Live From GBTA 2014: US Travel Spend Forecast

GBTA Los Angeles is coming to a close! It was a wildly successful show for us at Lanyon. There was a lot of buzz over how we are trying to change the industry and merge the transient, meetings, and events worlds via our technology!  There were a lot of great sessions, and we had several of our marketing folks sit in classrooms to listen and learn.  In my blog space you will see a series of blog posts about the various sessions our people attended.  Here’s the first one from our own Sherrina Peters, Manager of Marketing and Communications at Lanyon. Sherrina attended the session, GBTA BTI™ Outlook: United States, on Monday, July 28th. If you weren’t able to attend GBTA, here’s your chance to get the Cliff Note versions of the sessions, right here in this space.  Enjoy!

Although there were many sessions to choose from at the Global Business Travelers Association Conference this year, I chose one focusing on the US outlook for business travel to get a better understanding of economic indicators and how they affect business travel. Through the use of GBTA BTI, a proprietary analytical tool, this session covered key economic indicators, expectations for business travel trip volume, international outbound business travel, and industry outlooks.

Ken McGill, Managing Director of Rockport Analytics, set the stage by helping the audience understand the methodologies and challenges behind the analytics. After four years of tracking business travel trips and spending (quarterly history), GBTA better understands what is happening in the business travel sector.  BTI is the mathematical model that has come from this history and study. 

The first area covered was the general US economic performance, as it relates to business travel.  Although GDP was down 2.9% in Q1 of 2014, there are definitive increases in key indicators such as hiring, consumer, and household net worth.  Because of these increases, there has been a steady increase in consumer durable goods purchases, with increases in retail sales, car purchases, and housing.  In addition, corporate profits are also steadily growing since 2011. Further, there is a very high correlation between corporate profits and domestic travel.  The overall sentiment is that consumers are driving spending across the US economy.  Each of these numbers indicates healthy economic growth, setting the tone for an uptick in the meetings, events, and travel industries.

Another area that McGill covered in his presentation was international outbound business travel.  In fact, there was a $1.4 billion increase in global travel in 2014, of which $273.7 million was business travel.

So, what is the outlook? Business travel spending jumped 6.8% this year alone. Over the next few years, expect an uptick of 2.3% in business travel spend -- the best rate of growth since 2011.  Group meeting trips and spending are forecast to expand 7.1% and 2.2%, respectively, this year. 

We have a lot to look forward to in the meetings, event, and travel industries.  Both economic and consumer spending habits are contributing to a very stable and growing marketplace.   

Look for more reporting on GBTA BTI numbers every quarter in this blog!  

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MacWorld / iWorld

Macworld / iWorld - it’s the ultimate iFAN event for all things Apple with 25,000 attendees.

But behind the scenes, organizers handled registration, exhibitor management, check-in, badging, event programming, and mobile connectivity with a patchwork of individual registration and event technology solutions. It was a burdensome process.

In 2013, IDG World Expo, organizers of Macworld/iWorld, decided to consolidate its show management and event operations with ACTIVE Conference™, a powerful, integrated technology solution built for large, complex events like Macworld/iWorld.

IDG World Expo immediately achieved the following: 

  • No more snake-like lines for attendees. ACTIVE Network’s onsite Scan and Go technology and expert advice from its Professional Services team allowed attendees, speakers and exhibitors to check in five times faster than during previous shows.   
  • Empowered exhibitors! ACTIVE Conference’s Exhibitor Resource Center brought 24x7 self-serve tools to exhibitors. Having one location for exhibitors to manage their tasks and participation instead of having to enter through several different portals or applications saved over 500 hours for both show management and exhibitors.
  • Attendees had more freedom. Using a mobile event app, attendees could connect and set appointments with others – including fellow peers, speakers and exhibitors.  Mobile app usage increased 35% from previous conferences. With all this data tracked in one system, the Macworld team could see what sessions were trending higher, and make better event management decisions.
  • Instant access to show insight. Previously it took two resources one full week to get the show analytics. With the ability to view all event data on a single reporting dashboard, it took only minutes to access the information online – a savings of 42 man hours. 
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A Perfect Union: Efficiency and Savings for Meetings.

Lanyon StarCite Strategic Meetings Management solution with meetings360TM American Express integration unites all of SEIU’s event data. The online portal centralizes meetings requests from SEIU’s staff, divisions and local union members. Requests go to a team of experts for meeting site selection and and all meeting information is centralized for budgeting, reconciliation and reporting.


Managed Hotel Sourcing Brings Savings StarCite’s Supplier Marketplace helps planners research and compare thousands of hotels and easily see the union’s preferred hotels. Standard RFP templates and contracts drive savings. Consolidated spend history is powerful information for future agreements.

Online Tools Simplify Meeting Planning The StarCite SMM solution makes life easier for SEIU staff and members planning events. They can create event websites from templates, send email invites and allow attendees to confirm hotel their rooms. Reports show all changes and this has dramatically cut hotel attrition charges.

meetings360 Fast-Tracks Budget Reconciliation With meetings360, SEIU can manage meeting costs and gain up-to-date and accurate data on what is being spent throughout the organization. Meeting planners pay for events using their American Express meeting cards and charges are reconciled against meeting budgets.

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Lanyon Unveils Hotel Spend Management ROI Calculator for Corporate Travel Industry

Finance, procurement, and travel management professionals get an unprecedented financial ROI preview of an automated RFP process

IRVING, Texas-Lanyon, the leader in meetings, events, and travel technology, launched the Hotel Spend Management ROI Calculator on its web site today. The calculator, created in conjunction with Hobson & Company, gives site visitors an opportunity to preview the financial value to their organization of Lanyon’s Transient Sourcing product. It is free to review now

“Lanyon Transient Sourcing is the perfect choice for corporate travel professionals to drive revenue and increase efficiencies. Our easy-to-use web-based system decreases time spent on sourcing projects by up to 70% and increases traveler compliance by up to 75%”

Lanyon helps business travel professionals negotiate better hotel rates, manage time spent on RFPs, and ensure compliance with corporate travel policies. This ROI Calculator offers corporations an accurate view of their organization’s potential return on investment in time and savings from implementing Lanyon Transient Sourcing.

“Lanyon Transient Sourcing is the perfect choice for corporate travel professionals to drive revenue and increase efficiencies. Our easy-to-use web-based system decreases time spent on sourcing projects by up to 70% and increases traveler compliance by up to 75%,” said JR Sherman, President, Lanyon. “This calculator enables corporations to easily compute their own expected annual return based on their current travel costs, time spent on each RFP, and number of RFPs processed.”

The top ten pharmaceutical, technology, and hospitality companies, nine of the top ten financial services companies, and over 100,000 hotels use Lanyon products worldwide. Interested users can review “The Business Case for an Automated Hospitality Spend Management Solution,” a case study on Lanyon Corporate Travel Products conducted by Hobson & Company or visit the Lanyon Websitefor more information.

About Lanyon

Lanyon is the leading provider of cloud-based software for the Meetings and Events industry, and Transient Hotel Programs. Leveraging more than 40 years of industry experience, the Company enables thousands of associations, Small to Mid-sized Businesses and enterprise organizations around the world to drive efficiency, engagement and growth from their meetings, events and travel investments. over 80% percent of the Fortune 100, including 10 of the top 10 technology companies, financial services companies, and pharmaceutical companies, as well as 10 of the top 10 hospitality companies. For more information, visit Lanyon, today.

All trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

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Media contact U.S.:
Katelyn Rice, Office: +1-646-559-1329
Account Executive
Mobile: +1-509-990-6693

Media contact EMEA:
Roland Tanner, Office: +44 (0) 207 554 0949
Managing Director of EMEA
Mobile: +44 7703.653496

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AT GBTA2014, Catch Lanyon's Anthony Miller Speaking on "Big Data"

It’s that time of year again! The GBTA convention & trade show is just a few short weeks away -- in my old home town of Los Angeles.  LA always holds a special place in my heart, as it’s where I first became involved with GBTA (formerly NBTA – back in the day).  I was elected as President of LABTA, and that same year, GBTA’s annual convention was held in LA. 

Rather than doing a typical "Welcome to LA"speech as local chapter President, I decided to do a video montage welcoming the attendees and celebrating LA’s role as film capital of the world. The video featured travel-related clips of various movies including “Planes, Trains & Automobiles”, “Airplane”, and a few others.  It was the first time any local chapter President did a video welcome versus going on stage; but then again if you know me, I’ve always pushed the envelope.  I truly look forward to returning to the City of Angels for this year’s convention.

There are some great sessions on SMM this year, and I’m proud that Lanyon will be taking a leading role in one:  Big Data for Meetings and Events: Bridging the Gap Between Marketing, Corporate Hospitality, and Procurement, set for Monday, July 28th at 10:30 a.m., Pacific.

At GBTA2014, Lanyon CMO Anthony Miller Will Speak on "Big Data for Meetings and Events"Anthony Miller, Lanyon CMO, will be moderating and speaking, and if you’re a corporate travel or event manager, I highly recommend you attend. Go to learn how companies are consolidating the data from their meetings, events, and corporate transient travel programs so that they can better control costs, save and gain negotiating leverage with their suppliers. Most importantly go and learn how to report true enterprise spend from a singular technology platform vs. merging disparate point solution and supplier data.

Learn first-hand what types of data to collect, and how organizations are using it to engage more deeply with customers, as well as monitor spend, and ensure compliance. Implementing this type of Big Data strategy helps you prove the ROI of meetings, events, and corporate hospitality, as well as tie the strategy back to that of the larger organization.

The reality of today’s business world is that senior management executives globally are demanding that we prove the ROI of travel and events.  The demand for ROI has become the new norm for cost justification; it has truly morphed from a “nice to have” to a must have business requirement.

What sessions do you have on your list for GBTA? Share here why you're going and what you hope to learn from them!

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How to Save Before Your Employees Hit The Road

The following is a post by Don Munro, Senior Content Manager, here at Lanyon. Enjoy reading!

Recently, I sat in on the first of three Business Travel News webinars on implementing innovation throughout the business trip lifecycle -- “Starting Off Right: Innovating with Pre-trip Processes, Technologies, and Strategies.”

The point of the webinar: You can enhance your travelers’ experiences and, at the same time, boost your cost-control and compliance efforts even before your travelers board a plane.

Lanyon's Don Munro talks about how some companies are enhancing their travelers' pre-trip experience. I’m going to focus on one panelist in this post: Eric Baily, Microsoft’s Sr. Travel Manager, Strategy & Technology, because he talked about some fascinating technology that the software giant’s travelers are now beta testing. It’s called MSTravel Companion, a mobile app that “makes it easy for travelers to make decisions” like how to get to Microsoft offices and other destinations in the most efficient, cost-effective way.

Baily explained that Microsoft is developing the capability to integrate travel information into employees’ Outlook calendars based on appointments that they’ve set up for their trips. The information, displayed on easy-to-read maps, shows preferred hotels, car rental deals, restaurants, train options, and nearby MS offices. Based on traveler’s location and time information input in Outlook, Microsoft can give employees suggestions to get their jobs done more efficiently and for less expense.

For example, instead of a traveler deplaning in London, taking a taxi to their hotel, ordering room service, and then making a business call, Bailey said MSTravel Companion can give employees a much more efficient choice. “We can suggest the Heathrow Express (express trains between central London & Heathrow Airport) and a nearby office to make your call.”    

This is an excellent example of how companies today are using “Big Data” to improve the traveler experience and save money, too. Not a bad goal for Microsoft, which spends more than $800 million annually on travel and entertainment!

Expect to see more innovation that targets the pre-trip phase of travel, predicted Elizabeth West, Executive Editor of Content Solutions at The BTN Group.

Do you use any technology that enhances your travelers’ pre-trip experience? Please share here how it’s helping you bring more convenience to your travelers and, at the same time, reach your program savings targets.

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Congratulations to JR Sherman, President of Lanyon

MeetingsNet named Lanyon President JR Sherman a "Changemaker" in the meetings industry. MeetingsNet has named our own JR Sherman one of this year’s 23 "Changemakers."  Many of our clients have been named Changemakers in past years, but this is the first time one of our leadership team has received this honor.

I’m both pleased and thrilled that MeetingsNet has recognized the significant changes that JR has spearheaded on behalf of our organization. He has truly transformed our company through organic and acquisition growth strategies into a real game-changer for all of the many niche point solution technologies that comprise our industry marketplace.  We’ve always felt that it was inevitable that, as one of the original leading meetings and events technology companies out there, we should be the first to provide true enterprise, end-to-end technology not just for our clients, but for the entire industry -- including suppliers, associations, and intermediaries.

The transformation under JR’s leadership started about three years ago through the acquisition of StarCite by ACTIVE Network. Then we migrated to the Smart Events CloudTM, followed by the sale to Vista Equity Partners.  Then most recently, we were strategically split off from ACTIVE Network and merged with Lanyon, the leading and dominant corporate hospitality program technology, followed very quickly behind that by the recent acquisition of Passkey, the dominant technology for group room block management. 

Through it all, JR was leading the charge and executing our strategies to transform our combined companies into a major powerhouse for the industry ecosystem.  Congratulations, my friend and our leader. You have always listened to all of us who surround you. And you've never made any of us feel like our ideas and thoughts were crazy. 

Thank you to Barbara Scofidio and all of the staff at MeetingsNet for making a really great choice in naming our JR Sherman as one of your Top 23 Changemakers. 

Read the MeetingsNet article on JR here!

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Are Eco-friendly Hotels on Your RFP?

I read two articles recently – one which saddened me and another that gave me hope.

The first was a piece in The New York Times, which reported that scientists have discovered that a large section of the polar ice cap in Antarctica is breaking up and melting—due in part to global warming.

The second piece, in Hotel Executive magazine, reported on two breakthroughs in waste-to-energy technology that have the potential to “dramatically change” how waste is used in the lodging industry.

The first advance involves the recovery of heat from the wastewater that leaves buildings. Not only the “greywater” from laundry, showers, and dishwashers, but also the “blackwater,” which is water from toilets.  

This heat recovery is not yet being deployed in hotels. But here’s the kicker: every year in the U.S., roughly $40 billion in energy from hot water goes down the drain[1]! Hotel Executive says that “a great deal” of that energy loss occurs in the wastewater generated by hotels.

The second breakthrough, involves the recent opening of the Central Florida Energy Garden, in Bay Lake, FL. Apparently, the facility is transforming food waste, fats, oil and grease (FOG), as well as biosolids from an adjacent water treatment plant into electricity and useable fertilizer. Hotel Executive reports that “many hotels are already sending their food waste” to the Central Florida Energy Garden.

I was greatly encouraged to read about these innovations.  Even more encouraged to read that more hotels are taking responsibility for their waste and, with it, making the earth a greener place.

What can I do? I can’t stop the polar ice cap from melting. But I can encourage corporate travel and meeting buyers to make sure that a good portion, or all, of their RFPs are going to hotels that practice earth-friendly operations that:


  • Recycle wastewater
  • Use locally-grown produce
  • Give guests the option to keep the same sheets on their beds for more than one night
  • Install solar energy panels, as well as more efficient cooling and heating systems


If you’ve never sourced green hotels before, ask your RFP technology provider for guidance. The best technologies allow you to tailor RFPs to ask about whether properties recycle, use efficient lighting, cooling and heating, compost waste, conserve water, and other practices.

After all, when it comes to the earth, aren’t we all in it, or rather, on it, together?

Please share here how you source for green hotels? Your best practices will help others!


[1] Source: The U.S. Department of Energy

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Congratulations, GBTA Europe!

Lanyon's VP Kevin Iwamoto congratulates GBTA Europe for launching its new committee structureCongratulations to GBTA Europe for launching its committee structure and securing local Direct and Allied members to lead these committees. 

I’m thrilled to know many of the new co-leaders for the various committees,  which includes Aviation, Hotels, Technology & Meetings!  Yes … all my campaigning with GBTA leadership did result in not just the inclusion of meetings but also my wonderful colleague, Izania Downie, who works very closely with me on the association marketplace, is co-leader of the newly established Meetings Committee for GBTA Europe.  Izania will do a wonderful job and for those of you unfamiliar with Izania, she was the former CEO of Eventia in the UK. 

Congratulations to Izania and to all the newly appointed GBTA Europe Industry Committee leaders, and to Paul Tilstone and Catherine McGavock, GBTA’s Regional Director – EMEA, for their tireless efforts to make GBTA Europe a relevant association for the UK & EMEA members.

Read more here.

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Converge 2014 -- The Debut of The New Lanyon

Lanyon VP Kevin Iwamoto discusses Converge 2014I’m returning home from my very first Converge conference, which is the annual user conference that Lanyon produces.  It was an overwhelming success in my opinion.  Imagine having to create relevant content for our clients – both buyers and suppliers.  It was also challenging to address such a diverse group with information updates about Lanyon that they would find exciting and meaningful.

This was the first Converge Conference where we introduced the newly combined Lanyon senior executive team, including our new CEO, David Bonnette, who thoroughly impressed our clients and suppliers. 

SVP Anthony Miller gave the audience a preview of the Smart EventsTM Cloud and a glimpse into the future of the new Lanyon Solutions. It’s a powerhouse and the first truly enterprise technology platform that will provide the best data and analytics for clients who desire a true enterprise view of their spend – everything from transient hotel spend to the largest conferences (and everything in between).

Next year when Converge is hosted again, I hope you will be there.  We will have much more to share of our product roadmap and our vision to transform and lead our industry. 

Trust me, as someone deeply involved in future product enhancements and strategic direction, the next 12 months will knock your socks off!  I hope to see you there!

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