Wednesday, 22 November 2017

GDPR: what it means and why we need to be on our best behaviour

Who would have thought four letters could cause such organisational angst? But that’s precisely what GDPR is doing. Even if you’re not yet au fait with the ins and outs of what GDPR is and how it will affect your business, I’m assuming you’ve heard of it – from the abundance of articles, to whisperings across marketing departments – and all with good reason. 

GDPR is the General Data Protection Regulation and it’s a legal requirement from 25 May 2018, replacing the existing Data Protection Directive at European Union level and the UK Data Protection Act 1998. It applies to anyone handling data belonging to EU residents, which means it almost definitely will apply to your organisation.

Why’s it being introduced? Partly because of globalisation and the increasing number of businesses operating multinationally, and partly because of the growing digital economy we all operate in, which is also to a large degree responsible for the increased globalisation. The introduction of GDPR means data protection laws will now assume a level of international consistency and they also class digital footprints - IP addresses, cookies, MAC addresses – as personal data for the first time.

Like all things, the digital revolution and the increased level of access to personal data has both pros and cons. For organisations, it means we can understand our customers better and operate marketing campaigns that are better targeted and more efficient and cost effective. As a result, customers benefit from personalised content, tailored offerings, less spam and increased, more convenient, transaction speeds.

But the big downside to this amount of information being online is that it’s constantly open to abuse, attack and misuse by individuals and organisations. Just take a minute to Google ‘security breaches 2017’ and it soon becomes clear just how prolific data breaches are. These were the top three headlines on the website when I searched:

·       List of data breaches and cyber attacks in July 2017 – 143 million records leaked

·       Hacked video game company fined £60k by ICO

·       Data breaches cost UK organisations £2.48 million (that’s per organisation and is only an average)

In March, a hack attack on ABTA exposed the personal details of 43,000 consumers and 650 tour operators and travel agents. Of course, that’s not a patch on the recent Ransomware attack that brought the NHS to its knees.

These incidents highlight clearly what a massive issue data protection and security really is and why, we, in the business travel industry, need to be at the top of our game. As an organisation that’s responsible for storing and transmitting data on thousands upon thousands of travellers, it’s crucial at CTM that we can reassure them – and our clients – that this information is being collected, stored and used both responsibly and with each person’s consent. And that’s what GDPR will do: introduce an accountability based framework for handling the way personal information is acquired, used and shared.

Oh, and just one more thing you need to know about GDPR – and the real reason why those four little letters are causing such organisational angst – companies who fail to comply with GDPR could result in a fine of up to €20 million (about £18 million) or 4 per cent of annual turnover, whichever is greater. My advice? 25 May isn’t so far away - if you haven’t already started planning for GDPR, I would start now.

This post was written by Karen Janssen, Chief Information Officer at Corporate Travel Management (CTM), a top ten global TMC exhibiting at the Business Travel Show in February. To register for a free visitor pass and meet up with CTM (stand B620) to discuss GDPR and all of your other travel management needs.  

Wednesday, 15 November 2017


David Chapple, left, and Gili Lichtman 

As registrations open for Business Travel Show, the show’s organisers are calling on business travel start-ups to apply for a free stand in its Launchpad. Launchpad will showcase up to 15 of the most innovative and exciting start-ups to the show’s 7,500+ attendees. 

Launchpad premiered in 2016 with eight exhibitors receiving a free stand, extensive marketing support, exposure to the show’s attendees and an entry into the inaugural Business Travel Disrupt Award, the winner of which receives a full-sized stand worth £8,000 at the following year’s event. Last year, the Business Travel Show increased its investment in innovation by doubling the size of its Launchpad. This means that up to 15 business travel start-ups can now exhibit for free each year. 

Last year’s Business Travel Disrupt Award was won by Fairfly, an innovative solution for automatically tracking company flights for savings opportunities, including after ticket purchase. Fairfly has enabled corporates to save money and time when booking business travel.

Following its win, Fairfly is already confirmed to return to the Business Travel Show in 2018 to exhibit, alongside more than 270 leading travel suppliers.

"Being able to showcase our solution to the audience at the Business Travel Show was an amazing experience for us which gave us exposure to a high-calibre audience," said Gili Lichtman, Co-Founder and VP Sales at Fairfly. "Winning the Disrupt Award on top of this was fantastic as it increased our exposure even further. I would encourage all business travel start-ups to apply for this one of a kind opportunity." 

David Chapple, Event Director, Business Travel Show, added: “Since its launch in 2016, Launchpad has become one of the most exciting elements of the Business Travel Show. It’s an amazing opportunity for start-ups to gain exposure among the travel industry’s top names. Buyers attending the show value the opportunity to be the first to hear about game-changing new technologies.”

To apply for a free stand in the Business Travel Show Launchpad, businesses must be three years old or younger. Please download and complete the form at and return it to Sundeep Manku at by 1 December 2017. Successful applicants will be notified by 12 January 2018.

Online visitor registration is now open for the Business Travel Show at