These days, event organisers are expecting much more from their suppliers. They are no longer looking for orders-takers but are seeking partners who aim to achieve the same objectives or work towards a shared goal.

Suppliers play a major role when organising any event. Here at Clarity, our in-house team have the skills and experience to deliver all areas of event management. An important part of that event management process is ensuring the right suppliers are chosen and that we utilise their expertise when procuring equipment or organising modes of transportation for our groups.

When a large part of the event involves working alongside suppliers, how do we ensure that they continually represent our core values and are fully engaged to deliver the standard of service or product we offer our clients?

At Clarity, we expect our suppliers to become an extension of our team. Here are our top three tips on ensuring a successful partnership:

Information sharing

Communication is the most important element of any event. How can a supplier deliver above the expectations if they do not have the full picture? How are we, as an event agency, exceed expectations, if we are not informed of all requirements and objectives of the event?

Our latest manifesto Hearts & Minds looks at creating a more balanced approach to business travel, focusing on traveller centricity and experience and how it can positively affect productivity, efficiency and also profit. Knowing the principles and wider objectives for our requirements can empower the supplier to make small changes and improvements to their services, which can have a significant impact on the event outcome.

Gather and analyse data

It is important to know what the client is currently spending, where they are holding their events and whether there are any peak periods.

Clarity’s Management Information reports show us these details. We are able to advise our clients on a strategic approach to booking meetings and events, which can improve their overall bottom line. These details are also very useful in discussions with venues and hotels, as they enable us to secure availability in the required locations and help in negotiating rates to maximise return on investment for the client, and expected revenue for our suppliers.

Create a platform to meet in person

The events industry is very much based on people and the ‘human factor.’

Our annual client conference creates a platform for our clients to meet with the suppliers we work with. We want our relationships to be stronger, and we are not afraid of introducing the organiser to the hotel manager. We are working together on the same project with the same goal and we believe the most important part of any event is to build trust with each other - the true essence of a partnership.

Here at Clarity, we pride ourselves by working collaboratively with our clients, to help them maximise their investment in events and achieve the best results. We also have a preferred venue programme based on our clients’ demand and we work closely with them to offer the best value.

Partnerships are not there to limit us, stronger relationships make the event planning and delivery process smoother, cost-effective and help us to achieve the best possible results.

To find out more about Clarity events contact salessupport@claritybusinesstravel.com
Clarity recognised as UT Top 10 creative event agency! Click here to read more...

In this episode, we welcome AirSwift's procurement manager, James Lloyd, and Clarity's maestro of data and MI, Darren Williams on to the show to discuss the benefits of using a travel management company and why cutting costs doesn't always equal savings, following their recent implementation of a travel management company, AirSwift are still finding their feet when it comes to weighing up the costs of business travel. Darren, James and Kyle get into the importance of data when planning your travel programme and why Clarity's new Go2Insight tool is making big waves in the industry. 

All this and the first, worst and best travel scenarios.

Absolute Clarity episode eight is now LIVE and you can find it here:


▶︎ Click here to listen on iTunes

For more information about AirSwift please visit www.airswift.com or find them across most social media platforms. 

If you would like to get in touch with Absolute Clarity about appearing as a guest, sponsoring, or suggesting a future topic, email us: podcast@claritybusinesstravel.com

You can also join the conversation by following us on Twitter @Clarity_BT using the hashtag #AbsoluteClarity #HeartsMinds  

Have you downloaded the Hearts & Minds manifesto? Click here to get your copy now. 

Earlier this year, at the Business Travel Show, we unveiled a new product, aimed at changing the way Clarity utilise data. Alongside the usual reporting we wanted to add something more, something substantial that hadn’t been seen in the travel management arena before. 

That was the task at hand for Clarity’s head of data and MI, Darren Williams, a man with 20 years in the business travel industry. A self-confessed geek who prides himself on making the impossible, possible. For the past 12 months, Darren and his team have been tearing down the barriers of what was and replacing them with what can be.

Go2Insight

Go2Insight is more than just a reporting tool, instead it utilises a client’s data to provide a deep dive into what is, what can be and what will be. Those who like to run reports detailing spend, traveller bookings, booking horizons and more can be safe in the knowledge that those things are available, albeit in a much more comprehensive and intuitive manner. The real change comes when you step out of the basic version into our new Plus and Pro suites. 

Go2Insight Plus

Go2Insight Plus adds interactive dashboards to the equation, providing instant feedback with the click of a button, from millions of rows of raw data. Imagine looking at a csv spreadsheet and thinking, ‘I’d love to know what our rail spend was for August 2017’, now imagine looking at your own interactive dashboard, clicking on the date and instantly having access to your entire spend in August 2017, from rail to air, your top bookers, where they go, how much they spend, how far in advance they book and the most popular route. Our booker and traveller behaviour dashboards instantly gives you that much needed behavioural insight - without needing someone to do it for you. That’s plus.      

Go2Insight Pro    

Alternatively, you can go Pro to unlock the true potential of your data. Our integrated ThoughtSpot platform with its unique SpotIQ technology takes data insight to another level, with instant access to your data from any angle. Simply type into a search bar and watch as Go2Insight Pro instantly provides the information you need - automatically determining the right view that best suits your query. With dozens of visualisations, its easy to change views at the click of a button. See the underlying data, drill through over and over again, saving your searches to return back at any time. With our machine learning and AI functionality, Go2Insight learns from you over time, providing you with recommendations and valuable insight to get the most of your data. 

That’s not all, Go2Insight Pro also gives you the ability to ensure a location you are visiting is safe, by pulling on the most up to date crime statistics in the UK. Drill down to street name to get a visual representation of the crime by date, type and area. When combined with our hotel data, we’re able to accurate instruct clients on the safest locations to suit the personal requirements of their travellers. Offering a truly bespoke service that puts the care of your employees at the forefront of your travel plans.  

Reporting has primarily been about dissecting the past and making use of data to understand why. Go2Insight is as much about the past as it is about the future. Our industry leading insights and sentiment analysis provide valuable forecasting opportunities for clients to utilise their data to shape the future of their travel to get the best value, without compromising on quality. 

For more information about Go2Insight please contact our sales team 0800 731 1627 or speak to your account manager for a live demo. 

We recently received a notice from CIBT, our visa application service, regarding a change to Chinese visa applications: 

The Chinese Embassy will shortly be introducing fingerprints collection for all visa applicants. The new process will be similar to what is currently in place for Russia, CIBT will still check and prepare the application documents.

Fingerprint Collection

The Chinese Consulate requires all visa applicants in the United Kingdom to submit fingerprints at designated facilities in London, Manchester, and Edinburgh. Your application cannot be considered by the Consulate without fingerprints. CIBTvisas offers dedicated and personalised fingerprint collection appointments and will schedule a convenient time for you after we have received your materials in our office. Our service includes a standard appointment which is available on a first-come, first-service basis. Expedited appointments are also available for those travellers with urgent deadlines.

We recommend that applicants with urgent travel utilise our elective services such as Concierge or Pre-Check to ensure that all materials are correct and that a fingerprint appointment can be scheduled as soon as possible.

Click here to read more about this change.

***Update: Click here to access the latest information on CIBT

The Business Travel Awards completed their first round of judging and last week the much anticipated list of finalists was finally released. We are pleased to announce that Clarity has been shortlisted for four awards: 

Best new travel technology product - Go2Insight

Go2Insight+ is not just another MI dashboard. It is a revolutionary way of aggregating and mining data, the likes of which have not been seen within the travel industry. Next month we’ll be sharing some exciting updates on this innovative technology, so keep an eye on our social channels for the latest updates. 

Best Sales and Account Management team

Earlier in the year, we scooped the Best Account Management Team award at the Business Travel People Awards and now our team is back with Sales as joint finalists for the 2019 Business Travel Awards. Event though both teams form two distinct departments, they are closely aligned and live and breathe our values. 

Creativity and innovation is a key value at Clarity, one which is embodied fully by the Sales and Account Management teams; they seek to tackle wider business issues in a unique and thoughtful way. As individuals they make continual developments and improvements, which benefit the whole team and our clients.

Rising Star of the Year - Senior Events Consultant, Joanna Lake

Not just a rising star within Clarity,  Joanna shines within the wider conference and events industry as a whole. Despite her relatively short career, Jo continually demonstrates her potential as a future leader, made all the more remarkable by her relatively short tenure as an events consultant. 

And finally…

Best TMC (More than £200 million UK annual sales)

Over the last year we’ve been making waves in the business travel industry, not only through our product offering and customer service but in the way that we do things. At Clarity we see things differently, we’re not set in our ways and we’re constantly evolving. We recently launched our manifesto, Hearts & Minds, where we are shaking things up and encouraging everyone to change the way they think about business travel. Our passion runs through all we do, from our Business Travel Consultants on the front line to our groundbreaking MI. As we look forward to 2019,we have plenty of exciting events up ahead to make business travel better and brighter.

Click here to view the 2019 Business Travel Awards full shortlist

Absolute Clarity Season 2 episode 6 has launched today. In this episode, we welcome the head of key accounts at Travelodge, Sophie Lemm, into the studio to give us the inside track on Travelodge and why they are adapting their offering to business travellers. You may have already caught Sophie on an episode of Clarity Presents with Alexandra where they discuss the relationship between comfort and efficiency.

On the podcast, Kyle and Sophie discuss Travelodge's plans for further growth with a number of new locations on the horizon and why your feedback is so important to them.

We also discover the strangest things people have left behind during their stay and the random requests hotel staff are asked on a daily basis, before we find out Sophie's first, best and worst travel scenarios.

For more information about Travelodge please visit www.travelodge.co.uk or find them across most social media platforms.

If you would like to get in touch with Absolute Clarity about appearing as a guest, sponsoring, or suggesting a future topic, email us: podcast@claritybusinesstravel.com

You can also join the conversation by following us on Twitter @Clarity_BT using the hashtag #AbsoluteClarity #HeartsMinds 

It's that time of the week, episode seven of Absolute Clarity Season 2 is now live. In this episode, we welcome Jane Harrington and Steve Riley, the respective directors of HR and operations at Clarity alongside founding manager at recruitment consultancy firm Marmion Recruitment, Mohsin Hanif into the studio to discover how to get the best performance out of your staff.From managing workload, offering flexible working and prioritising mental health, we look at the changing landscape of the workplace and how employers can gain valuable buy in from their employees.

And that’s not all, we also discuss the recent upheavals for Northern Trains and just how far is too far when it comes to the daily commute. We also find out what our guests think about pets in the workplace.All this and the first, worst and best travel scenarios. 

Absolute Clarity episode seven is now LIVE and you can find it here:

▶︎ Click here to listen on Soundcloud  

▶︎ Click here to listen on iTunes

For more information about Marmion please visit www.marmionrecruitment.co.uk or find them across most social media platforms. 

If you would like to get in touch with Absolute Clarity about appearing as a guest, sponsoring, or suggesting a future topic, email us:   podcast@claritybusinesstravel.com

You can also join the conversation by following us on Twitter   @Clarity_BT using the hashtag #AbsoluteClarity #HeartsMinds 

Have you downloaded the Hearts & Minds manifesto? Click here to get your copy now. 

Jurys Inn Sheffield has unveiled a £2.65M transformation of its bedrooms, bar, restaurant and lobby. Situated in the heart of the Sheffield city centre just a 10-minute walk from Sheffield train station and 35 minutes from Doncaster Airport, the hotel is ideally located for those business travellers visiting the area.

Bright and inviting, each of the 259 newly-designed bedrooms comes fully-equipped with complimentary high-speed WiFi, flatscreen TV with Freeview and spa toiletries. The exclusive DREAM bed ensures a great night's sleep, with ultimate comfort in mind.

Guests can also avail of the hotel's new-look bar and restaurant area, offering contemporary dining menu, 'The Kitchen' and an all-day Costa Coffee bar. 24-hour room service is also available. The hotel's refurbished lobby features a new connectivity area and 'Off the Shelf' offering, which comes fully-stocked with snacks and travel necessities for corporate travellers convenience.

For more information about booking Jurys, contact your nominated Clarity branch.

Earlier this week the finalists in the 2018 IBM iX everywoman in Travel Awards finalists were announced online. 

From young apprentices starting their career journey, to well-established entrepreneurs inspiring other ambitious individuals to join the industry, the 29 finalists are the role models whose success stories will encourage the next generation of travel stars.   

This year’s finalists were hand-selected by the industry’s most discerning leaders including Chris Browne OBE, COO at easyJet; Jackie Wybrow, Senior Director, People Operations, TripAdvisor; and Jo Rzymowska, Vice President & Managing Director at Celebrity Cruises. 

We are pleased to announce that our Apprentice Business Travel Consultant, Sydney Howard, has been selected as a finalist in the One to Watch category, sponsored by TripAdvisor. This Award is for a young game-changer under the age of 21 in education or apprenticeship who demonstrates a passion for the travel industry.  

Sydney is in her second year apprenticeship assisting clients on every facet of their journey, from booking air, rail and hotel through to offering destination advice. In her relatively short time at Clarity she has received numerous internal and external accolades, demonstrating her passion for the travel industry and her ability to go far.  

She was nominated for two consecutive years at the Clarity Brighter Awards and was awarded Damar Student of the Month in May out of over 1700 apprentices. Sydney has also received the Above and Beyond award 3 times, making her one of the highest performing consultants in terms of customer service within the business. 

Winners will be announced at a ceremony held at East Wintergarden, located between the iconic towers of Canary Wharf in London on 14 November.    

Click here to read more about the 2018 IBM iX everywoman in Travel Awards.  

As our Hearts & Minds manifesto outlines, business travel should always be cost and time efficient. As a travel management company, we’ll always crunch the number to find the best fare combinations, time efficient connections and swiftest routes.

But true efficiency isn’t always about austerity, sacrificing comfort at all costs. We know a well-planned trip looks beyond the bare essentials. So we’ve put together a short guide on creating an ideal business trip:

1. Define your objectives

Before you even begin to pick up the phone or log onto your online booking system, think about what you want to achieve on your trip. If you have multiple appointments you need to attend, can you arrange them at one single location? And if not, how much time will you need in between.

For important meetings, do you need to allow additional times in case they run over? It’s important to define these details before starting to book, as they can help determine the type of ticket or mode of travel you require 

2. Book early

Once you’ve established your objectives, the sooner you can book the better. Booking ahead can significantly save money on travel. If you have a set schedule, booking fixed tickets can also help lower costs and you may even be able to use the money saved to bag yourself an upgrade.

3. Pick the right hotel

Picking the right hotel is often an overlooked part of business travel itineraries. City centre accommodation may be more expensive butcould save on taxi travel and enable travellers to eat out, within budget, rather than being restricted to an expensive out-of-town hotel restaurant.

No frills accommodation might be adequate for a single night stopover. But a hotel with leisure facilities can make life on the road a lot more bearable during extended periods away from home.

4. Plan ahead

Once your travel is booked, assign some time to prepare for your trip. Even as a seasoned traveller it’s important to assess your schedule and ensure everything is in order before you leave. Do you need a visa? Is your passport up to date?

If you have a long flight and are headed straight into a meeting after it, do you need to find somewhere to freshen up? Plenty of airports have changing facilities, if not you may need to look into a lounge booking if you feel you could do with a quick shower and change of clothes.

5. Have your essentials at the ready 

If you are a regular traveler, it’s probably worth keeping a bag of essential items at the ready. By singling out the necessary travel items, it can also help reduce the amount of excess you pack, saving you from excess baggage fees and just generally easing your carry load.  

Our packing tips post recommended making a packing list as a fool proof way to ensure you remember the important items. We mentioned the Wunderlist app, as it has the ability to replicate past lists - meaning you can keep a general catalogue of things you need and re-check every time you travel. 

Click here to download our Hearts & Minds manifesto and see how we're changing the way we think about business travel.

Find out how brighter business travel can boost your bottom line.

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