Going on business trips often also means organizing events, meetings and conferences with business partners and potential contacts and stakeholders. The important thing here is to leave a lasting positive impression on your customers and employees. Internal company events are also suitable for sustainable employer branding, team building and better employee retention.
In order to create unforgettable events on business trips, you need flawless and well-organized travel and event management. The tasks of the modern travel manager therefore include, in addition to organizing business trips with the help of travel tech, essential event and meeting management skills.
In this article we have put together five important steps for you to organize events and meetings on business trips. From a clear definition of goals, the allocation of budgets and resources and the selection of a suitable venue to logistics and event planning, as well as marketing and communication, everything is included.
Step 1: Define objectives
Before you start planning trips and events, you should clearly define the purpose of the respective event or meeting. The most important thing about your event is the end goal. Because if you know what goal you are pursuing with your event, you can clearly define the target group.
In order to measure the success of your event or conference, you must first define clear and measurable goals. There are hard- usually clear and measurable – and soft – intangible – goals. Clearly measurable goals would include direct revenue, product sales, attributable revenue and sales figures. Soft goals include brand value, customer loyalty, knowledge sharing or training.
According to Amra Beganovich, founder of Amra and Elma and Colorful Socks, attributing measurable KPIs before embarking upon the journey of event planning helps keep the entire team on the same page. It allows them to focus on the same goal and then think of creative ways of achieving these numbers or objectives and even exceeding them.
In order to organize a successful event, you need a clearly defined target group. The whole thing is organized for them, so it should also be tailored to them, the guests. When planning events, there are internal target groups (i.e. managers, employees or owners) and external target groups ((potential) customers, suppliers, competitors or the public). By focusing on your target audience and their expectations, you can plan an event that really appeals to your audience.
Step 2: Allocate resources and budget
As we all know, money makes the world go round and therefore has a huge impact on the success of your event. Therefore, it is important to properly prepare and manage the budget for your event. After spending some time defining goals and target audiences, you should have gathered enough information to create a budget plan for your event or meeting.
On-site event costs will likely take up the largest portion of your budget. A suitable location needs to be rented, catering needs to be arranged, transport and IT equipment organized, and you should also allow for some extra budget for unexpected expenses. There are also other costs such as marketing, photography, decorations, speakers and entertainers and staff.
Step 3: Location selection for events and meetings
The venue can make all the difference at your event or meeting. When choosing the right location, you should focus on the target group and their needs. Your venue must suit the occasion, the venue and the guests. What does my company want to achieve and who does it want to appeal to and inspire?
It can be helpful here to create a previously created list of questions for your event and to evaluate locations and venues according to these criteria. Some sample questions would be:
Well-located, beautiful event locations are usually fully booked well in advance and price negotiations can prove difficult. However, there are some tips and tricks to avoid completely blowing your budget. Choose a date outside of peak event season or be flexible with your date. If possible, book well in advance and let the event organizer know that the venue is your first choice. To find the right location for your event, you have to find the right balance between perseverance, persuasion and respect.
Step 4: Logistics and itinerary
In order to plan a successful event or meeting on a business trip, it is very important to create a detailed event or meeting plan. This should contain a schedule and a checklist of tasks to be completed.
Maybe you need to organize transport and accommodation for participating guests? Here it is worth using a travel management platform so that you can book everything in one place.
What equipment, material and technology is needed for the event? This may need to be brought to the venue, rented on site or requested from the organizer. It’s definitely worth clarifying your requirements in advance so that everything is organized on the day of the event and there are no unpleasant surprises.
Finally, we encourage you to create a crisis plan for possible interruptions to your event. Crises happen quickly and without warning. You must be able to understand what is happening externally and internally at all times. Follow government regulations and internal policies and continually monitor situations.
Step 5: Promotion and communication
In order to organize a successful event on business trips, a clear marketing and communication strategy is required. However, communication in the event industry is changing more and more through the use of new communication technologies like AI travel technology. Therefore, good planning is extra important here too.
In order to plan the exact number of guests for your event, you need to send invitations and reminders to your target group. Here too, there are digital and automated solutions that significantly reduce the workload.
On the day of the event itself, you will of course need information material and presentations for your participants. Maybe you create a brochure, agenda, or make conference and meeting content available digitally via a QR code. This should also benefit you if you want to set up a virtual room for online participants.
Event travel management made easy
In this article we showed you how important it is to plan events and meetings on business trips well and in detail. Great events that leave a lasting positive impression on participants and employees also have a positive impact on the success of business trips and business relationships.
As a company, it should be important to you to invest in well-organized travel and event management in order to create successful business travel experiences.
Don’t shy away from new technology to make your everyday business easier. For example, a travel management platform like GetGoing makes sense to automate processes and travel policies for business trips.