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ITB program offers practical information for travel and event managers

Making travel planning easier: from 8 to 10 March 2017 at the ITB Business Travel & MICE Days participants can find out everything about the latest trends and developments in the business travel marke

Making travel planning easier: from 8 to 10 March 2017 at the ITB Business Travel & MICE Days participants can find out everything about the latest trends and developments in the business travel market.

Qualified experts and specialists with a wealth of practical experience will be offering visitors to the ITB MICE Days and the ITB Business Travel Corporate Days worthwhile practical tips on travel policy, measuring success in travel management and ways to reduce costs.


From 8 to 10 March, for the fifth time, the stand of Home of Business Travel by ITB & VDR in Hall 7.1a, with Verband Deutsches Reisemanagement e.V. (VDR) in attendance, will be the meeting place for managers and visitors representing the business travel market.

On 8 March 2017 the slogan of the ITB MICE Day will be ’Meetings, Incentives, Conventions & Events – Balancing Effectiveness and Efficiency’. Among those taking part will be Dr. Charles M. Savage, president of Knowledge Era Enterprise, Intl., who will talk about ’Digitalization, Sustainability and Wisdom – Forces Remodelling the MICE World’.

On 9 March 2017 the ITB Business Travel Corporate Day will be taking place in Room ‘New York 3’ in Hall 7.1a. Gerd Otto-Rieke will moderate the programme, whose topics will focus on ‘reducing costs, minimising risks and adding value’. Dr. Stefan Schulte, president of the Association of the German Air Transport Industry (BDL) and CEO of Fraport AG, will hold the keynote speech on the ‘struggle for slots and competition among airline hubs’.

In her opening speech Andrea Zimmermann, lecturer at the VDR Academy, will talk about the new challenges for travel policy. Despite there being numerous software tools on the market, travel policy is an important instrument for travel management. Rules are required, especially in times of new airline services, ancillaries and the sharing economy. In her speech Andrea Zimmermann will also address service apps for travelers, web meetings as part of travel guidelines, and open booking.

The topic of the panel discussion to follow will be ‘Is hotel procurement in trouble?’. Jan Berghold, travel manager of GfK, Michael Krenz, managing director of Corporate Rates Club and Dr. Christian Temath, director of Sourcing Solutions HRS, will explain what travel management can do faced with Airbnb bookings and how procurement reacted to Starwoord being taken over by its competitor Marriott.

The event will be moderated by Andreas Konkel, a member of the travel manager of Diehl Stiftung. Christoph Zimmerli, head of Travel Services F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., will explain how success can be measured in travel management. In his lecture he will examine which key performance indicators are important. At the Business Travel Awards 2016 of the Travel Industry Club the prize went to Swan, a new travel community platform. In her lecture Yvonne Moya, director of Global Travel, Event and Fleet Services, Unilever Enterprise & Technology Solutions, will explain what this new platform has to offer.

Four examples will be given showing intelligent ways to reduce costs: compensation claims for delays and cancellations, alternative airport parking options, reclaiming VAT on foreign purchases and calculating total costs. The panel discussion to follow with Carsten Knauer, member of the specialist committee of Business Travel BME, and Inge Pirner, DATEV eG and member of the board of VDR, will be moderated by Oliver Graue, chief editor of biztravel. This will be followed by four more presentations moderated by Gerd Otto-Rieke, which will highlight new options for travel management.

On 8 March 2017 the workshops of the ITB Business Travel Day will also be taking place in Room ‘Regensburg’. Thus, at her workshop Anne-Katrin Schulz, head of Corporate Communications and Marketing of Bund der Auslands-Erwerbstätigen (BDAE), will talk about ‘legal pitfalls on business trips’ and will draw travel managers’ attention to issues regarding social insurance, tax and residency laws. For example, she will explain the consequences of a person posted abroad not registering with the authorities in time and the importance of distinguishing between a business trip and a posting abroad.

Alexander Langhans, managing partner of Visumpoint GmbH, and Olaf Heinen, managing director of Business Visum GmbH, will use their lecture to explain problems surrounding the issuing of visas.