by: Kurt Knackstedt, President, Association of Corporate Travel Executives.
Time and again, the corporate travel industry is, depending on your perspective: accused / ridiculed / pilloried / lambasted / on the defensive / scoffed at, for our supposed inability to move ahead at the same pace as “the rest of the travel world.” How often have we heard “it’s so much easier to book my holiday than it is my business trip,” or “why can’t corporate travel be like leisure travel?” If I had the proverbial dime for each instance that has reached my ears, I probably could afford to buy a vessel big enough to hold a fair number of dimes.
Regardless of whether you agree, disagree or don’t care what other people think, perhaps the question we all need to ask ourselves is a bit more introspective: are we happy with the way things are? Assuming the answer is likely to be in the “not really…..to hell no!” range, I think it’s safe to say that we’ve got some work to do.
Our work will never be done in our industry, however we have to make progress on the things we’re currently dealing with. Perhaps more importantly however, we also need to give ourselves the opportunity to get to those near future ideas we’ve been craving to tackle. And ACTE is poised, ready and able to give us that runway to head that direction.
Our upcoming Global Corporate Travel Conference in Dallas is but just a couple of weeks away, and this will be an event like no other you may have been to previously. We are focused – dare I say hell-bent? – on creating an environment where hundreds of industry professionals will get together, roll up their collective sleeves, and get cracking on solving real problems – real quick.
Gabfests are out, hard-hitting Q&A sessions, workshops and “why, how and when” sessions are all in. We’re going to ask why we are where we are, how are we going to change things, and by when. And we’re going to ensure that everyone heads back to work ready to tackle the road ahead.
This all starts off with a bang on Sunday – we’re going to be hosting workshops with both buyers and suppliers from the word “go.” Lots of you are taking time out of your valuable weekends to join us Sunday, but I guarantee you will find that the time you spend with us in Dallas will be rewarding, invigorating and invaluable.
Yes we’ll have some fun – after all, work is best when passionate people making great things happen all get together – but we won’t let the opportunity pass us by to leverage all this great talent to make real change.
I’ll have my work shirt and boots on, ready to get rolling and kick some ideas around with you all. I can’t wait to get there, get to work and get moving on the future. I hope you can’t wait either!
See you all in Dallas.
Kurt Knackstedt, President, Association of Corporate Travel Executives