Business trips and executive travel is a huge part of many industries. With more and more companies doing business on a global scale with partners, vendors, and clients located all around the globe, it seems like the need for business travel has only increased. According to statistics, the numbers of domestic and international business trips are both on the rise and are now huge contributors to the tourism industry as a whole.
With all these business trips taking place, there is also a need for those in the company that arrange the details of travel. This includes coordinating with all the parties involved in the trip, arranging flights and accommodations, conference facilities, setting up meetings, and so forth. It’s a lot of work, and the end result needs to be an itinerary that is well thought out and runs smoothly.
If you’ve been charged with arranging your first business trip for company executives, it can feel as though there is an extra layer of stress and pressure on your shoulders. It tends to result in added considerations and planning on your part. To help you out, here’s a look at what you need to know about planning a business trip for executives, including essential tips and advice.
Meet with the Executive(s) Before You Start the Planning Process
A great place to start is with information gathering. You need to know all the basics so you can plan accordingly. This includes the date of travel, the destination, the number of people traveling, any preferences they may have, and a schedule that they want to work around. The hope is that by meeting with the executives, or one point-person, you’ll be able to obtain enough specifics that you can work with from there.
It’s also important you ask about the specific goals and objectives of the trip. This can help you to figure out the best itinerary for them to follow.
Have a Clear Budget
Just like with any trip, an executive trip should have a clear budget that you are aware of and that you need to stick to. In order to be sure you don’t go over the budget, you will need to track all expenses. A spreadsheet can be helpful for tracking and monitoring.
Gather Up the Details
Since you will be the one making the bookings on everyone else’s behalf, you will also need to gather their personal details. This means ensuring they have valid passports (if necessary), their full name as it appears on their ID or passport, driver’s license number, email address, phone number, emergency contact number, their address, and a credit card with expiration date.
Get Expert Help
Sometimes no matter how hard you may try, and how much time you put into the planning process, it can still be more than you’re able to handle. This is when it can be helpful to team up with a professional service that specializes in executive travel and itinerary services.
This company, Arburton, is a great example of professionals in the industry that can help with executive business travel arrangements. Arburton can help you to arrange flights, transfers, yachts, private hires, bookings, check-in, and more. They work on a global basis, which means they can be of assistance no matter where the executives will be traveling. Not only will they be able to take a lot of weight and responsibility off your shoulders, but they can also provide you with information and access to services you may not have been able to obtain on your own.
Will Significant Other’s Be Joining the Executives?
Sometimes there will be trips where executives are welcome to bring their significant others and even their children. If that’s the case you need to know this in advance and get all of their personal information as well. This will obviously affect flight bookings, hotel accommodations, and airport transfers.
Accommodation Request – Are There Any Specifics?
Before you even start the search for accommodations, you will want to ask if there are any specifications you need to be aware of. This can include a specific location of the hotel, what sort of meeting facilities it offers, if there is WiFi, dining on-site, etc.
Ensuring There is Adequate Meeting Spaces
If the executives require meeting facilities on the trip, you’ll also need to make those arrangements. Be sure to ask if they have any specific audiovisual or equipment requests in advance. You will also need to know the number of participants in the meeting, the length of time, and how far they are willing to travel from the hotel to the meeting destination.
Will You Be Arranging Down Time and Activities?
Outside of the meetings and other business-related events, the executives may also wish to have their downtime scheduled and planned. This can include reservations at restaurants, arranging for local tours, car rental services, theatre tickets, sporting event tickets, etc. Again, this is something you will want to discuss in that initial meeting as part of the expectations of the trip.
Put Together a Draft Itinerary and Circulate It to All Executives
Once you’ve made a rough itinerary, you will need to circulate it and get each executive to sign off on it. You want to be sure that everyone is happy with the itinerary, and that it meets all the needs of the travelers. Only once you get a sign off from each person should you go ahead and make bookings and reservations.
Be Prepared to Answer Questions While They are Away
Finally, you will want to be sure you are available to the executives while the trip is happening. You never know what questions or issues may pop up with a venue, meeting, accommodation, or flight. Acting as the point-person back at home will help to keep everything chugging along smoothly.
Congratulations on a Successful Trip for Executives
By following these tips and working through the process one step at a time, you’ll be able to plan and book a successful trip for company executives.