February 29, 2024

BTD puts the Zen back into meetings

Business Travel Direct's meetings and events division has been relaunched as a standalone, full-service agency called Zen.

The TMC’s parent company, Ickenham Travel Group, has expanded the team behind the agency, hiring Mandy Warwick as Senior Director and Kirsty Tod as Senior Event manager, with further additions likely.

Zen will initially serve BTD’s diverse clientbase before extending its reach to non-clients, offering a range of services including venue-finding, event management, event marketing and incentives.

Through an online booking tool, it offers live availability for small meetings and events in the UK and Europe, and also incorporate clients’ own inhouse meeting rooms.

Zen will utilise BTD technology to enhance delegate management and travel security.

The TMC’s meetings and events division was initially established four years ago but had its strongest single month in January this year.

“One of the key reasons we have been winning new clients is our ability to deploy our reporting technology to consolidate total travel spend, including meetings and events,” says Andrew Perolls, Executive Director of Ickenham Travel Group.

In a separate development, Ickenham’s shareholders have launched a new company, Infiniti, to provide TMCs with access to a range of technology services.

To begin with, it will offer access to Concur’s travel and expense solutions, including TripIt and TripLink, to companies who would ordinarily be unable to do so.

The company will add further solutions as it sees fit.

Following a soft launch last autumn, it is now working with 15 TMCs across the UK, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Germany, Dubai and Australia.

“TMCs are now able to retain and attract more business at a fraction of the cost of developing their own in-house expertise,” says Head of Sales and Account Management, Gavin Smith.

“They are also able to avoid the associated requirements that they would otherwise face in establishing direct partnerships with technology providers.”