Posts filed under ‘Events’

Daly’s Prep Regimen for the Mile High City

by Mike

Like many of you, I’m gearing up for GBTA in the Mile High City. Becky’s polishing her hiking boots, Tony’s perfecting his John McLaughlin impersonation for his panel on end-to-end. And me?  My bags are packed, business cards ordered, and my Astros fan paraphernalia is pressed and ready for the big game vs. the Rockies. This is my 15th GBTA convention, but actually my 100th time sleeping a mile above sea level. For those of you who are newbies to Denver, I’m sharing my prep regimen with you:

  1. Hydrate! I learned this one in Houston last year. (God bless the Texans.) I expect Denver to be much kinder to me humidity-wise, but I’m already putting back about 2 liters of water ever day in preparation for the big event.
  2. The City of Denver recommends we Monitor Alcohol Intake: “Alcoholic drinks pack more of a wallop than at sea level.” Oh, the High Country. I don’t know about this one. Golden, Colorado is only 15 miles from Denver. Coors is brewed with pure Rocky Mountain Spring Water, so really that will just help me with my hydration rule.
  3. Run some stairs. In high school, we would sprint up and down the bleachers. Twenty-ish years later, I’m more likely to be seen sitting on one. Still, bleachers are a lot like mountains so I’m giving it a try.
  4. Sit under fluorescent lights. Much like my office, convention centers are not known for their natural light. It won’t actually matter that it will be a dry 90 degrees in Denver. We may never make it outside until it cools down at night.
  5. Perfect my handshake. I am shaking hands and making eye contact with everyone I see. (My mail carrier is a little thrown by this but everyone else seems to be taking it well.) According to the University of Alabama (circa 2000), there are five characteristics of a great shake: strength, vigor, duration, eye contact and completeness of grip. I’d say I’ve perfected four of them — but will have plenty of time on the plane to nail the fifth. (Which might also help my campaign for ancillary fee credits for passenger hospitality…)

Well, fellow GBTA-ers, I look forward to reconnecting with you all.  I’m glad to see that Denver made Orbitz’ Top 10 Summer travel destinations list, and we’re getting there just in time to close out the summer. Although ten years ago they discovered that Denver is three feet higher than previously thought, I’m confident that this regimen, along with my new white suit, will have me ready and able to perform my duties at GBTA.

Come see us at booth 413.

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GBTA registrants: Enter now to win a free iPhone!

August 20, 2011 at 9:16 am Leave a comment

What to Pack for GBTA: Business cards, check. Hiking boots, check!

by Becky

No, I have not yet packed for GBTA. I’m not unpacked from the trip I’m currently on. (Hello from 36,000 feet PHL to LAX, where, now that the crap-tacular but irresistible movie Thor is over, I’m free to write blog posts in relative peace). And I haven’t yet packed or unpacked for this weekend’s flight, back to Des Moines for my 20-year high-school reunion. (If the cliques clash, it might end up quite like a modern-day version of Thor. Wish me luck.)

When all this is done, I will pack for GBTA, and I will get to Denver for a productive week on Sunday.   A year ago Mike and Tony recommended packing everything from a white dinner jacket to a bowling ball. I have three more practical packing tips worth sharing. Along with your business cards, here are my “must-haves” for GBTA:

  • Smart phone with a QR reader app installed.  You know those little square bar codes that you can scan with your smart phone to go straight to a web site? They’re going to be everywhere this year, I suspect — T-shirts, business cards, booth carpets, signs. I like the free NeoReader for the iPhone and Google Goggles for Android phones. (Don’t forget your charger!)
  • Invitation to the Virgin America party. I made it in to see INXS by a stroke of great last-minute luck last year.  This year my invite’s coming early, right Richard? Yeah?
  • Hiking boots.  Trust me on this one! Every year some girlfriends and I hike a 14 thousand-foot peak in the Colorado Rockies, to clear our heads, challenge our egos, and get a proper perspective on the puniness of things like crashing stock markets and airline content distribution woes.  (Here’s my proof from last year’s climb.) How convenient to be able to close out GBTA on top of the world with close friends.

Mind you, I’m also packing a set of black Rearden Commerce-issued T-shirts to wear in our booth.  We’re showcasing some of our most exciting new innovations, including personalized, curated air search results and some visions for the future of corporate travel on the iPad.

Stop by booth 413 at GBTA and say hello.  Ask for 14’er advice. Scan our QR code.  I and my fellow Carrying On Compadres look forward to seeing you there!

 … Countdown to Tony’s return: 5 days …

 Click here to join Carrying On Compadres, our LinkedIn group.

August 11, 2011 at 12:54 pm Leave a comment

Ground Logistics for Major Events

by Gregg

Do you ever think about the complexity and cost that goes into the planning and execution of ground transportation for major events?  Don’t worry if it isn’t something you’ve concerned yourself about; most people don’t give it a second thought.

But if you are attending an event, like the upcoming GBTA Convention, you expect your ground transportation to be convenient, seamless, timely and cost effective.  Consider this:  six thousand people are expected to attend GBTA this month.  The average cost of a cab from Denver International Airport to the Colorado Convention Center is $75 — $450,000 total if each of those folks is traveling alone. (Yikes.)  Find a way to coordinate the schedules and needs of those 6,000 people onto 120 buses and you’ve just saved yourselves $378,000.  You can double that when you need to get those weary convention goers back to the airport.

This is what keeps me up at night — finding efficiencies and cost savings in ground transportation.  On average, group ground transport comprises 1% of a company’s travel budget. It’s often a costly, labor-intensive afterthought.  But for me, it’s as exciting as Gordon Ramsay turning a failing pizzeria into a thriving ristorante. I’m not like most people; I spend an inordinate amount of time pondering the processes involved in the planning, procurement and execution of ground in a multitude of venues.  That’s why my associates call me “The Governor of Ground.”

So if you see me on one of the shuttle buses at GBTA (with working air conditioning, I hope) and you’re interested in the inner workings of ground automation, stop me and say hello.  I will do some quick math  to convince you of all the cold hard cash your company could be saving.

And if you miss me on the bus, come by the Rearden Commerce booth (413).  We have great things planned for the show!

 … Countdown to Tony’s return: 14 days …

 Click here to join Carrying On Compadres, our LinkedIn group.

August 2, 2011 at 11:55 am Leave a comment

Top 10 Reasons to Attend GBTA

by Mike

My kids are getting ready to go back to school in two weeks, and the great U.S. of A. is experiencing record high temperatures, so it must mean that it’s time to countdown to GBTA. We can all thank Craig Banikowski for throwing us back into the frying pan instead of into the fire, as Denver will offer a milder clime than we’re currently suffering through here on the East Coast.  (What can I say? Humidity just isn’t kind to me.)

Attending GBTA will certainly offer some relief from the heat, but I’m also looking forward to connecting with old friends, and making some new ones.  I’ll be attending this year’s conference in a new role for the first time in five years — as VP of Loyalty Services Sales — and I’m very excited to see what kind of opportunities I’ll uncover in Denver!

As if visiting Rearden Commerce booth 413 on the expo floor isn’t reason enough to attend GBTA this year, here are 10 reasons that just might seal the deal for you:

Mike’s Top Ten Reasons to attend GBTA in 2011

10.    All you can eat Rocky Mountain Oysters.
9.      See for myself if the G, instead of the N, is “all that.”
8.      Meeting my annual requirement of seeing the Astros play every year, since they are visiting the Rockies that week.  (Shout out to Bobby Meacham, my buddy and the Astros’ first base coach)
7.      A chance to ask Meg Whitman if she could recommend a good housekeeper (or how much I’ll fetch on eBay for my NIP Michael Jackson Thriller album).  Or better yet, the chance to ask Henry Paulson if he has some spare change.
6.      Ample opportunity to burn through as many of these 1000 new business cards I ordered for my new position in Loyalty Services as humanly possible.
5.      To catch up with my casual acquaintance, and former neighbor, Sean Penn. (No big deal.)
4.      I desperately need more travel mugs, and my basket of GBTA tsotchkes / McDonald’s Happy Meal toys is running low.
3.      Because I really like altitude sickness, and I didn’t get enough of it in Telluride a few months ago.
2.      Outside of the Hamptons, GBTA is the only place I can wear a white suit.
1.      I expect some highly-impressive content this year. Tony D. returns from vacation to facilitate a panel on end-to-end.  Bev Heinritz, my most overachieving friend and colleague, will participate in two panels.  And our own “Mobile Mike” Uomoto will talk travel apps.  In a nutshell, we pretty much plan to rock the house.

Will you be at GBTA this year?  Let us know!

 … Countdown to Tony’s return: 19 days …

 Click here to join Carrying On Compadres, our LinkedIn group.

July 28, 2011 at 7:24 am Leave a comment

Is mobile part of your travel program? Here’s how it can be.

Perhaps you were tied up :) a few weeks back during our post-Valentine’s Day We Heart Mobile Webinar. Or, were you scrambling to buy some “sorry honey, I forgot roses?” Either way, Carrying On understands, and that’s why we are giving you a link to view the recorded webinar at your convenience.

Watch the webinar for FREE (especially if you are adding mobile to your travel program our you are unsatisfied with your current mobile solution). Just click here, sit back, and enjoy some of those delicious bonbons your sweetheart gave you on Valentine’s Day.

Below are some of the nuggets that we tweeted to the masses during the webinar.  Follow us on Twitter, and you’ll never miss these great insights or TD’s next joke.

  • According to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co, 74% of companies let their employees use devices other than BlackBerrys. What about yours?
  • According to PhoCusWright, business travelers want mobile checkin to their flight, hotel, rail – time flight updates is #2 @NormTravelTech hit it on the head – users want location awareness, contextual relevance and personalization
  • Make sure your mobile technology will support multiple platforms such as iPad and android
  • Involve end users in the selection process. Select a solution that people want to use and they’ll become your champions.
  • Do you want travelers searching through 350,000 mobile apps when one smart app can fulfill their travel needs? Time suck?
  • The value of mobile tech is the ability to communicate with travelers. How will you use this?
  • Finance and IT folks aren’t travelers. Be able to explain the end-to-end solution and how it fits into your program
  • Mobile apps can reduce travel fees? One area of savings – more than 40% fewer calls to TMC for certain travel department calls – Click here to read more
  • The mobile app must have the Scooby Doo factor. It must sell itself, be easy to download and use

We Heart Mobile | A practical guide for adding mobile technology to your travel program

You’ve read the stats – 75% of business travelers now carry smart phones. You’ve surveyed your travelers – they are starving for an exceptional mobile experience that makes their lives easier when on the road.

Watch this webinar and learn:

  • How do you identify the best mobile travel solution?
  • How do you navigate the potential IT and Finance hurdles in order to gain internal approval and support?
  • Most importantly, how do you ensure that your employees adopt the mobile solution you choose?

Tony D’Astolfo Rearden Commerce
Norm Rose Travel Technology Consulting, Inc.
Richard Clowes SAS
Steven Mandelbaum The Advisory Board Company

Click here to watch.

March 3, 2011 at 10:37 am Leave a comment

Happy Valentine’s Day! Free passes to a webinar that’s tastier than a box of chocolates.

The first 6 people to email us at [email protected] (by 8am PST on 2/15) will get a free pass to tomorrow’s webinar.


A practical guide for adding mobile to your travel program

Click here to join our webinar in conjunction with GBTA
February 15, 2011 (a post Valentine’s Day treat)
11am-12pm PST

You’ve read the stats – 75% of business travelers now carry smart phones.  You’ve surveyed your travelers – they are starving for an exceptional mobile experience that makes their lives easier when on the road.

Now what?

  • How do you identify the best mobile solution?
  • How do you navigate the potential IT and Finance hurdles in order to gain internal approval and support?
  • Most importantly, how do you ensure that your employees adopt the mobile solution you choose?

Do it right and you’ll enjoy increased adoption rates and reduced agency fees. Our panel of travel experts will guide you through the entire process from feature selection to rollout. Heed their advice and your travelers might be sending you chocolates next Valentine’s Day.

Click here to register for the webinar – http://www2.nbta.org/usa/ProfessionalDevelopment/Pages/Weheartmobile.aspx

Presented by:

Norman Rose
President
Travel Tech Consulting

Richard Clowes
Manager, Travel Operations
SAS

Steven Mandelbaum
Managing Director
The Advisory Board Company

Tony D’Astolfo
Senior Vice President, Travel Services
Rearden Commerce

February 14, 2011 at 3:19 pm Leave a comment

A post Valentine’s Day treat


A practical guide for adding mobile to your travel program

Click here to join our webinar in conjunction with GBTA
February 15, 2011 (a post Valentine’s Day treat)
11am-12pm PST

You’ve read the stats – 75% of business travelers now carry smart phones.  You’ve surveyed your travelers – they are starving for an exceptional mobile experience that makes their lives easier when on the road.

Now what?

  • How do you identify the best mobile solution?
  • How do you navigate the potential IT and Finance hurdles in order to gain internal approval and support?
  • Most importantly, how do you ensure that your employees adopt the mobile solution you choose?

Do it right and you’ll enjoy increased adoption rates and reduced agency fees. Our panel of travel experts will guide you through the entire process from feature selection to rollout. Heed their advice and your travelers might be sending you chocolates next Valentine’s Day.

Click here to register for the webinar – http://www2.nbta.org/usa/ProfessionalDevelopment/Pages/Weheartmobile.aspx

Presented by:

Norman Rose
President
Travel Tech Consulting

Richard Clowes
Manager, Travel Operations
SAS

Steven Mandelbaum
Managing Director
The Advisory Board Company

Tony D’Astolfo
Senior Vice President, Travel Services
Rearden Commerce

February 11, 2011 at 12:49 am Leave a comment

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