I just spoke at GBTA Canada which is celebrating their 10th anniversary! I can’t believe it since I was one of the original keynote speakers at the very first GBTA Canada, when it was still a small buyer-lead association for Canadian travel managers and suppliers. The attendee numbers have increased significantly over the years resulting in this year’s sold-out event, with just about 500 attendees.
The education sessions were very focused on the Canadian corporate marketplace and governmental impacts to buyers and suppliers. I was pleased to also see that GBTA Canada has changed its governance to match the rest of GBTA Global. Nancy Tudorache, director of Operations – Canada, who I’ve known for many years, will now be working with a buyer-lead volunteer group. Another long time Canadian friend and ally, Shelly Lewchuk, Manager of Corporate Travel for Canadian Natural Resources Limited, was announced as Volunteer President, along with a stellar group of Canadian buyers and suppliers who will serve on the 2014 GBTA Canada Advisory Board.
Congratulations to all, and I have every confidence that GBTA Canada can only grow and prosper, given the new leadership structure and focus on membership growth strategy.
So what was I there for? I was selected as a featured speaker and presented on SMMP for Small-Medium Sized Businesses in Canada. The room was very full and there was a ton of interest, especially around risk mitigation gaps in current corporate programs, specifically that lack of meetings/events policies and Duty of Care for employees. That message I delivered was not lost on an audience who was very well aware of the most recent situation of the missing Malaysian Airlines flight 370. In case you didn’t read my most recent blog post about not having a Meetings/Events policy, the very notion that 20 Freescale Semiconductor APAC based employees were on board and now missing was a sobering dose of reality that anything can happen anywhere in the world.
If your company is global, even in the smallest sense of the word, you are at risk if you don’t have policies, processes and action plans in place. Judging by the amount of people who came up to me after my session seeking more information, the message delivered was well taken.