Always On at the GBTA Convention 2023

an overview from our US-based Chief Customer Officer Carolann Martini

A Journey to Dallas

On 13 August, a transatlantic Gray Dawes team travelled to Dallas, Texas to talk about our ‘think global, act local’ strategy at the GBTA Convention 2023. The event, which was held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, was marking its 54th year as the place to be for business travel professionals; a community of industry leaders and expert speakers delving into topics with the power to shape the future of business travel.

It didn’t disappoint. The convention buzzed with bright ideas, endless networking possibilities, and plenty of opportunities to learn more about navigating the complex business travel landscape.

Carolann Martini

Our convention team – CEO Suzanne Horner and CCO Warren Dix alongside US-based Carolann Martini (Chief Customer Officer), Olga Ramudo (Senior Vice President for Florida & Latin America), and Michel Botbol (President of Gray Dawes North America) – spent three days exploring the GBTA Convention, speaking to suppliers, professionals, and experts about our new ‘follow the sun’ global strategy.

We caught up with Carolann Martini to tell us more about the experience, including stories from our special GBTA breakfast event and Suzanne’s incredible appearance on the “Can Women Really Have It All?” panel hosted by GBTA WINit.

Carolann Martini

Carolann Martini, Chief Customer Officer.

Arrival Day

“I’ve been to the GBTA Convention fifteen times before, so I knew exactly what to expect!

“I arrived in Dallas early and met Warren, Suzanne, and Michel. We reviewed our strategy and approach for the next three days, who we would be meeting, what we wanted to learn, and how we wanted to express ourselves. The main objective was to talk about Gray Dawes’ expansion into the global market, particularly our new locations in the US.

“So, we spent some time exploring the floor, meeting industry experts and suppliers to find out what new and exciting initiatives were peeking over the horizon. It was a great opportunity to speak to people and get our word out there.”

Photo of Warren, Suzanne, Carolann, Michel, and Olga

From L to R: Warren Dix, Suzanne Horner, Olga Ramudo, Carolann Martini, Michel Botbol

GBTA Exclusive Breakfast

“The convention truly started for us at our exclusive GBTA breakfast on day two.

“We wanted to do something special to celebrate our recent expansion into the US market. So, we invited some of our contacts to an exclusive private breakfast event at the Mercat French Bistro for a morning of conversation and networking.

“The food was great, but the meeting was better! We had a room of 40 people interested to find out more about Gray Dawes and the wide range of services we offer. Suzanne spoke eloquently about our ‘always on’ philosophy, our US team, and her plans for the global future of the company. It garnered a lot of interest and sparked plenty of questions.”

Go Global with Gray Dawes

At Gray Dawes, the ‘out of hours’ service model is a thing of the past. That’s because we’re ALWAYS ON, our core offices located in the UK, US and Australia allowing us to ‘follow the sun’ and be there for our clients wherever they are and whenever they need us.

Find out more about our global high touch, high tech service delivered by experts who understand that what works in one country will not work in another.

The Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas

Can Women Have it All?

“On the final day, Suzanne appeared on an educational GBTA WINiT panel hosted by Caroline Strachan called: ‘Can Women Really Have It All? An Honest Discussion Among Leaders’.

“She joined other industry figureheads on stage to discuss the question, providing insights into the importance of a work-life balance, the pressures of the biological clock, and the impact of gender on career progression.

“Suzanne was brilliant – the way she spoke demonstrating how passionate she is about the subject. Not only did she define her idea of success from the perspective a female leader, she talked about her unique business travel journey and the balance one must make between choice and compromise.

“It was an insightful discussion of mixed opinions – a mark of a great panel. When discussing the question of whether women really can have it all, there was one yes, one no, and one it depends. This was then followed by an audience Q&A which opened even more avenues of discussion.”

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