by Michael J. Shapiro | July 24, 2015
One-half of travel buyers either have or are creating a consolidated meetings, travel and/or events program, according to a study by the Global Business Travel Association Foundation. That represents a 14 percent increase over the past five years, with 28 percent more respondents having completed the consolidation. The report, "Meetings, Events and Travel Programs: Consolidation Drivers and Barriers," which was sponsored by Lanyon, surveyed more than 200 North American and European travel buyers and intermediaries. 

Of those reporting consolidated programs, nearly all (96 percent) said their travel and meetings programs were consolidated, while only 43 percent reported that their events program was part of a consolidation effort. Nearly four out of five of those surveyed said the consolidation efforts were successful in improving cost visibility and transparency, the number-one driver for all consolidation efforts.

"Popular goals and drivers for fully consolidated programs include better leveraging and maximizing spend, obtaining better negotiated rates and dynamic pricing, and increasing efficiencies and improving service for stakeholders," said Joseph Bates, GBTA Foundation vice president of research. "Four in five travel buyers find all facets of consolidated programs appealing, so it's no surprise they are increasing in popularity."

Technology platforms help to drive the consolidation, the report found, with 48 percent of those with consolidated programs more likely to use a management tech platform than those without consolidated programs (39 percent). Only one buyer from a company without a consolidated program reported using such a platform, however.

The study is available to GBTA members at, or can be purchased by nonmembers for $499 by contacting An educational session on July 27 at the GBTA Convention will present the findings in greater detail.