How to...

Do compliance differently

Media, marketing and communications company Dentsu Aegis Network was looking for new ways to promote compliance. Craig Cherry, the company’s Procurement Director, explains how a travel roadshow was part of the solution

knowledge-June17

STEP 1: THE BACKGROUND. Looking for new ways to help increase compliance and reinforce its corporate travel policy, Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) hosted a roadshow at the start of the year

It enabled its bookers and travellers to meet with the company’s preferred suppliers, learn more about the corporate travel policy and enter various competitions.

“It was a way of starting the year a bit differently rather than just handing out the travel policy and wishing people a happy 2017,” explains Craig Cherry. “Our air compliance is very good but there is still a bit of work to do on accommodation.” The event was open to anyone in the business and was promoted through emails and company newsletters.

“As a marketing and communications business, a roadshow was very much in our company culture,” says Cherry.

STEP 2: THE EVENT. The roadshow was held at DAN’s head office in London and featured a dozen of the company’s preferred suppliers, including airlines, hotel groups, rail operators and its travel agency, American Express Global Business Travel.

“The suppliers were all open to the idea,” says Cherry. “I’m not sure many had done internal business roadshows before, but they all wanted to take part and they really got behind it.”

Attendees were issued passport-style UK&I Travel & Expense Guides covering preferred suppliers, how to book travel, best practice (booking horizons, hotel rate caps, lowest logical fares, online adoption) and CSR initiatives, which attendees had to refer to in order to enter competitions.

“I didn’t want to make light of what we were doing in the passport. It had some great stuff in there around policy and it wasn’t done in a half-hearted way. It drove the message home about booking travel in a smart way,” says Cherry.

STEP 3: THE RESULTS. The event attracted around 600 attendees during the course of the day, the majority of whom were PAs or travellers who self-book.

“In terms of ROI, you could tell from that point onwards that we had a real improvement in booking behaviour,” says Cherry.

“The passport piece was great. There were some excellent prizes up for grabs and people had to work hard to find the answers. They had to really look at the travel policy.

“The event also put our people in front of our suppliers and both they and us got some useful feedback. We also had some criticisms and we’ve acted on those and made some changes.”

Cherry adds: “The event was a bit quirky but with a serious point. It gave us some nice momentum to start the year and people really appreciated that we did something a bit different.”