Throughout my more than two decades in planning events for corporations and full service catering companies, I’ve had the privilege of working with some of the best corporate travel directors in the industry. They’re able to help balance a planner’s workload, while taking ownership of the event as if it was their own, helping with things like:
- Onsite registration management or support
- VIP handling
- Group/tour leads
- Production support
- Gift assembly
- Room drops
- Food & Beverage
In a nutshell, multi-faceted corporate travel directors can alleviate the stress in hundreds of meaningful ways, while helping your team execute flawless experiences for your attendees and/or clients.
The challenge is that finding the right corporate travel director can be difficult—but if you know how to approach the process, it can be immensely rewarding. To help save you time (not to mention frustration!), here are my top 3 tools for helping you find your next TD/TP:
#1: Understand Your Team’s Needs
To understand where you’re going, you have to understand where you are. This means you need to have a clear vision on where additional support might be needed. From there, you and your team can formulate a plan of action.
Then, when the time comes to find a person that will act as the linchpin for your plan, here are some great questions to ask yourself:
- When analyzing your staffing needs, do you find gaps in coverage?
- Do you find enjoyment in planning certain events, yet need someone to handle the travel and onsite execution?
- Are there programs that are larger that simply need more feet on the ground to handle all the moving parts?
Finally, reach out to your colleagues, their peers, and other industry leaders and seek referrals, referrals, and more referrals. Why? Because they are a great method for sourcing individuals who will work seamlessly with your team and the various personalities involved.
#2: The Interview Process
You might find it difficult to surrender control of your event(s), but finding the person who shares your vision is beautiful. Once they’re in front of you though (whether through Facetime, Skype, or in-person), how can you quickly find out if a candidate might be the right match?
Ask tough questions, which can help you understand where they’re strong and whether they might need some additional insight in order to better assist your team. Have an open and honest conversation. Discuss a variety of scenarios that you’ve encountered in order to better understand how they would react.
Once you’ve found a possible match, I know it can be tempting to dive right in and hand them a full workload. However, to help ensure success and not overwhelm them, it might be a good idea to invite them to a smaller program (you can think of it as a test drive), so you can fully understand the experience they provide, their personality type, how well they might fit within your team, whether or not they’re servicing your attendee’s needs, and so forth.
#3: Over-share With Your Travel Director
The more you prepared your potential TD during the interview and trial process, the better set up for success they’ll be.
Now that you’ve dialed in your new travel director, ensured they are a match with your team, and watched them deliver great attendee experiences, it’s time to set them up for future success. And I’ve found that one of the best methods of accomplishing this is by over-sharing—any information that you can relay to them and increase their chances of success. For example:
- What worked?
- What didn’t?
- Are there any VIPs, special personalities, or information outside the normal event details they need to know?
- Post mortems? Budget Trends?
Make Finding Your Next Travel Director/Producer a Breeze!
One of the many services we offer at O2 Events is onsite Travel Directors/Producers for programs under 400 people. Whether for a corporate event in Texas, Colorado, or your preferred destination, we are here to help. Although we are not a DMC, we have access to some of the best DMC’s in the industry, should the need arise. With nearly two decades of experience in the field, and every imaginable team personality, we’re sure to help make your vision a success.