The corporate travel manager job is busy enough: scheduling flights, booking hotel reservations, and arranging for airport pick-ups are normal duties. Everyone relies on you to get executives to that trade show or corporate event. You may actually be responsible for setting up the entire corporate event. There’s a lot more to being the corporate travel manager than coordinating needs of a few people. Five of the most important agendas you must know:
Negotiation is more than rates, dates, and space. Ask for what you want, be firm with what you need, and always have a backup in case negotiations fail. Build a relationship with this center in case you want to book it in the future. Determine what kind of reputation it has. Are you able to speak to the decision maker? Are other conference centers in the same area? Use your questions to your advantage so you are able to get the best venue possible without paying nose bleed fees. Always be willing to walk away from the table if the negotiations are dicey.
Executive Ground Transportation
All airports have an abundance of varied transportation available, but when a group is arriving you want them to continue directly to the conference of hotel together. You also want them comfortable. Check out the local vendors transportation websites first. Determine the kind of fleet offered, the age of vehicles, maintenance schedules, their timeliness, and all of their fees.
Consider your group size to determine transportation you will need. Larger groups need vans or even buses. Smaller groups only require a sedan or SUV. Reputable transportation companies are able to work with you to determine exactly your best service, and if you encounter some vendors’ efforts to pad the services to up the cost, decline and move on.
Reserving Blocks of Hotel Rooms
It will be helpful if you can get all the hotel rooms together in one section, it isn’t paramount. Before you make reservations, ask for a discount, as quality hotels usually have them for such events. Learn special accommodations required for your travelers due to allergies, disabilities, desire for smoking rooms or non-smoking rooms. Choosing a hotel with continental breakfast service pleases the executives. Ask every question and get every answer in writing.
Once the conference is finished for each day, have activities planned. Know the area and what is available. Golf, dinner reservations, gambling, or even group discounted theater tickets are all good. The entire group probably won’t want to do the same thing, so plan on that. See if the hotel offers shuttle services to local places of interest for event attendees.
Have a Plan B
Nothing ever goes exactly as planned. Something relatively small can and will go wrong. Know what secondary vendors can jump in if needed. Locate men’s and women’s fine clothing stores in the area in case attendees’ luggage is lost. Become familiar to the hotel concierge. He or she will be the most familiar with the area and will know of places to recommend if you hit a bump in the road.
Importantly, essentially, ensure that before, during, and after the conference event, you stay in contact with your vendors to keeping everything on smooth tracks. Confirm appointments, pick-up times, and all reservations. Your executives and you will all be glad you took extra steps to ensure their comfort, convenience and successful conference.
To make corporate traveler managers’ lives easier, DPV Transportation Worldwide offers a first-class business travel experience and can help with event planning. We make it easy for travel managers to stay organized and on top of things by offering trip reminders and relaying last-minute trip details like flight delays. To experience a better business travel experience, get in touch with our friendly professionals by clicking below.
Get in touch with our corporate travel planning department by calling 1.877.378.4445 or by clicking below to request a free quote.