Remember the last time you flew to a convention? For some of us, that may have been as recently as last week. But for many more, the pandemic put a damper on our business class adventures.

That’s why we’re happy to announce that—for the first time in nearly two years—the countdown is on. The 2021 GBTA Convention is happening from November 17–19th in Orlando, Florida. Emburse is one of the sponsors, and we can’t wait to see you at booth #2233.

For anyone who just can’t make it, no worries. This year’s Convention will be different to accommodate anyone who is unable to attend due to the pandemic. Livestreams will be available for five main stage presentations, including the Keynote. And from November 29th to January 28th, over 25 educational sessions will also be available for on-demand replay.

Here are the major events you won’t want to miss:

Must-attend Activities & Travel Tips:

As one of this year’s sponsors, we got a behind-the-scenes sneak peek at some of the presentations and insights that are lined up for the Convention. 

We’re most excited about attending the following events, especially “Business Travel Post-Pandemic: A New Era Emerges” and “Getting Carded: Is it Time to Give all of Your Employees Corporate Cards?” 

To learn more or add an event to your GBTA Show Planner, just click below:

Emburse Sessions:

Thursday, November 18

  • Getting Carded: Is it Time to Give all of Your Employees Corporate Cards? Corporate cards were once the exclusive domain of the seasoned road warrior, in order to minimize organizations' financial exposure. But given the ease of management, financial benefits and improved security aspects of modern card programs, organizations may want to take another look at how widely they deploy card programs.

Friday, November 19

  • Tech Trends - New Players and Industry Experts Tech Trends will feature experts discussing what's hot in corporate travel technology. We'll feature startups from Tech Safari and Innovation Row. Hear their stories and what goes into building a brand suitable for corporate travel buyers and suppliers
  • T&E's Final Frontier: Best Practices for Managing Non-employee Travel Spend Managing travel spend for non-employees, such as job candidates, is one of the last hold-outs of tedious and costly manual expense reconciliation. Learn how a global accounting firm deployed a solution to automate this process, supporting more than 2,000 candidates per year. See how the firm cut expense approval and reimbursement times from 4-6 weeks to 1-2 days, giving recruits a far more positive first impression of the organization.

Quick travel safety tips for in-person attendees

If you’re planning to attend on-demand sessions from the comfort of your living room, get the buttered popcorn ready! 

But if this is going to be your first in-person event since the pandemic began, it pays to be prepared. Here are a few quick and easy travel safety tips to keep in mind:

  1. Travel tip #1 – Schedule your ride in advance. Uber now includes the option to schedule a ride 5 minutes to 30 days in advance using the Scheduled Rides feature. The Scheduled Rides feature allows you to book a trip in advance by selecting a 10-minute pickup window. The driver will be requested on your behalf and will arrive in the 10-minute window you've selected. In the case where a driver is not available, you'll be notified.
  2. Travel tip #2 – Get lots of sleep. For the more seasoned travelers among us, this may go without saying. But if you plan on renting a car and driving, get some sleep. Lots of it, if you can. After all, you want to be as alert and focused as possible during the Conference.
  3. Travel tip #3 – Bring everything you need. The international supply chain crunch still hasn’t let up, so you shouldn’t let down your guard. Make sure to bring plenty of masks (remember, you’ll have to wear one at all times while in the airport or while flying), hand sanitizer, your own toothbrush, and even a medical kit if you can.
  4. Travel tip #4 – Make copies of your driver’s license and passport. Due to the pressure airlines are under, flights are more likely to be delayed or switched to another gate or terminal at the last minute. If you’re bringing check-in luggage, it might be a good idea to make copies of your identification cards. If you’re a U.S. citizen, you’ll only need to bring your driver’s license.
  5. Travel tip #5 – Make copies of your vaccination cards. Given how quickly things can change with the evolving pandemic, it wouldn’t hurt to bring high-quality copies of your Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine shots with you, as well as the contact information of the hospital, clinic, or pharmacy where you received the shots (just in case the T&A asks).

Questions to ask your team before the Conference

Of course, it’s probably also a good idea to get in the huddle with your team and figure out how to best use everyone’s limited time while at the Convention. If you haven’t already, sit down with your team members, print out this section, and answer each of the following questions. Use your answers to agree on your Convention agenda.

Team Travel Discovery Questions: 

  • How long does it take for our employees to get reimbursed?
  • Outside of the current pandemic, do we anticipate growth in our travel program over the next 24 months?
  • What would be the impact for our company if we could reallocate time spent on travel booking & policy enforcement to another part of the business?
  • How would better reporting and visibility impact the way in which we manage cash flow?
  • How often do we come across out-of-policy spend or potential fraud?
  • How much out-of-policy spend occurs annually at our organization?
  • How do our peers and competitors handle their T&E?

Team Card Discovery Questions: 

  • How much time do we spend tracking down receipts?
  • What type of card program do we currently use?
  • How often do our employees have to make big purchases with personal cards?
  • Is there anything holding us back from issuing cards to all our employees?
  • Have we considered issuing virtual cards to our employees?
  • What are typical expenses for non-cardholders?

If you weren’t happy with some of your answers, maybe it’s time to upgrade your spend management solution.

In the fast-paced, ever-changing business environment we live in today, it pays to stay ahead of the curve. Modern T&E management solutions should offer smart automation and predictive data analytics, accommodate a growing remote workforce and as-needed business travel, and support increasing cloud and mobile workflows.

Is your T&E management solution doing your business justice? If not, maybe it’s time it did. Schedule a 20-minute in-person or virtual demo at the Emburse booth for a chance to win a $50 Amazon* gift card for anyone who attends.

Meet us at booth #2233 and schedule your demo at GBTA now!


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