Hello, New Year: FCM Leaders Set Their Sights on 2023 

new years ever fireworks

As we start a new year,  we always find ourselves in a mix between reflection and projection. What did we learn from the past year? How will these lessons make us better in the new one? Where are the opportunities for change and growth? 

We decided to seek out some of those answers from our leaders here in the Americas. There were undoubtedly a lot of lessons learned in corporate travel throughout 2022, but those lessons have led to what they believe will be a bright 2023.  

Keep reading to hear their thoughts, and from everyone at FCM, Happy New Year! 

alexandra de vau svp of sales

How has the role of sales changed in the last year, and what do you see for sales in 2023?

We’ve gone from 99% of engagements happening virtually to seeing more than 50% of engagements happening in person. Salespeople are back on the road! Value creation is still critical if you want to acquire new customers, and the best partnerships are those that are focused on delivering value and not solely on costs. 

What should organizations keep in mind when going to RFP in 2023?  

It’s important to look at your M&E spend requirements alongside your transient with the ultimate goal of consolidating both with one provider. With a large percentage of the workforce still working from home, it’s easy to lose sight of the smaller meetings that are happening at a team or divisional level that all add up and can contribute to volume negotiations. By consolidating everything in one place, you have greater opportunity to achieve efficiency through cost savings, consistency, and visibility. 

What's your corporate travel resolution for 2023? 

My corporate travel resolution is to stop worrying about some of the inconveniences popping up, like flight delays. I want to focus on being grateful for the return of the industry I love so much and stay positive that we will overcome the current challenges. 

What is your personal New Year's resolution for 2023? 

Visit at least one country that I’ve never been to before!  

maren hanschke

Thinking back to our predictions at the end of 2021, what surprised you the most about Mexican, Latin American, & Caribbean (MLAC) corporate travel in 2022?  

Fortunately, we underestimated our predictions because Latin America has been one of the fastest recovering regions. The resilience of corporate travel and MICE has been incredible. Average trip spend has increased by at least 30%, SME is above 130% recovery, and air and hotel rates have increased significantly.  

What are the emerging trends for MLAC corporate travel in 2023?

We are seeing a larger focus on traveler well-being. Travelers are looking for quality and comfort, while completing their trip efficiently. 

What's your corporate travel resolution for 2023?  

Making life a part of business trips – I want to always make sure to have fun and explore new places when I travel for work. 

What is your personal New Year's resolution for 2023?

Now you’ve made me think…I want to focus more on gratitude, family, and having fun!  

ashley gutermuth

Thinking back to our predictions at the end of 2021, what surprised you the most about corporate travel in 2022? 

How quickly travel was turned back on! We had been talking about what it would look like and how to prepare for it, and when the time actually came it was like floodgates were opened.  

What does the role of consulting look like in 2023? 

The role of consulting will be to level set. 2023 will be the year of change, especially in the sourcing category. We are finally starting to see the changes to supplier agreements that have been hinted at for the past year or two. It’s going to be a bumpy ride with rate fluctuations and contractual changes, but our role is to make sense of it all, ensuring that clients are still getting value for their new volume, travel patterns, and traveler needs. 

What's your corporate travel resolution for 2023? 

To refer to pre-2019 the way my daughter refers to my youth: back in the olden days. 

What is your personal New Year's resolution for 2023? 

To join in on the bleisure phenomenon! A piece of advice I received a while ago, I will finally put into action: When a business trip takes you to a new destination, take the time to explore now. Life goes by quickly and a return trip doesn’t always happen. 

karly theroff

What does the role of account management look like in 2023? 

Now that travel is back, there will be an emphasis on offering strategic insights that marry human support + tech support. Clients see the value that self-service technology brings, but they want to feel confident using it. And of course, we’ll always be available to make recommendations on program improvement.

How does the human support of account management fit into an increasingly automated world? 

Human support will never go away. By using technology and automation, it will only help us to be more efficient and afford us the time to focus on strategy, planning, and making smart recommendations to help our customers be successful.  

What's your corporate travel resolution for 2023? 

To actually take my workout clothes out of my suitcase and use them while I’m on the road. 

What is your personal New Year's resolution for 2023? 

To drink less Diet Coke and become a better cook! 

kate mcmahon

What does the corporate M&E space look like in 2023?  

Hectic! Moving into 2023 we have two workflows colliding. We have a full calendar of events from the more risk adverse clients that opted to postpone their large programs from 2020/21. This workflow consists of many large conferences, incentives, and strategically marketed events. We have another workflow of smaller managed meetings and venue sourcing. Clients are focusing on higher volumes of smaller meetings with quick turnarounds, along with a streamlined contracting process. We’re ready to rise to the occasion – FCM M&E currently has its largest and most capable team to date.  

What will be most critical for corporate M&E planning in 2023?  

Availability remains an issue so the key to planning in 2023 will be proactivity. Planning events as far out as possible will ensure the best rates and availability of venues and have the right resources available. The demand is far greater than the supply right now.  

What's your corporate travel resolution for 2023?  

Believe it or not, I haven’t really had an airline I have been loyal to over the years. In 2023 I have committed to a carrier and want to hit a higher status!  

What is your personal New Year's resolution for 2023?  

I feel like the pandemic made me a little more introverted than I used to be. I want to be a social butterfly again, so my 2023 resolution is to “not turn down any social invitations without a good reason!”  

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