Company Conferencing? 7 things to consider when booking group travel. | Travel & Sports Australia

Company Conferencing? 7 things to consider when booking group travel.

So, you’ve been briefed by the boss that next year you’ll be organising a conference for your company on the sunny coast of Western Australia. You’ll be responsible for sourcing hotels, flights, events and even restaurant selections! Basically, every conceivable element of the groups travel itinerary is on you. To make matters more challenging, attendees are scattered and flying in from all corners of the country.

If this sounds familiar, it’s crucial to consider all of the elements below to make sure your conference goes off with a bang.

GROUP FLIGHTS

First things first, securing the best possible price for the most convenient dates and times is so important to keep the overall cost down. Moreso, if your group are flying from multiple origins and tight schedules are involved, it’s best to get onto this earlier rather than later.

Things to consider:

  • Dietary requirements – do your travellers have any allergies? There are always someone with gluten intolerances. Make sure they are catered for.
  • Seating preferences – windows or aisles?
  • Upgrades – economy, business or first class?
  • Frequent flyers – do your travellers have frequent flyer points they’ll like to use?
  • Extensions – some might want to stay a few days after the conference for some much deserved R&R. Have you offered that to guests?
  • Rural travellers – some might be located in the country and will need small flights to connect to the major cities.

GROUP ACCOMMODATION

Accommodation is no different. It’s a tedious challenge. You’ll be introduced to the concept of rooming configurations (admittedly one of our least favourite concepts).

Things to consider:

  • Who will be sleeping in which room?
  • Do different executives get access to room upgrades?
  • What room types are you going to offer? Standard, deluxe or superior?
  • Will people be taking single, double, triple, quad rooms?
  • Is breakfast included?
  • Are there smokers?
  • City view, garden room or sea view?
  • Does the hotels have conference rooms?

Not to mention communicating all of the above to the hotels potentially in different timezones and getting quotes from a few hotels to show your managers. Whow.

GROUP CONFERENCES

Now that you’ve managed to coordinate travel to/from the destination the next step is organising the conference.

Some points to consider:

  • Do you need and MC and if so, who will it be?
  • Will there be any guest speakers?
  • Technology – what screens are available? Is wifi stable? There is nothing worse that a bad wifi connection during a presentation when trying to play a video or display a website.
  • Run sheets – when will you have breaks? Who will be speaking when?

GROUP DINING & EVENTS

After the conference each day, it’s important to then feed your hungry guests in a venue that can cater your numbers.

Things to consider:

  • Where will the venue be located and how will everyone get there?
  • What food will everyone likely want?
  • What drinks will be on offer?
  • Will there be a band, DJ etc?

GROUP TOURS & EXPERIENCES

Every group has a wish-list of activities and experiences they wish to partake. Based on our experiences we know that the owners already have some ideas which is a great start. The part that is the challenge is organising time and how each event will fit in with the rest of the program. A hot tip is to always build in extra time as there is always someone that leaves something behind.

TRANSPORTATION

Return airport transfers are just the beginning! You’ll need to find adequate and reliable means of transportation for your group size.

Things to consider:

  • Mode of transport – will you use a bus, limousine, mini bus or coach?
  • Times – when will the driver be required to meet the group?
  • Do you have the drivers phone number just in case?

GENERAL ADMIN

Along with all of the key travel elements to organise, there is a bunch of general admin that can’t be ignored.

  • Communication – time needed to keep the attendees and general management up to date on how the conference planning is going.
  • Preparation – time to prepare invoicing, quotes, itineraries, proposals and options to present to senior management.
  • Contingency plans – what happens if your event is outdoors and the heavens open? After all, you can’t predict the weather but what would you do if this happens? Move the party inside?

There we have it. A long list of things that need to be considered so you can deliver a conference that will leave a lasting impression on it’s guests.

As always, help is only a phone call away. If you need assistance to get your next conference underway. The team at Travel and Sports Australia are passionate event travel planners that can help take the ground work off your hands.

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