EXPERTS WEIGH IN: Navigating the AI Conversation at GBTA Convention 2024 

Daniel Senyard HW Image - 2


To be honest, you don’t need to be an expert in AI to guess that AI will dominate the conversation at this year’s GBTA Convention in Atlanta.


However, if you’re trying to uncover what’s fact from fiction and reality from reverie while at the event, that may take a bit more guidance. 

Daniel Senyard is no stranger to AI. As Global SVP of Digital Evolution, he works to incorporate the power of AI into the FCM’s customer-facing tools to better aid travelers and travel managers. He also has an eye for spotting what’s the real deal when it comes to discussing AI. So, before you arrive in Atlanta and dive into your travel AI education, we collaborated with Daniel to bring you your guide to navigating the topic. 

What to watch out for: 

There’s going to be a lot of AI buzz at the event, which may translate into a lot of AI noise. Daniel has three key focus areas that attendees should zero in on when seeking out the latest and greatest on the topic: 

1. The evolution of employment 

Many people may be convinced (and scared) that AI will “take their job.” Daniel emphasized that while some roles will be eliminated, most roles will be transformed by AI. He emphasizes that AI has more potential to be a job enhancer and, in return, be a revenue generator. “Let’s look at your code. If your engineers are able to build 20% more features, that gives your salespeople 20% more cool features to sell. And if those salespeople are more productive, they qualify leads better, which will cause them to close more deals.” Make sure anyone who speaks about AI at the event is talking about how AI will help people work better, not replace them (a human touch will always need to exist in travel). 

2. Moving too quickly…or moving too slowly. 

Even when it comes to AI, you need a plan that can be easily explained and reasonably attainable. Daniel cautions against anyone who throws the kitchen sink at you in a conversation when it comes to AI or attempts to overhaul an entire process or workflow with AI without doing their due diligence. On the flip side, going too slowly isn’t acceptable either. AI development isn't slowing down, and the slower an organization is at embracing it, the more it could negatively affect you and your travel program.  

3. Embracing personalization and adaptability 

AI has the potential to help travelers get what they need faster. When embedded into a point-of-booking tool, like the FCM Extension, it can also serve up notifications and reminders that can guide travelers to make better decisions for themselves and their trip, whether it’s adjusting their route options or choosing a greener flight. Daniel says to avoid anyone who seems too attached to the old kind of travel policy: static, unchanging, and one-size-fits-all. You want to work with organizations and people who see the value of AI when it comes to customization. 


What education sessions should you attend? 

There are over 80 education sessions being held at GBTA Convention this year, and many will touch on the topic of AI. So if you’re crunched for time, we picked out two AI sessions that you shouldn’t miss:



AI for Non-Techies: Practical Use Cases, Risks, and Other Opportunities 

Synopsis: The topic of generative AI is sweeping the travel industry. Whether you’re an enthusiast or a skeptic, AI is here to stay. In this session, the panel will address the questions everyone wants answered: What does generative AI mean for our industry? How will it enhance service? Who has the most to gain, and how will it impact travel programs, travel managers, and the traveler experience? 

Why Daniel thinks it’s great: “Like trying to pick up any new habit or behavior, the most important thing is to get started. If this session delivers on “start tomorrow” use cases that inspire people to embrace and explore AI, it could be great!” 

Good News or Bad News? AI and the Future of Your Job in the Travel Industry 

Synopsis: This session looks at AI from a strategic rather than technological lens to review AI’s deployment within the travel industry. It focuses on emerging trends in AI and their positive and negative consequences for all industry members. Participants will leave with a clear sense of AI’s capabilities, an understanding of the ‘good vs. evil debate’, and AI’s direct impact on their professional lives. 

Why Daniel thinks it’s great: "AI, like cloud computing or responsive web design, is a "how" not a "what." For the average person, we should focus on what new capabilities and features AI enables and not how it works.” 

If you want to dig deeper into AI, then look no further than booth #3013. Daniel Senyard will be at GBTA Convention 2024 in Atlanta, ready to answer all your burning questions about the state of AI across the industry, and how FCM is responding and evolving with these changes.  

Ready to see what’s possible with AI? Book a 15-minute demo with FCM at GBTA 2024! 

Book a time to speak with us at GBTA 2024

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