More than 90 delegates attended FCM's first all-day education event "FCM Illuminate", which was held at the Crown conference centre in Melbourne last Thursday.
A mix of customers, prospects and suppliers attended the education seminar, which offered a range of presenters and topics that were very well received by attendees.
Senior procurement specialist from St Barbara Ltd Aanand Rai, said that the event really took the FCM Education Series to the next level and that overall that it was immaculately organised and a must-attend for procurement professionals.
"The content was spot on, with information and data that would normally cost thousands of dollars to access, presented by knowledgeable speakers with significant industry experience," Aanand said.
"The panel of experts represented the "who's who" of the travel industry, sharing invaluable insights into the workings of their respective industries."
The day's events included a series of presentations by experts from FCM as well as from the travel industry and key travel buyers, including:
- "The Power of Influence" presented by Erin Strube from FCM's sister-brand GoldMind Performance;
- An aviation update and panel led by Virginia Fitzpatrick of 4th Dimension Consulting which featured: Michael McDonald of Virgin Australia, Tim O'Callaghan from Qantas and Michael Cotterell of Newcrest Mining;
- "Next Generation" traveller technology session led by Melissa Elf, the head of sales for FCM, which included a preview of future technologies including "chat bot" technology and the soon-to-be-launched refreshed FCM Portal;
- A hotel industry panel led by Catherine Rankin from Flight Centre Global Corporate product which included: Margaret O'Driscoll from Intercontinental Hotels, Fiona Nicholls from the John Holland Group and Rachel Thomas of 4D Consulting's hotel sourcing team;
- "The next phase of travel and events" led by global general manager of cievents Natalie Simmons, and;
- "Looking to 2025" a provocative exploration into the future travellers of tomorrow who will largely be the Gen Y population, led by FCM's global leader of account management Felicity Burke.
"Part of delivering greater value to our clients, suppliers and industry peers is providing a space for thought leadership, where participants can share information and knowledge in an environment that facilitates learning and development to prepare our customers for the future," said general manager for FCM Australia, James Kavanagh.
"These events commenced in 2014 as a half-day seminar under the 'FCM Education Series' name. Due to their popularity and attendance, we decided to ignite a spark and grow the event to a full day event."
As FCM's first attempt to hold a full-day education forum like this, the event is considered to have been a great success, with registrations filling out quickly and delegates even flying in from interstate to join the proceedings.
"Yesterday's FCM Illuminate sessions were – dare I say it – Illuminating!" said David Windsor of the Spotlight Retail Group.
"The speakers and panels were all very knowledgeable, exciting and kept it real – whilst the technology on display illustrated how cool the travel industry is and will continue to be," said David.
Event organiser Julie McLean, strategic partnerships manager at FCM said that feedback from attendees was very positive and that further FCM Illuminate events both in Melbourne and interstate were very likely.
"We had very strong attendance throughout the day and I believe those who attended all got something out of the seminars, which they would be able to take back to their businesses to strengthen their travel programs," said Julie.
More information about FCM Illuminate, panel details or expressions of interest for the next event can be made by contacting Julie McLean on firstname.lastname@example.org.