April 25, 2011
by Michael Power
PURCHASINGB2B MAGAZINE: MARCH/APRIL 2011
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) broke attendance records during its seventh-annual conference in Toronto March 28 and 29. The event saw over 300 corporate travel professionals attend from across Canada and around the world.
“Our goal was to provide a forum for the latest and greatest products and services, an exciting array of speakers, and the most informative educational conference—we met and in fact exceeded our goal,” said GBTA Canada president, Tanya Racz. “We assembled over 50 companies to showcase their products and services to a sold out conference—a forty percent increase over last year’s exhibitor showcase.”
During the event, attendees got an overview of corporate sustainability challenges and how to globalize business travel from a European perspective. They heard from several speakers, including Peter Greenberg, CBS news travel editor; Sherry Cooper, executive vice-president and chief economist with BMO Financial Group; and television and netcasting personality Amber MacArthur.
“In addition to producing an informative conference, for the second year we produced an environmentally responsible event,” said Racz. “We worked closely with all stakeholders to plan and implement a conference that reflected our outlined green-meeting best practices.”
For procurement managers looking to start a green purchasing strategy, making sure there’s a strong business case is key, said consulting company Delphi Group’s Stephen Pacifico during an education session on sustainable travel procurement. Pacifico told attendees a business case for sustainable procurement helps ensure an organization’s senior management supports investing in environmentally sustainable policies.
“If you don’t have senior executive buy-in, don’t waste your time,” he told the crowd during the conference’s second day. “If they’re not supporting this, it’s probably not going to fly.”