TravelManagers latest round of bi-annual state meetings

Kate Webster

New technology updates were the key focus for TravelManagers latest round of bi-annual state meetings across Australia.

A total of 273 personal travel managers, 13 national partnership office staff and two partner suppliers participated in six meetings held across four states.

The company has been holding local state meetings with personal travel managers twice yearly, recently March and November, for the last seven years.

TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal, believes consistency and providing relevance and adding value is the reason for maintaining extremely high participation rates across all states.

“Our first state meeting was held in March 2009 with 90 personal travel managers in attendance and supported by two national partnership office representatives. We are extremely proud that seven years later we have tripled the number of personal travel managers attending and provide a much broader involvement from members of the national partnership office support team. The content of the state meetings continue to change in line with the shifting requirements of our personal travel managers.”

Pru Gallagher from national partnership office (NPO) provided an update on the development of the company’s in-house booking system ‘Splash’ which will provide personal travel managers with direct access to wholesale rates with live availability. This is currently in live test mode.

The other development introduced by NPO’s Tanyu Cilek is customised business intelligence reporting, which is designed to provide personal travel managers with an instant view and improved management of their bookings.

“This improved business reporting will further empower our personal travel managers, enabling them to make informed and focused business decisions. As a booking is initiated or updated, information will be immediately available via a dashboard. With real time interaction and data visualisation through charts and graphs, it will analyse each individual personal travel manager’s sales, commissions, airline spend and such like,” Gazal said.

Travel manager from Surfers Paradise, Bonnie Malam, said she loves that TravelManagers is such a forward thinking and innovative company, particularly around technology and customer service.

“I am excited about the potential this new innovative business tool can offer as it will allow me to more effectively manage my bookings day to day with improved efficiency while also enabling me to more effectively measure my performance. It gives me confidence and motivation, the knowledge we are in partnership with a company that will help us achieve.”

The development of the enhanced business intelligence reporting with its interactive dashboard customised to individual personal travel manager requirements, is expected to commence beta testing in July 2016.

TravelManagers also recognized eighteen personal travel managers for their five-year service at the state meetings.

Maria Miller, representative for Parkes in New South Wales has attended thirteen state meetings since joining TravelManagers in 2008, and considers this the best meeting yet.

“I find these twice yearly state meetings so valuable, and love that they are local. It’s a way to be kept up-to-date with the latest developments that are happening in our business, interact with suppliers and connect with our team at the national partnership office,” Miller added.

In addition to the bi-annual state meetings and annual conference, personal travel managers enjoy a range of networking and training opportunities throughout the year.