When it comes to corporate and incentive travel, the benefits are all about positive psychology. A sense of professional achievement, prestige, and comradery between co-workers can all come from group business travels. Studies have found that travel works very well as an incentive motivating teams to achieve company goals, such as higher sales numbers. Incentive travel also makes people feel more connected to their organization and co-workers. In order to experience the benefits of incentive travel and arrange a trip, however, budgeting must be carefully thought out. It’s best to consult travel experts and agents to get a professional advice on cost-cutting, but which of the thousands of agencies should you choose? The decision doesn’t have to be difficult: you can condense your time and money by using the travel expertise of the same company overseeing your incentive program.
Using travel and event management services, such as those that Incentive Solutions offers, greatly consolidates much of the time and money that must be invested in an incentive travel experience. Travel management teams understand the costs of travel, as well as the tremendous value of the corporate travel experience and, most importantly, how to trim expenses and protect you from excessive fees. Here are just a few examples:
- Contracts and Hidden Fees
If you aren’t familiar with contracts involved in group travel and event management, you can waste hours and extra expenses contending with hotel contracts and fees. Many hotels and cruise lines apply attrition clauses to their contracts, for instance, to penalize you for filling less accommodation space than contractually agreed upon. Cancellation fees are even more strictly enforced, should you need to adjust any of your plans. Of course, the more people involved, the less control you have over circumstances that change your itinerary.
By arranging your business trip through an event management company, you can avoid some of the punishing fees associated with group travel. Incentive Solutions, for example, offers free contract negotiation with their services. “We’ve built a network of relationships with parties we trust,” Rieling says. “So they’re willing to work with us to give clients the best outcome. Ultimately, free contract negotiation means you can first find out how much you can save before you commit to booking.”
- Staffing and Registration
For many corporate outings, it is necessary to hire staff for event registration, food service, audio/visual, or guide needs. Often, this staff works in close contact with your travel group. It will often be up to staff to fulfill or anticipate your group’s overarching and ongoing needs. A level of trust is crucial when other people are in charge of your event’s success. Comprehensive travel management services like Incentive Solutions’ eliminate the need to hire on staff when they can provide you their own. They can also synthesize the registration process with online technology that features a communication plan, automated roommate pairing, custom report generator, and post-program surveys.
Airfare and other transportation, naturally, comprise the majority of expense involved in group travel. When it comes to transportation expense, everyone is at the mercy of airline and fuel prices, unfortunately. Although you can’t really negotiate prices like airfare, you can work with a travel management team that is well-versed in how transportation pricing works and can ensure you pay as little as possible. Justin Rieling, Associate Travel Account Manager at Incentive Solutions, says that their team understands the importance of time when it comes to airfare. “Our department works quickly so we can guarantee you get a lower rate.”
Booking Process for Group Travel
The booking process is time-consuming and uncertain, even for personal travel. When you’re managing the lodging and itinerary of multiple employees, all with different tastes and possibly different needs, the ordeal becomes even more convoluted. Companies like Incentive Solutions make the booking process easier by lending their expertise in location choices and event scheduling. According to Rieling, “We offer free site selection at the beginning of the booking process. That means you can come to us with an idea for a theme or type of destination, and we charge you nothing to select a venue and give you the pricing.”
Travel, especially group travel, takes time and costs money. That’s inevitable. But the value of travel is immense. It brings sales teams closer together to celebrate one another’s success, refreshes employees, stirs excited and positive feelings associated with employees’ organization, and rouses company loyalty. Working with a travel management service like Incentive Solutions can help you trim down corporate travel costs so you can bask in its benefits.
Check out our SlideShare on planning a corporate event