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Chicago: IBTM America – Let’s Go!

So where’s the meeting? IBTM is strictly for those involved in organizing meetings, incentives and events. IBTM America was a three day event that blew (and we mean blew) into Chicago, the Windy City, in June 2015. IBTM America was an exclusive event that hosted 250 premier planners from the domestic and overseas markets, all clamoring to place international and domestic business. Not just anybody gets into this kind of meeting, though; this is an exclusive and private event where exhibitors and premier meeting planners have been carefully selected on criteria of industry relevance, expertise and the kind — and size — of business they have to place, resulting in an “ideal 1 to 1 ratio”. Tailored to the U.S. market, but focused as much on points beyond, this show guarantees the attendance of top-level decision makers from across the U.S. and other key markets. Hey, a little hush please? The meeting only finishes when I smack the lectern with this gavel….. #ibtmamerica

We met these fabulous folks from the Atlantis Dive Resort in the Philippines:

Los Angeles: Global Business Travel Association – GBTA

GBTA is the Global Business Travel Association, and their Los Angeles beano claims to be the largest gathering of business travel buyers in the world, enabling travel companies to put their brand in front of close to 1,500 business travel buyers.  This included a chance to reach the world’s largest gathering of Fortune 100 business travel buyers, we heard.  The average travel spend among buyers hovered around the $84 million mark, so there was real money involved.  There were education sessions designed to update convention attendees on a variety of topics including management skill development, sourcing and procurement, the global marketplace, and business strategy.  One well-attended session was titled A Numbers Game: Using Strategic KPIs to Demonstrate Value of Travel Management to Senior Management.  Uh… KPIs?  That’s Key Performance Indicators to you and me, pilgrim….  #GBTA2014

GBTA2014: The only place that sucks my battery life more than Tuscany

GBTA2014: The only place that sucks my battery life more than Tuscany

San Diego: GBTA

August 4-6, 2013. GBTA is the Global Business Travel Association, and it’s the world’s premier business travel and meetings organization. The Association wields serious spending power: GBTA’s 5,000-plus members manage over $340 billion (yes billion) of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA serves a network of 21,000 business and government travel and meetings managers, as well as the travel service providers who serve them. Breakout sessions were an education, from contract negotiation and financial modeling to safety and sustainability. Other topics discussed ranged from the, well, global — Fundamentals of Business Travel Management — to the particular, for instance a session on Preparing Female Travelers for Safe Trips.  Speaking of females… females were speaking:  the big names included former first ladies Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton, not to mention the acclaimed singer-songwriter Jewel.  When business travel is concerned, you’d be amazed who can turn up in the seat next to you…