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 city just a 10 minute walk from Sheffield train station and 35 minutes from Doncaster Airport, the hotel is ideally located for those 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. To ensure a great night’s sleep, bedrooms also boast the exclusive DREAM bed by Jurys Inn, designed 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 guest convenience.

 

For more information about booking Jurys Inn, 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.

Last month Conference & Incentive Travel Magazine (C&IT) released their state of the industry report which included the annual list of Top 50 UK Event Agencies.

We’re excited to share that this year, Clarity didn't just make it into the Top 50 but came straight in at number 10. The listings are based on event turnover and is a great achievement for the whole team. This comes the same year that Clarity's Martin Hayes-Gleave won MICE Manager of the Year at the Business Travel People Awards.

Clarity Event Management has gone from strength to strength, our in-house event production experts, venue consultants and group air team work in partnership with our clients to create outstanding experiences for their organisations and employees. We have a great track record across multiple sectors including manufacturing, pharmaceutical, retail and public sector, with a terrific track record of delivering return on investment and customer satisfaction.

Our experience has seen us work with groups from 10 to 30,000 as we have the expertise to successfully accommodate all types of functions. Our success over the last twelve months has come from targeting the delivery of a solution that will not only embed our clients brand values, but also creates the right memories for attendees.

Clarity Event Management regularly support our clients with:

  • Event management
  • Venue finding
  • Technical production
  • Incentive travel
  • Delegate registration
  • Dinners and awards
  • Creative design solutions
  • Executive leisure
  • Group travel

All of this sits alongside our Business Travel departments, which is a £430m turnover business, offering unrivalled buying power in the events sector.

Want to see them in action? Check out our highlights video:

To find out more about how our Clarity events team can help you, click the link below to access our latest brochure or call me on +44 (0)7753 456 366 to arrange a time to meet for a more detailed discussion.

As we discuss the relationship between personal and business as part of our Hearts & Minds campaign, we invited Clarity Account Managers Fraser Thomson and Matt Carter onto the show so discuss life on the road.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?

Should you check your emails outside of work hours?

How about travelling outside of work hours?

From missing your children's first steps to keeping motivated while working from home, we get the inside story on what it means to be a great account manager from some of the best Clarity have to offer.

We also discover our guests first, best and worst travel scenarios, in our popular final segment.

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

▶︎ Click here to listen on iTunes

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.

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

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