The Beat Live Keynote Pitch: Jennifer Vecchi, Atlas Travel

This post is part of the 2015 Keynote Vote for The Beat Live, in Arlington, Va., Sept. 29-Oct. 1.

Topic: The Evolution Of Rewards And Recognition Within Travel Policy

Companies are finding it increasingly difficult to enforce travel policy compliance when so many attractive options are available to the traveler on a consumer level. For example, the percentage of open bookings for domestic travel has significantly increased in recent years thanks to apps that provide easy mobile booking platforms with a few clicks, not to mention "alternative" travel companies like Uber and Airbnb that are not tied to most company policies. A direct result is that travel managers are finding it impossible to manage their travelers' safety while on the road. Moreover, travelers are not always benefitting from the company's duty of care policy, which could potentially give them better options within budget.

Equally challenging, companies today are finding it tough to retain their top talent if they mandate travel policy. In the competitive marketplace, companies are being forced to provide flexible travel options that sometimes cost them more money but make travelers happy. Having a rewards and recognition program can oftentimes solve both problems while resulting in a more engaged workforce and a better bottom line.

The focus of this discussion will not be about a particular product or service but examples of the most common challenges facing travel managers today and a discussion of how to use rewards and recognition to creatively tackle them.

Jennifer Vecchi is Atlas Travel director of meetings, incentives, conferences & events.