Connect, Inspire, Unite

Maritime Travel GBTA 2016

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) of Canada wrapped up its 12th annual conference in Toronto last week, with the event welcoming over 600 attendees and recording the highest buyer attendance in its history.

Nancy Tudorache, GBTA Canada director of operations, said: “This year’s record-breaking conference delivered on our goal to connect, inspire and unite travel professionals for Canada’s most comprehensive educational and informational business travel show.”

Tudorache pointed out that: “Innovative speakers, insightful education sessions and countless networking opportunities allowed attendees to connect with peers and industry leaders to grow their knowledge and ultimately their businesses.”

Held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the event kicked off with Concur executive vice-president of travel, Tim MacDonald discussing the transformation of the travel industry and how travel programs can continue to deliver value in today’s complex and connected world.

Robert Porter Lynch, CEO of The Warren Company talked about the next generation of supply chain management and creating value through collaboration.

He told delegates that: “Adversarial relationships do not produce innovation,” before adding: “create a culture of trust that channels team energy.”

Fab Dolan, head of marketing for Google Canada, highlighted how emerging technologies can redefine the way business leaders grow their brands and shared his expertise on the challenges and opportunities facing marketers and brands as today’s technology redefines possibilities.

Michael Hainsworth of BNN took to Centre Stage for one-on-one interviews with Jeff Gaulin of Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers to discuss the Canada-wide impacts of the Oil & Gas sector and Dave Hilfman of United for a discussion about the health of aviation and business travel.

And at this year’s conference, GBTA pledged its continued support of ECPAT, along with charitable partner Hilton Worldwide, in the fight to end child exploitation and human trafficking through travel.

GBTA vice-president of research, Jeanne Liu presented a new study sponsored by American Express Global Business Travel revealing that nearly 9 in 10 employees (88%) in North America are satisfied with their business travel experiences.

Joined on stage by Jacinthe Ladouceur, vice-president and general manager, Canada, American Express Global Business Travel, the session left travel buyers equipped with information to help make strategic decisions and recommendations to improve business travel satisfaction.

In a presidential handover ceremony, Sharlene Ketwaroo-Nanoo, category manager, Bell Canada, began her term as president of the GBTA Canada Advisory Board. Ketwaroo-Nanoo takes over for Shelly Lewchuk, manager, corporate travel, Canadian Natural Resources Limited, to work alongside Tudorache to lead the association in the region.

“Everything I have learned through my career and my membership with GBTA Canada has given me the experience and confidence to step forward into this role,” said Ketwaroo-Nanoo. “We have a strong membership that is truly engaged in moving our industry and association forward and I have had the privilege of being at the forefront of that in Canada as we work together to navigate through the challenges, innovation and change that are inevitable in our world.”

In addition to the phenomenal line-up of speakers at Centre Stage, the conference boasted an extensive Expo Floor featuring nearly 70 exhibitors as well as 14 unparalleled education sessions focusing on the issues and challenges today’s travel management professional faces and leaving attendees with ideas and solutions that they can put into action for their company today.

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Seen in the photo on the trade show floor, from l to r, are Maritime Travel Business Travel Management’s Colleen McNab, Michael Work and Kathy Coyle.