travel industry events across North America in 2024. There's a lot to share about what we have in store for corporate travel, and you can learn all about it and more at our education sessions, product demonstrations, industry panels, and event booths. Check it out!

Feeling too much GBTA 2022 FOMO? No need to worry – we’re still here to discuss all our corporate travel needs. Schedule time to chat with us today. 

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