From the implementation of AI and technology innovation, to new distribution channels, emerging category trends and socially responsible policies, Illuminate 2019 provided a deep dive into the trends and topics shaping the future of the corporate travel sector.
The event, now in its fourth year, was held on Thursday 12 September in Sydney and is Australia’s largest and most comprehensive corporate travel event. It proved yet again to be a valuable event for education, information and networking, with more than 550 people registered for the day and a total of 24 speakers on stage throughout the various sessions.
The incredible line up of speakers included Virgin Australia CEO Paul Scurrah, international media commentator and digital futurist Chris Riddell, Global Head of Uber for Business Ronnie Gurion and Australian Rugby Legend and business leader John Eales.
The audience consisted of customers of FCTG’s corporate brands FCM Travel Solutions, Corporate Traveller, Stage and Screen Travel Services, cievents and 4th Dimension Business Travel Consulting, and ranged from large corporates, academic, government and entertainment organisations to representatives from SME businesses. They were all kept enthralled by the high calibre of presenters throughout the day, including the highly anticipated NDC panel that had some of the world’s industry experts weigh in on how NDC will shape the future of travel, and the return of FCTG’s Chief Experience Officer John Morhous, whose energetic and inspiring session on artificial intelligence and machine learning was a hit with the audience.
Illuminate lived up to its reputation of being the place to be to hear ground breaking technology and partnerships first, with the announcement of Flight Centre Travel Group’s Australian-Exclusive partnership with Uber for Business and the launch of on-the-spot booking functionality in SAM – a pocket travel assistant available exclusively for customers of FCTG’s corporate brands.
James Kavanagh, Executive General Manager, FCTG Corporate said the objective of FCTG’s technology and industry events like Illuminate, is to continually improve the end-to-end customer experience.
“FCTG continues to make a significant investment in technology and partnerships that will set our customers up for the future of travel, so it was exciting and interesting to hear about our technology alongside the latest developments from our key hotel, ground and airline suppliers,” said James.
“Illuminate 2019 has been a huge success and we’re delighted with the engagement from those who attended.”
FCTG PARTNERS WITH UBER FOR BUSINESS TO DELIVER AUSTRALIA'S FIRST ENHANCED GROUND TRAVEL EXPERIENCE FOR CORPORATES
Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) and Uber for Business have launched a unique partnership that will see Uber for Business services fully integrated with the booking ,expense management systems and security policies used for corporate travel programs.
Announced today at Illuminate 2019, FCTG’s annual event dedicated to informing and providing insights into the global corporate travel industry, the strategic partnership between the global pioneer of ride sharing and travel giant FCTG will see Uber for Business’ services fully integrated with FCTG’s corporate travel platforms for traveller profiles, booking, mobile apps, reporting and reconciliation.
Customers from FCTG’s corporate brands including FCM Travel Solutions, Corporate Traveller and Stage and Screen, will have a truly seamless, end-to-end booking, travel and payment experience. Global Head of Uber for Business, Ronnie Gurion, and Executive General Manager of FCTG Corporate, James Kavanagh, announced the partnership on stage in front of 550 attendees at Illuminate 2019, who will be amongst the first companies to sign up for this service in Australia.
"Uber for Business ignites possibilities for global companies through Uber's platform. As the largest travel provider in the region, we're excited about the opportunities this partnership will bring Flight Centre corporate customers and support staff who will benefit from our analytics and policy controls,” said Ronnie Gurion.
James Kavanagh added that the deliverables of the partnership with Uber for Business will push corporate travel programs into the future.
“This announcement comes off the back of FCTG's corporate brands being named one of Australia’s most innovative companies, making the top 10 of AFR’s Most Innovative Companies list for 2019,” said James Kavanagh.
“Through the process of consulting with our customers we sought to understand their pain points when it came to ground transport. By keeping our customers at the centre of our innovation and understanding what they needed, we were able to partner with Uber to create a solution that provides real tangible benefits.”
"The inclusion of the Uber platform in our systems makes it easy for individual travellers, travel bookers, and finance and procurement teams because their bookings will appear in the itineraries and invoices just like airfares, hotels or car rates would do."
Users will have exactly the same experience they have now in terms of using the Uber app, tapping their Uber for Business profile within the app, which links to their corporate travel profile. The booking will then automatically sync with systems and show in the client’s travel reporting.
The arrangement with Uber for Business will give corporates more visibility of traveller spend and activity, and also support clients with their compliance and duty of care obligations. Expense reporting and reconciliation of spend on the Uber app will also be much easier.
“We know that when it comes to corporate travel programs, companies like to have everything in one place for ease of use, more visibility for reporting and travel risk management,” said James Kavanagh.
The FCTG Uber partnership came about after a series of qualitative research sessions that FCTG’s corporate brands have held with clients on the topic of ride sharing services, as well as a survey that was undertaken by the company on the shared economy.
The key results from the survey indicated:
- 84% use some form of ride sharing for car transport
- 86% had used Uber as a form of ride sharing car transport for work or personal
- 83% believe ride sharing services are appropriate and safe for work travel
- 86% believe that Uber is a mainstream service
“The fact that 86% of people consider Uber to be a mainstream travel option and 83% believe ride sharing services are appropriate and safe for work travel, clearly indicates that this increasingly popular way to travel from A to B should be incorporated into our services to help clients better manage their road trips and program spend in this area, “James concluded.
Flight Centre Travel Group has added to its line-up Uber’s Global Head of Uber for Business, Ronnie Gurion, at FCTG’s annual event dedicated to informing and providing insights into the global corporate travel industry.
From the U.S., Ronnie Gurion will join a top-flight line-up of industry experts talking about the evolving world of corporate travel. Prior to joining Uber, he was the Chief Strategy Officer at HomeAway where he was responsible for business development, corporate development, strategic planning, and new growth initiatives. He also served as President at Orbitz between 2009 and its acquisition by Expedia in 2015 where he led the creation and rapid expansion of the Orbitz Partner Network into one of the leading providers of global travel technology solutions.
Illuminate 2019 is being held on 12th September 2019 at The Venue, Alexandria, Sydney, where over 400 attendees will hear from some of Australia’s key business leaders and influencers.
Registrations close on Friday 30th August. Register now to avoid missing out.
Paul Scurrah, CEO and Managing Director of the Virgin Australia Group, will open the day’s event and he will share his insights on Virgin Australia, the key trends within the aviation industry and how the airline keeps ahead of the curve, particularly with regards to corporate travel.
John Eales, Australian rugby legend and business leader is also featuring as a keynote speaker. A Flight Centre Travel Group board member, John shares his insights into the similarities between sport and corporate business in learning, leadership and the driving factors for success.
Popular international media commentator and digital futurist Chris Riddell will share thought provoking insights into what tomorrow looks like.
James Kavanagh, Executive General Manager, FCTG Corporate said: “With our high-calibre speaker line-up, Illuminate is shaping as the perfect opportunity for procurement professionals, travel bookers, travel decision makers and c-suite executives to hear the latest news and insights from thought leaders and corporate travel executives.
From the implementation of AI and technology innovation, to new distribution channels, emerging category trends and socially responsible policies, the future of travel presents new opportunities with exciting new innovations.
The line-up of confirmed key speakers for Illuminate 2019 include:
A feature panel discussion will unpack the New Distribution Capability (NDC) and what it means for the future of air travel buying and flying and how it will impact us here in Australia. Panellists will include Sonya Lowry, Australasian ACTE Global Board Member; Darrin Grafton, CEO & Executive Director, Serko; Jason Toothman, Executive General Manager, NDC, FCTG; and Neil Fyfe, Vice President Global Account Technology, Sabre.
The after party ‘Illuminate the Night’ allows attendees the opportunity to be entertained, relax and network with industry peers.
Illuminate 2019 is sponsored by Platinum Partners Sabre and Air Canada and is supported by Flight Centre Travel Group’s corporate businesses – FCM Travel Solutions, Corporate Traveller, cievents, Stage and Screen Travel Services and 4th Dimension Business Travel Consulting.
For further details and registrations please visit the Illuminate website www.illuminate19.com
Media enquiries to Cassandra Thurston PR & Communications Manager, FCTG Corporate Marketing 0431 246 883 / email@example.com
Illuminate 2019 keynote speaker, Chris Riddell, is an award winning global futurist and industry recognised inspirational speaker on emerging trends in our hyper connected world.
He is a global pattern hunter, discovering and identifying how humans are changing and adapting to high speed change, unlocking insights for businesses and leaders in today’s highly disruptive world. Check out his video on what you can expect from his keynote speech at Illuminate 2019.
A global trailblazer, Chris is a regular on Sky News Business, The Project on Ten, Channel 7’s The Morning Show, The Daily Edition prime time shows, and ABC 774 Radio giving insights into consumer technology trends within traditional media.
Don't miss Chris Riddell's thought provoking insights into what tomorrow looks like - register for Illuminate today!
With record registrations already locked in (including your own!), the countdown is on to Australia’s premier corporate B2B travel management event. We recently spoke to the event curators, cievents, and its Global Head of Marketing, Cate Carpenter, about how to get the most out of the day. Here are her Top 5 tips.
1. Hear from key industry experts
One of the most exciting aspects of Illuminate is the thought leadership provided by some of the industry’s most influential leaders and partners, who will be discussing everything from the future of hotels and the aviation sector to emerging travel trends and new technologies.
As Cate says, “These people know what they’re talking about and will provide amazing insights you won’t get anywhere else. This year’s keynote speakers include Virgin Australia CEO Paul Scurrah, Accor COO Simon McGrath, Digital Futurist Chris Riddell and Australian sporting legend John Eales. There will also be a number of panel discussions including how the NDC will shape the future of air buying, booking and travel, and what travel procurement and category trends are set to emerge”.
2. Gain valuable industry knowledge
Illuminate not only highlights the credibility and influence of FCTG’s corporate brands, it allows leading industry partners to showcase their own offerings. From keynote speakers and sponsor booths to discussion panels and unique audience participation activities, it offers delegates a valuable opportunity to increase their knowledge base.
“From a FCTG perspective, the event is really about giving back to our industry partners and our people. We have an in depth understanding of the market and the pain points that go along with it, so through the power of connections we’re able to cover all bases from a travel procurement perspective - whether it’s air, land or tech. Plus, the layers of interactivity on the day will not only provide a current overview of what’s happening in the industry, but motivate and inspire delegates to enhance their skills and be proud of their place in the travel sector”, says Cate.
3. Connect with new technologies
Delegates will hear updates on FCTG’s online booking tool, Savi, that was launched at the event last year plus more about the evolution of chatbot travel assistant app Sam:] and where it’s headed in the future. Attendees will also be encouraged to engage with the event’s own app where they can ask questions, share content, participate in live polling and exchange virtual business cards with contacts they meet on the day.
Plus, there’s a surprise in store for lovers of all things tech, but at this stage Cate’s not giving too much away … “All I will say is that it involves RFID technology, will offer a completely new level of interactivity and every delegate will be given their own personalised version on the day”
4. Network, network, network
This year’s event will be attended by delegates from a range of backgrounds including corporate customers, leading travel partners, key industry experts and travel and procurement professionals. Being among like-minded people allows attendees the opportunity to expand their networks, establish new relationships and be educated and inspired.
As Cate explains, “At these types of events, networking is crucial. Being able to connect with people in your own industry can be really beneficial and thought provoking and from a FCTG perspective, we not only encourage knowledge sharing, we ask everyone to be actively engaged. Delegates should be 100% in the moment and make the most of the opportunity, because Illuminate will be a memorable journey from registration right through to the fantastic After Party!”
5. Enjoy yourself
Aside from the amazing educational and up-skilling opportunities, this year’s event will also be great fun. From the announcement of this year’s Illuminators and the amazing travel prizes on offer to the not-to-be-missed After Party, it’s a fantastic opportunity to spend time with your peers, clients and of course, your new networking partners.
As Cate sums up,“Quite simply, delegates will get out of it what they put into it. So even though we’re all in the travel sector, in this instance, don’t be a passenger (pardon the pun!)”