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Gail and Berni recently attended The Advantage Travel Conference in Club Med’s Provence Resort in Opio. The theme was Man –v- Machine which provided a great insight into technological innovation that lies ahead.  It also emphasized not to overlook the importance of investing in the most important asset of our businesses – our people.

The energetic and engaging Jason Bradbury, former host of The Gadget Show, was our moderator. He (with Pepper Robot by his side) said we should not bury our head in the sand when it comes to new technologies, as we will be left behind. For example if artificial technology can perform manual process, then front-line staff will have more time to deploy the personal touch and showcase their expertise.

Sara Rooney, associate at consultancy Festive Road, told business travel delegates that by 2020 more than 50 per cent of the world’s workforce will be made up of Gen Y and Z. She gave a fascinating insight into their behaviors and these generations will have a big impact on the way we work and travel.

There were several other outstanding presenters talking about innovation in travel such as voice recognition and wearable technology. We heard from Deloittes, ITM, Paddy Power and Clearleft, but the stand out session was the headline speaker, Sir Chris Hoy, who was truly inspirational. He shared his journey and what it takes to be an Olympic Champion – his vision and determination were outstanding.  He said you need to have the dream, make an action plan and then focus on the task. Don’t focus on the outcome, which is interesting because we always adopt the STAR approach –  which is look at the situation you are in, the task at hand, the action required and the RESULT. Well he certainly got results but maybe didn’t want to have the additional pressure about winning on race days.   He just stuck to his ethos which was do to the absolute best you can do – well it certainly paid off!

Huge thanks to Julia Lo Bue-Said and the Advantage Travel team, Club Med, the generous sponsors and the quality speakers for putting on such a fantastic conference. See you all in Miami in 2018.


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