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CWT Podcast

Business Travel On the Fly is a monthly podcast aimed at both business travelers and travel managers, that dives into issues affecting those of us who spend time up in the air, out of the office, and away from home on work trips. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or on your first trip, we will unpack the future of business travel with experts from in and around the industry. Plus, you’ll get top travel tips from road warriors around the globe.

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July 2023 - Episode #028

Beyond Bamboo Straws: How to elevate the sustainability of your meetings and events starting today

CWT Meetings & Events this year co-developed a meetings and events carbon calculator with Thrust Carbon, known for powering sustainability behind over $50 billion of travel spend.

As CWT Meetings & Events sees its projects more than double in a year now organizing over 30,000 meetings and events globally in 2023, the calculator’s reporting signposts specific event elements where greener solutions could and should be sought - be that event destination, transportation, accommodation and venues, food and beverage, material, and/or waste management.

Find out: 

  • How the right mix of data and due diligence can set the trajectory for sustainable events with unexpected benefits to engagement and productivity. 
  • What information to glean from your suppliers, and their suppliers from both an environmental and social standpoint.  
  • What incremental change really means in the context of ambitious corporate sustainability goals.

March 2023 - Episode #027

The outlook for hotel rates and airfares in the months ahead, and how to use AI so it doesn’t use you

If there’s one job harder than being a clairvoyant at a sceptic’s convention it’s being a futurist in these mightily uncertain times. 

It’s hard to read an article these days that doesn’t warn us that bots will wipe out entire industries or that the global economy is about to implode. But is there nuance and cause for optimism? 

CWT's Julian Walker talks to Shawn DuBravac, NY Times bestselling author, futurist, economist and analyst for the GBTA CWT Global Business Travel Forecast about the near-term cost of airfares and hotel rates, and how companies and organizations of all sizes can prepare their budgets, and people, for the societal and technological shifts ahead.

Find out: 

  • Whether travel and event pricing predictions for 2023 are proving accurate halfway through the year.
  • The challenges that hotels and airlines face today.
  • The big issue on everyone’s lips and how it will change the way we work and travel: Artificial Intelligence.

January 2023 - Episode #026

How to spot the signposts of change in business travel

Over the next 10 years, we are likely to see change on a scale not witnessed since the Industrial Revolution. We’re on the cusp of massive economic and social disruption that has wide-reaching implications for us all. So how do you discern between what's 'pie in the sky' and what's really going to happen? And with AI-powered automation surging ahead, how do you innovate in the right direction for people, purpose, and planet?

Joel Hanson, CWT's Director of Global Innovation Business Development helps us spot the subtle signs of change that, however nascent today, contain the seeds of tomorrow’s business travel landscape:

  • Will it be ethical to travel for business in 15 years' time? 
  • Will traveling internationally become more or less economically and geographically accessible? 
  • If the only certainty is uncertainty, how do companies and organizations lay the right foundations for their traveling employees?

November 2022 - Episode #025

Pricing the future of business travel with Dr. Shawn du Bravac

Internationally-recognized thought leader, NY Times bestselling author, futurist, and top-rated keynote speaker Dr. Shawn DuBravac delivers pragmatic and provocative insights on the trends, technologies and paradigms transforming the globe.

Hot on the heels of his predictions in the GBTA CWT Global Business Travel Forecast 2023 that reveals global and regional price projections and analysis for airfares, hotel rooms and cost-per-attendee (meetings & events), DuBravac speaks to CWT Communications Chief Julian Walker about the critical issues that could influence pricing and how we travel & meet in 2023:

  • Is a global recession  inevitable and what does that mean for the price of hotels, airfares, care hire and events?
  • How the macroeconomic outlook could materialise differently around the world.
  • How corporates and organizations can reconcile uncertainty with budget planning.

October 2022 - Episode #024

How to build a lean, mean meetings machine in a perfect storm of volatility

Kari Wendel, VP strategic and enterprise customers, and global operations at CWT Meetings & Events is at the helm of the agency’s ‘total meetings management’ approach working with larger customers with centralized meeting strategies, large events & corporate incentives. 

In this podcast, find out:  

  • How record demand combined with leaner teams, higher costs, fewer options and longer lead times have created a perfect storm and how your organization can weather it with aplomb.
  • Why a centralized meetings strategy is critical in the current climate of unpredictability.
  • New ways to look at managing risk and how to plan for unknowns.

August 2022 - Episode #023

Cleaner Skies Ahead: Is sustainable aviation fuel on the cusp of taking off?

Richard Johnson, Global Head of Solutions Group, and Heinrich Lange, Senior Director Sales Northern Europe, and Head of Global Account Management, EMEA of Lufthansa unpick the practicalities of accelerating the development and integration of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and the collective efforts of the entire aviation industry to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Find out:

  • Why making SAF the crux of fruitful business relationships is integral to its success.
  • What are the broader opportunities for carbon reduction, how feasible are they and how can we foster innovation at a critical time for our planet?
  • Is there a one-size-fits-all answer to whether not flying is the most sustainable solution?

June 2022 - Episode #022

The age of the conscious business traveler

Volatility, complexity and change brought on by the pandemic has been a huge social and economic disrupter for most. It has - and continues to - transform the way in which we interact, consume, work and travel. What influence does this change have on business travelers’ behaviors, needs and expectations? In this episode Christina Scorsis, CWT’s VP Traveler Experience Evolution, opines about her own shifting attitudes, and how companies and organizations can keep pace with the aspirations and expectations of the conscious business traveler to retain talent and support a healthy company culture.

Hotel bed

May 2022 - Episode #021

A green standard in hospitality

Belinda Hindmarsh, Chief Growth Officer of global travel management platform CWT is joined by Kit Brennan, Co-founder and Director of award-winning carbon intelligence platform Thrust Carbon. Together they have decades of experience in the travel tech space.

In this episode Belinda and Kit turn their sights on the hotel industry which is infinitely more complex than air travel when it comes to measuring sustainability.

March 2022 - Episode #020

International Women’s Day: How to make work (and traveling for work) work for women

Belinda Hindmarsh, Chief Operating Officer of RoomIt by CWT and China and John Pelant, Chief Technology Officer are leaders of CWT’s women’s employee resource group. With decades of combined experience in travel and tech, along with leading a global multinational operating in over 140 countries, they talk about avoiding proximity bias, the role of business travel in creating equal opportunities, and the power of intentional listening.

January 2022 - Episode #019

Michelle McKinney Frymire on how to future-proof for 2025 and beyond

CWT is physically present in over 140 countries and staffed by 12,000 employees ranging in age from 18 to 90. As the company celebrates a whopping 150 years in travel, CWT's previous CEO Michelle McKinney Frymire talks about how travel can drive opportunities, how attitudes to work and life are changing and solving for the biggest issues of our time from climate anxiety to inclusivity.

July 2021 - Episode #018

How to change someone’s life on a flight

Since 1999 CWT and the Carlson Family Foundation have taken a holistic approach to fight human trafficking through our core business activities, philanthropy, advocacy, and strategic partnerships.

CWT’s Julian Walker, Head of External Market Communications & PR speaks to Yvonne Chen, Director, Private Sector Engagement, ECPAT USA about how we can individually and collectively turn the tide on trafficking.

June 2021 - Episode #017

How to set targets and measure success in creating a more sustainable travel program

In this webinar, a panel of experts representing different viewpoints—including airlines, environmental non-profits, TMCs, and travel buyers— discussed a major point of contention in making corporate travel programs greener: how companies should set targets and measure success.
Listen to our podcast to hear the panel's points of view.

May 2021 - Episode #016

A picture of health: get ready for a safe return to travel

The biggest global vaccination campaign in history is underway. As countries around the world look to gradually ease restrictions, it is imperative that organizations prepare themselves and equip their employees for a safe return to travel.
Listen to our podcast to hear what our panel of medical, travel and technology experts say about this.

March 2021 - Episode #015

The best of both worlds: how to organize impactful hybrid events

2021 is set to be a big year for hybrid meetings and events, with travel restrictions and various safety measures expected to remain in place. When done right, combining virtual and in-person elements allows you to boost engagement and reach a wider audience. Get ahead of the curve by learning how you can organize impactful hybrid events that deliver results for your business.

February 2021 - Episode #014

What a difference a year makes

What will business travel, meetings and events, and the world of work look like this time in 2022? We hand the crystal ball to Michelle McKinney-Frymire, CWT’s CFO and President Strategy & Transformation, and Niklas Andreen, President Traveller Experience and Customer.

January 2021 - Episode #013

Winners of the Business Travel Journalism Awards 2020

At the end of a year that completely altered business travel, meetings & events, and our working lives, who better to reflect on the past and anticipate the future than the editors and journalists at the coalface? Winners of the Business Travel Journalism Awards 2020 talk vaccine hope, slow travel, and cutting commutes for good.

November 2020 - Episode #012

How to revise your travel risk policy during unprecedented times

The pandemic has forced businesses to take a closer look at their travel risk policy. Join experts from International SOS as they share advice on why travel managers should reshape their policy to meet the evolving demands of a world challenged by COVID-19.

October 2020 - Episode #011

Why HR is crucial to helping your employees back to travel

Employee wellbeing is back on top of the corporate agenda, so it is vital your travel policy tackles the issues that matter most to your employees and address their concerns in this new world. CWT talks to a Director of HR Operations to explore why travel managers should be working closely with their HR professionals to set new policies and procedures in the COVID-19 era.

September 2020 - Episode #010

Talking on Air: Building an effective air program in an uncertain world

As businesses reconnect and travel restarts, questions remain over how to design an air program fit for an uncertain and changing world. During this webinar, Delta Air Lines and Air France-KLM look to address some of the key issues for travel managers, including: 2021 RFPs, unused tickets, employee confidence and safety concerns.

August 2020 - Episodes #008 & #009

Ready for the Road: How to build employee confidence

Restrictions may have eased but many companies still struggle with building confidence in their traveling employees. Hear from business and travel experts on how to get your people ready for the road. A diverse speaker panel talks critical learnings from essential service providers, how considerations have shifted, and how suppliers are adapting their operations to cope with a dynamic situation.



August 2020 - Episode #007

Traveling again: What to expect at the airport

What changes can employees expect before they catch a flight as we start to see a return to business travel? CWT will be joined by ACI World, as we discuss the new measures in place to boost traveler safety, how employees should prepare for a trip and the steps airports have made to build traveler confidence.

June 2020 - Episode #006

How will the ‘new world’ of travel impact the employee experience?

As travel slowly restarts around the world what will it mean for the employee experience and how should a travel manager prepare?
CWT speaks to International SOS, as we take a holistic view at getting employees back on the road and provide you with a roadmap and strategic framework for a return-to-travel.

May 2020 - Episode #005

Managing the Olympics during COVID-19

Few events are as globally significant and historic as the Olympics, although COVID-19 comes close. CWT speaks with the International Olympic Committee and 3 PEAKS Leadership about the importance of communication and transparency, why it’s essential to have effective contingency plans and essential advice on dealing with ‘uncontrollable’ events as we've never seen before.

March 2020 - Episode #004

COVID-19: Business travel in the time of coronavirus

We discuss what the leading travel risk services company, International SOS is advising all clients right now. For those who still need to travel in these unprecedented and unsettling times, find out what you must consider before making that decision. Matt Bradley offers his take on how business travel will change post-COVID-19.

February 2020 - Episode #003

Imagine if expense reporting disappears

If there's one bane that unites business travelers from Singapore to Switzerland, it's submitting expense reports. Could this tedious chore be on its way out? Dave Holmes, VP for Payments at CWT, talks us through innovations in global payments technology that will make paying for, and accounting for, work trip expenses much more interactive – and much less of a pain.

January 2020 - Episode #002

Let’s chat about AI and chatbots

How do we teach computers human language in all its complexity and context to the point where business travelers can book each element of their trip via messenger or chat? Ziv Baum, an AI specialist in Tel Aviv, discusses the ABCs of artificial intelligence and chatbots and how they’re being used in business travel.

January 2020 - Episode #001

Improving the shopping experience for business travelers

Why is booking personal travel a lot more fun than booking business travel? It’s not just because the former means vacation and the latter work. Erik Magnuson, VP of Air Distribution Capabilities at CWT, breaks down for us how airlines and the industry are working to improve the shopping experience for business travelers.

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Disclaimer: Travel tips and other information provided in this podcast are not based on your company’s travel policies. Please evaluate any suggestions or information provided in this podcast in the context of your company’s internal travel policy.

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