I just picked up Conde’ Nast Traveller – Hot List for 2018 and it has set me thinking about how we are influenced when choosing our venues for meetings and events.
Just last week I spoke to a regional MD of a Global retail organisation who runs a quarterly conference in Europe with delegates coming from all over Europe.
He explained that the team source a venue, based on the best deal proposed.
He shared, they simply secure the venue that gives a good rate – then everyone books their own flights. Interesting, but what about their flights and logistics? We discussed not considering these could have an impact on not only the all important budget but also delegate experience.
Whilst he acknowledged what I explained made sense and they would use for future he shared, in fact, their recent event in Athens was a nightmare. The content guys had arranged the last day (Friday) to finish at 11am, following an early breakfast start. As they had left everyone to book their own flights and transport individually, they quickly discovered that whilst he and the senior team’s flights back to the UK were in a few hours, the majority of delegates had to wait around all day as the earliest flights were in the evening…..inevitably several flights were delayed too.
They received many negative comments in the post event surveys at the lack of consideration into time wasted and eating into their weekend.
So when choosing a destination:
- Ask your agents to carry out a flight rational on each potential destination based on the point of origin of all delegates. With larger groups it can be cost effective to ‘hub’ all delegates into one central point and charter a plane and start to personalise. After all the event and delegate experience starts the minute they leave their home to the time they return…not just when they arrive at the venue for a drinks reception.
- Be clear with your agency on the purpose and objectives of the event, where you have been, what worked and what didn’t previously.
If you don’t have an agency – please feel free to contact me to discuss and I will help to Align and make recommendations for the best solution.