July 25, 2024

ITM sets up task force to reinforce importance of buyer role

The Institute of Travel Management (ITM) has launched a campaign to help buyer members reinforce the strategic importance of their role and remit.

ITM believes buyers must seize a “window of opportunity” to retain their elevated position and recognition of their consultative value post-pandemic.

It has established a ‘Future Role of the Travel Manager’ task force of 12 buyer members who will discuss how travel managers can continue to demonstrate value internally within their business and remain at the core of senior management decisions.

The task force is scheduled to meet regularly over the next two months at sessions moderated by Festive Road’s Louise Kilgannon.

“Whilst business travel ground to a virtual halt over the last two years, the corporate travel buyer’s ‘to do’ list certainly did not; in fact, it increased exponentially,” says Scott Davies, CEO, ITM.

“Many buyers gained an elevated status among senior management, even at board level during this period, and they currently remain central in helping their organisation resume business travel safely and sustainably.

“Now is the time for buyers to secure their strategic position within their organisation, demonstrate their value, and educate their c-suite on the travel programme’s core function in supporting and delivering accelerated business goals such as sustainability, employee wellbeing, and DE&I.”

Davies said the task force will also address the need to attract and retain talent in the profession and identify ways to raise awareness of the role externally and the benefit it brings to organisations.

The campaign will culminate in a webinar sharing the outcome of taskforce discussions and the steps buyers need to take to elevate their position within their business.

ITM will also produce a detailed resource with practical guidance for buyer members, as well as cover the topic in buyer knowledge exchange sessions at ITM’s forthcoming ‘Accelerate’ conference in April.

The ‘Future Role of the Travel Manager’ task force members are:

·        Alison Rogan, ITM Chair & Global Head of Travel & Expense, Barclay

·        Calum Hawley, Global Travel Manager, Endeavour Mining PLC

·        Carlos Almendros, Global Procurement Services Leader (Travel), Cisco

·        Carol Fergus, Director Global Travel, Meetings and Ground Transportation, Fidelity International

·        Gemma King, Director Corporate Travel – EMEA, APAC, Omnicom Group

·         Ian Blackie, EMEA Travel Manager, Bloomberg

·        Jon Bolger, Head of Travel, Deloitte UK

·        Leila Dunphy, Global Category Manager for Travel & Fleet, Eaton Corporation

·        Natalie Gardner, Senior Global Travel Manager, Electronic Arts

·        Nicholas Nelson, Global Lodgings and EMEIA Developed Markets Travel M&E Leader, EY

·        Nikki Parsons, Global Director for Travel, Arcadis

·        Stephen Lascelles, EMEA & APAC Travel Manager, Willis Towers Watson