Chauffeur Driven Las Vegas 2022 Show
The HQ team attended CD/NLA 2022 – the international chauffeur, supplier, and ground transportation show – in Las Vegas between the 27th and 30th of March, and what a great event it was! After a two-year slowdown due to the pandemic, the energy was high as suppliers, mobility providers and the transportation industry leaders came together with renewed enthusiasm for face-to-face interactions, networking, and knowledge sharing.
For HQ, the standout event was the “Corporate Travel and Client Panel” – which featured our New York Business Travel Barometer – with panelists including Tony D’Auria of HQ/Goldman Sachs, Alicia King of Chevron, and ground transportation specialist Donovan Wilson.
This was a lively, engaging discussion with the conversation repeatedly returning to the same topic: pricing.
Pricing emerged as the subject front of mind for suppliers and clients alike, especially supplier price increases, dynamic pricing, and how this translates into corporate client spending, and business travel at large.
- Suppliers expressed with conviction and confidence their intention to increase pricing.
- Suppliers feel justified to raise prices based on today’s post-pandemic market: spiking demand, driver shortages, fleet price increases, the financial devastation experienced during the pandemic, ongoing inflation, high gas prices, and rising insurance costs. All of which have hurt overheads, and revenue.
- For corporate travel managers, the supplier price increases need to be justified, given clear context, and rationalized to avoid client push-pack.
Further price-related conversations:
- Traditional car services considering transitioning to dynamic pricing in the same vein as Uber and Lyft. For corporate clients, predictability in pricing is key to cutting costs and accurate forecasting whereas suppliers saw this as an opportunity to yet again increase prices.
- Corporate clients expressed interest in electric vehicles yet there are insufficient numbers of electric vehicles from the supplier side. EVs are an opportunity for suppliers to expand, and until then will be a gap between what corporates will demand and what car services can supply.
Key Takeaways – “State of the Industry” Panel
- Employees are returning to the office, especially workers within small businesses and the financial industry.
- HQ’s New York Business Travel Barometer mirrors this with an MoM increase in ride volume based on over 50 clients and 70 car providers from the Tri-State Area.
- ‘Duty of Care’ continues to be a high priority for corporate clients with the request for mandatory vaccination of all drivers. However, there is pushback from suppliers due to privacy concerns on driver vaccination status.
- Overwhelming optimism for a booming Summer 2022 with leisure and travel looking to explode due to pent-up demand following the pandemic.
And that’s a wrap!
We’re excited already for our next conference in August, the global business travel event of the year: GBTA Convention 2022. At GBTA in San Diego, we’ll join thousands of peers and partners from the business travel community to talk corporate travel, ground transportation, suppliers, and much more.
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