Class of 2021: The Travelogix Client Assembly

Class of 2021: The Travelogix Client Assembly

Who would hold an event in a pandemic? No, we wouldn’t either. That’s why we held off staging our biennial client assembly and shifted it from 2020 to November 24th, 2021.

Following on from the hugely successful client assembly in 2018, we decided to go all out to show Covid-19 who’s boss.

Our client assemblies have always been geared towards collaboration and innovation; our development spotlight sessions are a crucial talking point during, and of course after, the event not to mention the ‘hands-on’ approach we take during the platform breakout sessions.

But this year, it felt as important as it ever has done.

Covid-19 removed a lot of our freedoms. It removed our ability to collaborate in person, share best practices and be in a room together (or at a conference). Our aim this year was to bring that back safely, but with a bang.

And so It begins…

Kicking off the day, with a little help from our ground transportations partners in CMAC, we couldn’t believe our eyes as the 83 attendees came streaming into the venue, Fazeley Studios. It had been a long time.

Flanked by the event sponsor partners and additional industry support, we filled the main entrance hall, known as the grand gallery, fast.

Before we knew it, the breakfast baps were out, coffee and tea were doing the rounds and finally – networking commenced face to face. Is it a mirage? Do our eyes deceive us, NO! Industry friends and peers chatting about the day ahead, what their expectations are and which breakfast bap they had chosen!

The moderator for the day, the well-schooled Steve Dunne, came striding on stage around 11am to deliver his introductions and thank you’s.

Having someone like Steve working with you, not only on the day itself but in the lead up the biggest event in your own calendar is a huge deal. It’s like Stockport County signing Lionel Messi for a season; everything is going to be OK.

At 11:15am, the Founder & CEO of Travelogix, Chris Lewis, came to the stage. Team Logix sat forwards on their chairs in anticipation due to the weeks of preparation and content creation…

Here, not only did Chris cover the developments our team had made in the past 12-18 months, but it was time to unveil something special. It was time to unveil Geo.

Designed with TMCs, for TMCs: A Duty of Care Solution

Much of the day was constructed around the launch of Geo and the Development Spotlight session.

With its launch video providing the wow factor, we all sat back in awe watching the maiden unveiling of Geo – our TMC focused duty of care solution.

Watching the developer’s reaction as they witnessed this launch was a touching moment due to their hard work and commitment over the past 6-8 months.

Geo is a duty of care solution built with TMCs, for TMCs. Available through the Analytix product, Geo allows TMCs and their clients to locate travellers based on the passive tracking of itinerary data, with visibility of both present and future travel movements.

 The Pace of Change; High Fare, Low Fare, No Fair

When we sat down in the months leading up to the event to decide on presentation opportunities, we floated the idea of having the mercurial David Chappell host a session called ‘the horse’s ass (bear with us).

This well-known and much-loved presentation was about the ‘fear of change’ due to the statement ‘well, this is the way we’ve always done it’, a crippling mantra that is heard throughout our industry to this day.

Although a bang on-topic to present at the assembly, David decided to create something new based on the theme ‘pace of change’, and how ‘high fare/low fare is nonsense (David’s words)

Now, picture Monty Python, a very very high level of logic and intelligence, proficient technical skills on PowerPoint, and charismatic frontman in David Chappell – and you’ll conjure up exactly what we witness on the day.

Like the Geo session, the feedback was fantastic. What a way to start our fourth Travelogix Client Assembly.

Lunch, Partner Showcase and Getting Hands-on With Geo

After being wowed by the launch of Geo and of course, David’s presentation, the attendees then retreated out to the main gallery to get ‘hands-on’ with the platform itself whilst networking with industry friends and partners.

Lunch was served in Studio 7 and was kindly sponsored by our friends at Thrust Carbon.

We value these break-out networking sessions as we live and breathe collaboration.

 Development Spotlight

The first session back after lunch was a core part of the Travelogix Client Assembly, it was our Development Spotlight session.

These sessions are crucial to the dev team here at Travelogix, as it steers their work for the next 12-18 months. After all, we develop new and exciting platforms and enhance our existing products in line with what our clients and prospects want.

It’s a simple yet highly targeted approach to innovation.

These sessions always spark lots of conversation and togetherness, so it was great to see the attendees bouncing ideas around their tables.

On presenting ten development concepts, we gave the opportunity to our guests to re-order those items and prioritize their favorites. Clearly, this will divide opinion but that’s what we encourage.

To have our attendees discuss the ‘whys and wherefores’ of each specific item was fantastic.

Guided by a Travelogix representative at each table, this session truly excites the team and we’re now thrilled at what the next 12 months look like in terms of innovation and development.

A Duty of Care: Planet, Travellers and Mind.

Wrapping up the day before we retreated to our famous Travelogix drinks event held at the nearby Clayton Hotel, we dove headfirst into our final session – a panel hosted by Steve Dunne on the broad topic of duty of care.

On the panel, we had Nico Nicholas – Founder at Trees4Travel, Matthew Holman – Owner at Simpila Mental Health, Scott Davies – CEO at the ITM and lastly, Abby Penston – CEO at The Focus Travel Partnership.

The goal with this panel was to gain important insights into the world of sustainability and duty of care from our esteemed guests who would naturally pose different questions and topics for considerations during the hour-long chat.

A session we had high hopes for.

You will be hard-pressed to find another individual (other than his wife, Elkie) who is as passionate about true sustainability and re-wilding as Nico is.

His points of view on global reforestation and renewable energy projects which can directly offset business travel, and travel more broadly, comes from a genuine place of belief within Nico and the wider team at Trees4Travel.

Matthew Holman provided valuable insights into the everyday individual and flagged the considerations that will be needed as we start to pound the roads once again with business travel.

Do we now have more data and insights to measure mental health? Possibly. This will be something we’ll look to explore with Matthew in 2022.

Understanding the individual more will be essential as we enter a world where a duty ‘to’ care will be more important than ever before.

Next up, the CEO from the ITM, Scott Davies. An articulate, experienced, key industry figurehead, Scott gave us some fantastic insights on the mindset of the travel buyer as we head into a recovering market along with some interesting thoughts on sustainability and duty of care, and how these topics will be crucial for us all heading into 2022, and beyond.

Lastly, Abby Penston – CEO at The Focus Travel Partnership. With Focus being a strategic partner for Travelogix, it was an absolute privilege to have Abby on board providing the TMC perspective.

#inthistogther was a hashtag created by Abby and her team at Focus. A successful movement that was aimed at uniting us during the pandemic whilst creating bonds that would only get stronger over time.

Travelogix Client Drinks

As the day came to a close at Fazeley Studios, our good friends at CMAC laid on our transfers back to the Clayton Hotel for the much-loved Travelogix after-show drinks.

What an absolute joy to see our friends and colleagues together in this setting – talking about the sessions from the day and the future for our industry.

A quite humbling moment for the team at Travelogix.

Dare we say roll on 2023? We can’t wait…