Business travel comes in many different forms. The COVID-19 pandemic has likely altered the way business travel looks for the future, but we are slowly finding our way back to conferences, sales meetings, client trips, and company retreats. Here’s what you need to know about planning successful business trips for your team.
Plan Around Your Event
The purpose of your travel likely dictates what your team will do each day of their trip. But make sure that the itinerary is complete before you tell your team to pack their bags. For example, a conference or trade show is typically scheduled to occur on set days. Decide if your team will be attending and pre-event or post-event activities and schedule your trip to accommodate all activities.
If you are embarking on a company retreat, you are on the hook for every aspect of the travel. You will need to locate and select appropriate activities for your team to explore. Company retreats can be themed based upon the geographical area that your team travels to or varied based upon your team’s needs and interests.
Client travel is a little more difficult. Obviously, you will need to schedule your travel around dinners and meetings. But you will also need to identify any downtime between these events and plan supplemental activities for your team to participate in while they are in town. This could be a quick team-building activity or business-generating networking.
Work Out the Logistics
The devil is in the details when it comes to making the travel arrangements for your team. If you get things right, the entire trip will be a success. But one small mistake can turn things upside and quickly create chaos.
Begin by gathering all of the details on the travel attendees, dates, activities, and preferences. Once you have all of the information, you can begin looking at options for the pieces and parts that will make up the trip, like airfare, hotel accommodations, and meals.
Securing all of the travel accommodations is only half of the task. You also need to communicate all of the details to trip attendees and make sure that everyone has confirmation numbers, room numbers, boarding passes, and addresses.
And you have to do all of this while keeping everything within budget for your company. If it seems like there is a lot to do, you’re not alone. Planning successful business travel can be complex.
DUNAJ Agency is a full-service agency that can make your business travel and sales meetings enjoyable, memorable events. From planning activities to sourcing the right accommodations, you can rely on our team to provide the expertise that you need. Learn more about our services today.
Make Arrangements for Office Space
Consider the purpose of your team’s travel and make arrangements to provide a place for your team to gather while on their trip. Nobody wants to huddle around a hotel lobby coffee table. If you are attending a conference or trade show, there may be rooms specifically set up at the hotel for this purpose. Start by checking with the event coordinator. If nothing has been provided, start looking into your options.
Consider booking a hospitality suite at your hotel or renting temporary office space at a nearby coworking studio. Make arrangements to provide wifi access, desk space, and phone lines so that your team can plug in and handle business efficiently. If you are meeting clients during your trip, plan for private meeting space as well.
Add a Lifeline for Virtual Participants
One thing that COVID-19 has changed is our willingness to engage virtually. Even as meetings and events return to in-person formats, there will likely always be remote participants. Planning for ways to include remote participants will be the key to successful business events going forward. This may mean setting up special audio-visual equipment in your temporary office spaces, or it could mean that you are planning more business retreats to bring your remote teams together in person.
Remote Work Trends and Business Travel
One hot new trend that we see emerging as the world transitions into a remote-first workforce that allows flexibility for teams to be spread around the globe is the emergence of team retreats. These intentional opportunities to bring your remote teams together in person will require a new level of skill when it comes to planning business travel of the future. These types of retreats can be focused on work or leisure, depending on the goals for your team to connect. If the meetup involves work, everything will be designed around temporary office space where your team can collaborate. And that─in and of itself is a more modern concept.
A decade ago, outside of hotel conference rooms, it was challenging to find temporary office space. But today, with more and more people working outside of the confines of a traditional office, flexible and short-term spaces are increasingly common. Event ideas that might be fun to bring your remote teams together include:
- Group Volunteer Projects
- Buzz-Pub Trivia
- Group Scavenger Hunt in a New City
- Special Assignment Projects
- Don’t Skip Happy Hour
- Try a Group Yoga Class in the Park
- Take a Group Cooking Class
- Attend a Sporting Event
- Participate in a Theater Dinner
The Bottom Line on Planning a Successful Business Trip
Planning business travel can be intricate. There are dozens of details ranging from multiple attendees with varying preferences to entertainment, accommodations, and office space to hash out. And one little bump in the road can derail the entire trip, so it’s important to get everything right. It can be stressful to plan these trips, and as the rules change in the aftermath of a worldwide pandemic that shifted the way we interact socially, it is only more difficult.
Help is available from experienced event planning agencies like DUNAJ Agency. We can take care of all of the details to plan functional, successful business travel for your teams. Contact us today to get started.