Is there still a need for corporate travel?

Corporate travel has undergone some drastic changes over the last few years. How will the shift toward remote work affect the return of internal meetings, client visits, and conferences?  Corporate travel is a valuable way to expand your network, increase your exposure to other businesses, and create lasting experiences.  They should be pleasurable for employees, but they need to be highly productive most of all.  In this article, we will discuss the role of corporate travel in 2022, share key decision-making factors when determining the need for a business trip vs. a zoom meeting, and look at the value of an automated travel system to manage your corporate travel needs.

Is there still value in corporate travel?

Working from home and telecommuting have become the new normal recently.  In an era where video conferencing and digital meetings became the new norm, is there still a need for corporate travel policies and travel management? 

Yes! Business travel forms closer professional connections and leads to a higher net profit.  Business trips should be both highly productive and pleasurable experiences for those involved.  They should be a way to expand your network and increase your company’s exposure and growth.  Face-to-face meetings are motivating and help establish and maintain relationships.  According to FinancesOnline travel statistics, 90.6% of corporate travel managers believe business travel is crucial to company growth, and 91.3% of business travelers agree. 

Has the travel industry recovered?

A recent Newsweek article about corporate travel recovery states that there is growing data pointing in a positive direction for a corporate travel recovery in 2022.  In-person attendance at conferences, trade shows, and exhibitions is also ramping up. Over 7,500 people attended the Money20/20 fintech conference in Las Vegas at the end of October. This turnout demonstrates that business travelers are becoming increasingly confident, and employers approve of travel. 

As corporate travel resumes, businesses should approach travel as an investment, rather than a cost.  This approach is essential when thinking about business travel.  Embracing this purposeful approach will help your business evaluate the trip’s intent.  Corporate leaders must determine the revenue, human, and company value of any travel undertaken by its employees. 

The itinerary for a corporate trip must now include pandemic variables, climate events, and changing travel restrictions.  Additionally, when trips are needed, it is important to look at sustainable travel choices – travel that helps reduce our carbon footprint For example, using rail versus air travel or prioritizing flights with more efficient aircraft can significantly reduce carbon impact.

The changes adopted and lessons learned during the pandemic will forever affect corporate travel.  However, travel remains a critical opportunity to strengthen relationships in any business.  So, is there still a need for video conferencing and digital meetings?

Should I Zoom or board a plane?

Purposeful travel also means prioritizing trips based on the value of face-to-face client communication.  Some travel brings incredible value, while other client meetings are better executed using technology, such as zoom.  Defining where face-to-face meetings bring you actual value allows your organization to make efficient decisions about the need for corporate travel.  Do the benefits of networking, professional development, and relationship building outweigh travel expenses and ongoing public health concerns?  If so, then corporate travel is necessary. 

Business travel is about building and maintaining relationships.  Organizations may choose to invest more in travel that enables new business, customer retention, and mergers and acquisitions.  Virtual approaches to meetings should be used when approaching meetings that may not provide as much revenue. 

Although the pandemic has revealed to us how much is accomplished through video conferencing, it has also made it clear that there is no substitute for in-person interactions.  Conferencing platforms have limitations in networking, forging new partnerships, or repairing damaged relationships.  Nothing compares to a face-to-face meeting that allows us to have a handshake, a shared meal, or even a look right in the eyes. 

There may always be a place for zoom meetings in our future; however, people will always crave human connection and travel.  Getting your message across to customers, building rapport, and developing trust are just a few of the key reasons why business travel remains a crucial part of so many industries. So, as the travel industry recovers and takes off again in 2022, businesses are looking for the most efficient and effective way to manage their corporate travel.

Do I need a TMC/Travel Agency to manage my purposeful travel?

With the recovery of the travel industry growing, there is a need for open, flexible, and highly customizable systems that allow travel stakeholders access to multiple data points with predictive analytics capabilities.  Modern corporate travel can achieve fluidity and efficiency through automation.  Intuitive and easy-to-use technology can save companies time and money while providing a smooth and streamlined experience.

An automated system can oversee, regulate, and coordinate travel activities and expenses for a company.   These systems allow streamlining of work and staff to focus on other crucial systems and processes in the company.  A company’s travel policy can be built into the management system, making travel bookings with few errors. 

By integrating all of their travel information, organizations can better determine the value of corporate travel and find opportunities to gain flexibility and efficiency.

Effective corporate travel management software allows travelers to manage their bookings, creates appropriate constraints on their booking options as determined by the corporate travel policy, and improves transparency for both travelers and the business.

The first step in managing travel with trust, transparency, and simplicity is to select a software tool that provides all these benefits. 

Cornerstone Information Systems understands that companies are under constant pressure to keep customers satisfied, reduce costs, and increase productivity.  We know it’s not enough to automate easy transactions to achieve this.  Our solution automates and captures all of the changes and details that allow you to manage and measure a credible travel program. 

Cornerstone Information Systems is the technology partner behind the scenes of tens of millions of automated bookings.  Our technology helps you configure workflow and services that deliver measurable savings and insights to manage your travel program and operations.

For 30 years, Cornerstone has provided the tools and service behind the scenes of millions of automated bookings for the biggest brands in the industry.  Contact Cornerstone today to learn more.