BTN Tech Talk 2018 highlights

BTN Tech Talk 2018 highlights
Travel News 13 Sep 2018
John Morhouse from FCM

If you couldn’t attend this year’s BTN Business Travel Tech Talk, here’s a round-up of what you missed at the event.


Now in its seventh year, the annual Business Travel Tech Talk London conference was hosted by BTN Group on Thursday 6 September.

Attended by a mix of travel management companies, travel bookers, travel tech companies and business travellers, the one-day conference had a series of expert-led discussions around some of the issues and challenges in the industry. 

FCM’s own Chief Experience Officer, John Morhous, was in the first panel of the day, discussing how to apply AI and machine learning to business travel.
John is responsible for ongoing client-facing innovation and digital mobile platforms, the development of additional tools and technology, and thought leadership across all of the FCTG corporate brands globally.

The discussion was led by Martin Warner from MW Travel Consultancy and also involved:

  • Bernd Burkhardt, Head of Global Travel Management at German automobile company Daimler
  • Keesup Choe, CEO of financial institution PredictX
  • Ian Spearing, EY’s Global Travel Meetings & Events Innovation & Technology Leader

The discussion focused on how AI and machine-based learning is currently being used for booking business travel, and how it could be used in the future to automate other processes. BTN’s research earlier this year found that just 7.6% of travel buyers said they provide AI-enhanced booking technologies to their travellers.

Though the panellists were divided about where exactly AI should be used within the booking process (and where it shouldn’t be used, because of privacy concerns), they all agreed that personalisation was needed for AI to deliver the best user experience.

Mobile Travel Management Strategies

Mobile Travel Management Strategies

Another hot topic of the day was use of apps within business travel, as well as other mobile capabilities that advance traveller communications. Panellists in the discussion included FCM client Benjamin Park, the Director of Procurement & Travel at Parexel International.

“A mobile strategy should not be approached in a ‘one size fits all’ way – not every generation of your employees will have adopted mobile technology. But at the same time, not every employee will be office-based, so won’t be able to print off documents and boarding passes,” commented Ben.

Paraxel has given employees access to a suite of travel apps to assist them at every stage of their business trip. This includes FCM’s virtual assistant app Sam, which helps travellers with everything from flight information, transfers, weather forecasts and destination guides.

Other discussion points during the BTN conference included how the approaching adoption of New Distribution Capabilities (NDC) will shape travel management technology investment and development, and had panellists from Amadeus and Sabre.

The BTN Group has been a leading source of business travel insights and intelligence for over 30 years, providing the industry with news, information, data and research.

To find out more about other industry events that FCM is involved in, from conferences and seminars to exhibitions and webinars, please see our Events Schedule.