Newsletter

August 2013 Print

President's Report

Dear Valued Member,

We closed the first quarter with some phenomenal results!  We are excited to have exceeded our quarterly goals, some of which include:

  • 84%  Membership growth average for Q1, year over year
  • 99%  Event survey respondents indicated that the event program content was valuable
  • 99%  Event survey respondents indicated event met or exceeded expectations
  • 2,563% Q1, year over year growth in NVBTA Facebook activity

We are excited to see these types of team successes that echo the collaboration amongst the NVBTA Board and throughout the membership.  We look forward to continuing to offer educational events that drive value for your membership.

We are also proud to announce NVBTA is the winner of the GBTA Chapter President Council (CPC) annual education scholarship!  This was a huge accomplishment for the organization as we were selected from as the one and only winner for the United States from all of the chapters.  In addition, Shirley Yong, our Director, Government Relations was awarded the CPC individual scholarship. 

Our mission is to develop and manage innovative educational events, provide engaging networking opportunities, professional development growth and demonstrate membership value.  We will collectively strive to exceed your expectations and while being fiscally responsible.

Looking forward to seeing you at our exciting events, learning more and driving results for our collective continued success as an association and your local GBTA chapter.

Thank you,

 

Karoline Mayr

President

GBTA, Northern Virginia Chapter

president@nvbta.org

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Save the Date!

Please save the date for an NVBTA Education Day scheduled for October 2nd at the AOL headquarters in Ashburn. This event will include a full day of education featuring speakers presenting on topics that will enhance your professional development and provide topical industry news. Stay tuned for more information regarding speakers and registration!

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Calendar of Events

We are excited to be presenting a full calendar of educational content for you in 2013! Every program has been well thought out and planned based on member feedback. Our May 8 event is already sold out and the last two events have also been sell out’s. Please take the time to visit our website and register early so you don’t miss out!

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Travel Trends

2013 Travel Trends by Wayne Shelton 

Wayne Shelton is the US Government Sales Manager of Mine Safety Appliances Company.

Technology, technology, technology.  With the hustle and bustle of 2013 travel already here, the smart phone and the ability to connect is the technology trend at hand, literally it is at hand.  The smart phone is imperative to today’s traveler.  In the palm of our hand we can access all of our travel needs through a website connection or the trendy smart phone app.  If we need to change a reservation, no problem, with the touch of the screen it is done.  If you need customer service, no problem, with another touch of the screen we can access them by phone, or with many apps we can be in a live chat.   Travel is easier, faster, and travelers have more access than ever before.

Companies are utilizing the robust technologies to streamline processes, and to benefit from travel expense management and travel tools.  Through these tools they can easily analyze travel metrics, and use the data to negotiate with travel companies, airlines, and hotel chains.  The tools also allow them to control and cut costs, while still offering the most choices to their company travelers.  Companies can see how many nights their employees have stayed with a particular hotel chain, and negotiate meeting rates and perks based on the stays. 

Moving on into 2013, I see the widespread use of technology tools changing the way we think of business travel.  Hotel chains are creating and have created more access to both travel companies and travel tools.  However, as we continue to live in a faster pace with the reliance on technology, I personally see the choice of many travelers still resonating with their travel experience.  At the end of the use of the technology is the actual stay or flight.  Those companies that combine technology and the travel experience will win out and set themselves apart in 2013 and beyond. 

Wayne Shelton

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Membership

Direct Member Spotlight

The Communications Committee had the opportunity to catch up with Aaron Holmes, Corporate Procurement & Travel for Fannie Mae. Aaron has been the Corporate Travel Manager at Fannie Mae for 6 months. He is currently responsible for the operational oversight of all phases of transient travel as they relate to the organization. Aaron says “throughout corporate America, travel has almost uniformly motioned under the watchful eye of procurement over the course of the last 10 years. While my background lies in Procurement, I’ve had the pleasure of working in conjunction with my predecessor in the travel space since coming on board at Fannie Mae 1 year ago.” When asked what Aaron’s biggest challenge he says is: “Only having two hands. J. Walking into the role in the midst of a few large scale initiatives within the company is certainly not an enviable position. However, I credit a few key relationships (especially those in NVBTA) for the success that I have had in keeping the transition as seamless as possible.” We also asked Aaron that what benefits he values the most from his membership with NVBTA. Aaron says “NVBTA is an invaluable resource to travel new comers such as myself. The network/resource that the association has provided me in my short stint as a CTM is worth the membership fee ten times over.” This is Aaron Holmes first full year as an NVBTA member. Please take a moment to reach out to him at our new meeting and welcome him to the group!

Allied Member Spotlight

 

The Communications Committee also caught up with Becky Tobin, Associate Director of Sales at the Westin Reston Heights and Sheraton Reston Hotel. Becky began her hospitality career 13 years ago with an internship during college with Marriott’s corporate housing division, Execustay. After graduating from Virginia Tech with a degree in Marketing Management, Becky knew the hospitality business is where she wanted to be. Becky says “there was a hotel in Alexandria that was converting to a Sheraton. I met with the Director of Sales, who took a chance on me. I had 0 hotel experience but I was hired as a Sales Manager for Tour & Travel and SMERFE markets. I spent 4 years at that property handling various markets.” From there, Becky moved onto the Sheraton Reston and later was part of the opening team at the Westin Reston Heights. Becky has been at the complex for 7+ years now, originally handling group bookings. 5 years ago Becky switched to the Business travel marker and says she has “loved every minute of it.” Becky is a long term member of NVBTA, about 5 years. She says she loves that it “provides the opportunity to get together with your travel partners from the various segments as well as face to face time with the travel managers.” She would recommend it to anyone looking to make new contacts in their market. When asked what she thinks the biggest industry challenges are, she said “Our industry faces new challenges with each coming year. Government spending tighter travel budgets, and more choices available to today’s consumer are just some of the issues we are faced with. Our guests expect more today and they should. They have choices when they travel and everyone wants the business so it is our job to make sure we WOW everyone who visits our hotels.” Becky also went on to say that “with the growing popularity of social media, you have far less room for error. One guest can now reach millions.” She feels very lucky to be part of such a fast paced industry, with no day ever being the same and she enjoys every second of it. If you haven’t met Becky yet, be sure and say hello next time you see her!

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Committee Information

Committee Results & Spotlight

We thought it would be helpful to hear directly from your elected board members on the progress of their committees, so far in 2013. They have also included information on how you can help by becoming active in a committee or in other ways. For additional information on any committee, please reach out directly to the board member listed. They would be delighted to talk to you!

Education – Director of Education, Kerry Lambert – Cvent – 571-830-2077 – klambert@cvent.com

Did you know that NVBTA offers scholarships to members to cover the cost of membership dues, monthly NVBTA meetings or even GBTA events? If you receive a scholarship, that means $75 membership investment (or $125 for our allied friends) in NVBTA could save you (or your company!) hundreds of dollars in registration fees.

Applying is simple; just complete a scholarship form on the NVBTA website. Below are just a few examples of how scholarship funds may be used:

GBTA Associate, Manager or Leader Level Academy Classes – The GBTA Academy provides learning opportunities specific to the business travel management industry to improve your knowledge, learn best practices and elevate your career. Whether you prefer online courses or a traditional classroom setting, you will find relevant and innovative business travel management education and training for every experience level. Value: up to $2500 toward the $5000 total cost of the classes. Deadline to Apply: Classes are held throughout the year. Deadline to apply for a scholarship is 30 days before the event start date. Becoming a sponsor with NVBTA packs a powerful impact and brings numerous benefits along with it, which not only include exposure to key decision makers within travel related businesses but also a chance to promote your products and services to our membership. Sponsorship becomes a great talking point when networking at our monthly meetings and can contribute towards the success of your company because of how targeted our audiences are within the travel industry. We look forward to welcoming new and existing sponsors to the rest of our 2013 events with the hopes that you generate new opportunities for your own business as well as gain a new network of industry professionals that can help you make an impact!

Monthly NVBTA Meetings – NVBTA holds monthly educational events on a variety of topics geared toward travel management professionals. The complete list of events can be found at nvbta.org/calendar.php. Value: $47 Deadline to Apply: 1st of every month for that month’s session

Global Travel Professional (GTP) Certification – The GTP Certification is designed to raise industry standards, enhance work performance, and recognize individuals who demonstate core competencies essential to the business travel management discipline. More information about the GTB can be found at www.gbta.org/Education/Pages/Certification.aspx Value: $300 Deadline to apply: 30 days before the GTP application deadline.

Sponsorship – Director of Sponsorship, Kate Ozalas – Marriott Global Sales – 301-801-9403 – kate.ozalas@marriott.com

 Becoming a sponsor with NVBTA packs a powerful impact and brings numerous benefits along with it, which not only include exposure to key decision makers within travel related businesses but also a chance to promote your products and services to our membership. Sponsorship becomes a great talking point when networking at our monthly meetings and can contribute towards the success of your company because of how targeted our audiences are within the travel industry. We look forward to welcoming new and existing sponsors to the rest of our 2013 events with the hopes that you generate new opportunities for your own business as well as gain a new network of industry professionals that can help you make an impact!

Programs – Director of Programs, Ginger Skelton – SRA International – 703-803-1623 – Virginia_skelton@sra.com

The goal of our Programs team is to support our chapter’s mission in providing professional development growth and creating membership value. We look to engage membership by looking to innovative event content with relevant and compelling speakers who are leaders in the travel industry and provide professional networking opportunities. Our expectation is to increase value, increase membership, offer professional development while growing chapter revenue. Our Q1 results show our Programs strategy is moving in the right direction. Our educational events have been at capacity with a value rating of 99% with a reduced F&B cost of 62%. We are well on our way for this year to be our most exciting with fantastic event content and expanded educational and networking opportunities. Please keep an eye on our calendar for upcoming meetings and register early as our Programs are filling up quickly!

Membership – Director of Membership, Venita Gorham – Crowne Plaza Old Town & Holiday Inn & Suites Alexandria – 703-683-6000 – venita.gorham@ihg.com

Membership is on the move and growing in 2013. We have 120 members year to date, and with all of the great meeting topics people are interested in finding out more about us. Being a member of NVBTA offers you an opportunity to network, mentor and learn from other travel managers and suppliers. You are an extension of the membership committee every time you talk about our organization so remember to tell your co-workers, clients and friends about our organization.

Public Relations Note – Do you know of an interesting person or topic related to Business Travel? The Public Relations team is always looking for content for future newsletters. Please reach out to publicrelations@nvbra.org.

Look for updates from Public Relations, Hospitality, Treasurer and Government in upcoming newsletters!

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