How would you feel about this Facebook status update from your Keynote speaker: Trying to get to 1200 people waiting for me at the conference I’m speaking at! Bad weather, flight couldn't land at my destination, so landed at another airport 2 hours away and now on a bus!
Understandably you’d be feeling rather stressed out right now! One of the most important logistics to consider when organising your conference is travel. If you have key speakers or attendees going the distance for your next event, you need to make sure it all goes to plan!
Here’s our Top 5 Travel Tips to ensure your event is a success.
1. Get your travel documentation right
Ensure you ask the right questions to get the information you need. Get their full name for the booking – this is especially important with female presenters who may have married and/or maiden names. Check preference of airline and frequent flyer membership numbers to use when booking. Also confirm any dietary requirements to note when booking flights (and also for venue catering).
2. It is all about timing
If your event is first up in the morning, fly in your speaker the night before. They will then be refreshed and you have the reassurance that they’ve made it to the destination. An unexpected foggy morning or flight delays could prevent your speaker from arriving in time or arriving flustered. If you are booking flights the day of your event, where possible, book your presenter on a flight that allows for a later flight in case there are delays, cancellations or they miss the first flight. If timing is tight to catch flights encourage them to check in online earlier in the day. After the event, ensure plenty of time to get back to the airport for a return trip, especially in peak hour traffic. If you require the presenter to mix and mingle after their presentation be sure to book a flight to allow this.
3. You get what you pay for
It’s not always a good idea to take the cheapest option on flights. Presenters with busy schedules may have to reschedule flights to work around other events so may have to change where they fly from or to. So, where the budget allows, always book a semi-flexible fare that is changeable for no fee. For ease and convenience try and book accommodation that has a restaurant so meals are available onsite. To avoid the awkward moment at check out, arrange for full charge back of accommodation and meals to your corporate account.
4. Keep them happy
Where possible arrange for a car and driver to meet your presenter – personalised service, no taxi queues and the standard of the service is vastly better. Often the costs are not a lot more than a taxi and you’re guaranteed to have a happy, relaxed presenter arrive at your event.
5. Keep the lines of communication open
Remember to keep your presenter informed – let them know what has been arranged in terms of a car and driver meeting them, otherwise they may catch a taxi and double up on charges. Send a full itinerary; include contact details for flights, transfers and accommodation as well as your contact details in case of emergencies - Ensure you have their contact details too.