Last year we shared details of our Brighter Beginnings apprenticeship programme. Having partnered with Damar Training back in 2014 and both becoming heavily involved in the creation of the apprenticeship standard, Brighter Beginnings has gone from strength to strength.
We are now celebrating the success of the programme, with ten of our apprentices having now completed their Travel Consultant Apprenticeship, some of the first in the country to do so. Nine have secured a merit, with one, Megan Hearn, achieving a distinction. A further two apprentices are due to complete over the coming weeks.
“At Clarity, we are passionate about developing new and young talent and being directly involved in shaping the bright stars who will make up the future of our industry. To be the first travel management company to embrace the programme shows our commitment to developing and mentoring staff who will one day lead the next generation. We are already reaping rewards in terms of the calibre of people we’re bringing in to our organisation.” Pat McDonagh, CEO Clarity
The future looks bright, as we are now planning to recruit a further 8 apprentices to start this year onto the programme. We will continue to develop our offering – the next group will benefit from an enhanced educational trip as part of the apprenticeship and both Clarity and Damar are committed to providing the best possible learning and working experience for their next generation of travel consultants.
“We are delighted by the success of the Clarity programme. Seeing the first apprentice travel consultants now successfully completing and embarking on their careers in an exciting and important sector for our economy shows the difference that apprenticeships can make to individuals. The fact that Clarity are recruiting again this year underscores the value of the travel consultant apprenticeship to business.” Jonathan Bourne, Managing Director, Damar Training
Neil Wainwright-Farrar, Clarity Learning & Development Manager commented:
“It is fantastic that our Brighter Beginnings Apprenticeship programme has huge recognition both internally and externally across our competitors. To be one of the first travel employers to have apprentices successfully complete the new Travel Consultant Apprentices is a great credit to the learners, Damar and Clarity.”
For more information on the Clarity Brighter Beginnings Apprenticeship Programme please contact our Careers team: Joanne.firstname.lastname@example.org or Alanya.email@example.com
With ambiguity surrounding what Brexit entails and how it will affect businesses moving forward, preparing for what lies ahead is challenging. Regardless of industry, it’s safe to say that Brexit will have an impact either by creating challenges, or in some instances, providing opportunities.
At Clarity, we are prepared and ready to support businesses through this transition and offer our expertise and insight, regardless of the outcome and as negotiations continue to play out in The Commons, we’ve put together a couple of recommendations to guide you as we head into the unknown:
1. Define your objectives
It’s important you start to think ahead to changes you may need to implement within your business strategy and how your objectives may have to be altered to suit – whatever the scenario. More than likely, you’ve already done this, so it’s important to investigate how your travel policy fits in to the mix.
2. Location, location, location
Where is your travel management company located? Do they have enough coverage in the UK, EU and further afield? Ensure your travel management company has the right connections and partnerships to handle any changes that you may need to introduce regarding your travel.
3. Check your policies and legislation
Given the inherent need for a travel management company to transfer personal information to destinations within the EU and beyond, it’s worth making sure your travel management company has created data processing and information agreements between yourselves and suppliers that are compliant for the UK and EU.
In the quest for new markets and business, we believe we may see an upturn in demand for long haul travel as companies start to look further afield. Of course, we could see EU travel remaining the same or even increasing in some instances. By including your travel management company in the conversation around the direction of your business, they can focus on matching travel solutions to deliver the best possible value.
Our team of award-winning Account Managers are on hand to discuss any of the issues relating to Brexit with you. As business travel experts with a network of strong global partnerships, we’ll help to keep your business moving.
“Whatever the Brexit outcome, there will almost certainly be complexity around travel between the UK and Europe. Clarity will continue to monitor the situation and work with our clients to navigate the road ahead and ensure the best possible outcomes for their travel programmes.” Pat McDonagh, CEO Clarity, The Business Travel Experts
For more information on how Clarity can support your travel management needs, contact us on:
0800 731 1627
The season finale of Absolute Clarity season 2 is finally live. Featuring Clarity CEO Pat McDonagh and Director of Sales and Account Management Paul Casement, the series finale is centred around the history of Clarity and why a business would benefit from using a TMC.
What happens when you combine two travel management companies who couldn’t be more different?
How do you integrate staff, systems and cultures to ensure a smooth transition?
Why should you use that TMC going forward?
Host Kyle Daniels welcomes a Pat and Paul into the studio to talk about the history of Clarity from the days of Co-op Travel to the Portman Merger. They discuss the importance of culture when growing an award-winning business and why technology is playing such a significant part in 2019 and beyond.
With the stage set, Kyle then asks the hard-hitting question, why does your business need a TMC? We leave behind the standard answers littering tenders worldwide to get to the true benefit businesses can expect when finding a travel management company to partner with.
If you look forward to the first, worst and best travel segment we’ve thrown in a twist on this episode. We’ve heard Pat’s strange experience with a three-legged cat and Pauls accidental room share before so we’ve changed things up and ask who would be Pat and Paul’s dream clients. You won’t believe who they pick!
Thank you for joining us on this incredible journey over the past two seasons. Absolute Clarity will be back but, in the meantime, you can always listen to previous episodes in the series or stay tuned for our National Apprenticeship Week bonus episode airing Monday 4th March 2019!
If you would like to get in touch with Absolute Clarity about appearing as a guest, sponsoring, or suggesting a future topic, email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
After two days of demos, discussions and networking, the Business Travel Show is over. After the success of last year, we knew we had to pull out all the stops to make 2019 even bigger and brighter.
This year Clarity showcased not one, not two but three products with presentations being given on the stand at set times throughout the show.
Wednesday morning saw Director of Sales and Account Management Paul Casement and Head of Online Development Ruth Nicholls unveiling Clarity’s new booking platform, Go2Book on the stand, with visitors and press attending to get a first glimpse of our re-imagined online tool.
Later in the day Product Manager Will Murray, Head of Management and Information Darren Williams and Data Quality Manager Helen Mairs also hosted presentations of Go2Track and Go2Insight, allowing visitors the chance to observe the full Go2 suite of products and how they work together to improve the traveller, booker and company travel management experience.
Our team of experts were on hand throughout the day to discuss our manifesto, Hearts & Minds, which extended a challenge to the procurement community to take a traveller centric approach, shifting focus from the purely cost driven mentality of previous years. Over the last few months we’ve brought familiar industry faces, Clarity experts and suppliers in to our offices to discuss how businesses can truly capture hearts and minds, looking at areas such as sentiment & statistics, wellbeing & profit, freedom & security and much more.
If you didn’t get the opportunity to attend the show, you can still grab a copy of our manifesto by clicking here and of course our business development team are always available if you would like to discuss travel management services or book an appointment to see our demos.
Thank you again to everyone who took the time to meet us at the Business Travel Show and we look forward to sharing more news and updates over the next few weeks.
For further information on how we can help you with your business travel requirements contact us on:
0800 731 1627
After much anticipation, the Business Travel Show was the perfect setting for us to launch our new online travel booking tool. Speaking at the event, Head of Online Product Development, Ruth Nicholls said “This is not just a simple re-skin, this is a reimagining of the booking process. As a company we have always put the traveller at the heart of all we do and the new version of Go2Book lives and breathes this philosophy.”
The Clarity product development team held a series of workshops, both internally and externally to determine the business traveller’s needs when it comes to online booking tools. Rather than starting with the process of the travel management company, we placed the traveller at the core of the development and built the tool around them.
“We were aiming for the whole process to be slicker and quicker, drawing inspiration from leisure booking tools which are leading the way in online technology,” Ruth explains. “The new Go2Book learns your preferences, such as ticket type and class and then pre-sets them for you, making the whole process smoother and more personal.”
The theme of personalisation runs strongly throughout the new release which was built with NDC at the centre. Whereas other systems actively label NDC content, we’ve taken the bold move to simply showcase NDC as standard and focus on the end user’s requirements.
Clarity CEO, Pat McDonagh expands, “NDC is the hot topic in our industry at the moment, and many businesses are keen to showcase their capabilities to travel buyers. Our research showed us that the average business traveller doesn’t know, or care about NDC. They just want great content which is personal to them. So we’re giving them what they want – simple, rich content in a quick and efficient interface.”
This new and refreshing approach has seen the introduction of additional amenities content such as wi-fi and seat selection.
“For us, content is King. Yes, the new tool looks great, but it is the underpinning content which is key to its success. We’ve achieved the balance of a slick leisure look and feel, but with the business functionality our users have come to expect.” Pat McDonagh, CEO Clarity
For more information on our online booking tool Go2Book or to request a demo contact us on:
0800 731 1627
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
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.