Business travel comprises nearly one-third of the total revenue in the tourism industry. In 2017, global companies spend $1.3 trillion on business travel. There’s a reason why business travel is so important for brands around the world; statistics have shown that face-to-face meetings are 34x more powerful and effective than remote meetings.
To leverage the power of those meetings, knowing how to create a better corporate travel experience is necessary. Business trips are the gateway towards a potentially long-lasting business relationship, and it’s important to start off on the right foot. Here’s how your business can make the corporate travel experience better for everyone:
Travel Management Tools
Tools and programs allow you to streamline your end-to-end booking process better than ever. Having the right corporate travel management software will eliminate much of the guesswork associated with business travel. These tools make the booking process much more intuitive, provide round-the-clock traveler support and crisis management tools, and provide extensive reporting features that offer a high-level overview of your complete travel program.
Check out different travel management tools to see which works best for you. Reach out to the sales teams at the shortlisted option to gain a better understanding of how they handle support requests, and always look into online reviews.
Outsourced Corporate Travel Services
Hiring a corporate travel agency allows you to take advantage of numerous benefits. This is especially true if your business is exploring growth opportunities and tends to go on business trips more often. The more that your team travels, the more time and money you’ll spend on organization efforts. Managing your travel in-house can start to feel like a tiresome process, and unless you have a team dedicated exclusively to travel, chances are you’ll lose out on cost-saving opportunities.
Experienced travel professionals know the ins and outs of the travel industry and have built relationships with management teams and customer service representatives from around the world. They know how to maximize the dollars you’re spending and can use advanced insights and technologies to better understand your travel budgets and make data-based decisions about your forecasts moving forward.
Optimize Business Meetings
Business meetings are key to international business trips. When you’re planning an international business meeting, there are ways you can optimize it to make the meeting a better overall experience. Start with a clear purpose and agenda, and share with everyone invited. When you choose meeting times, be sure to include emergency minutes to account for discussions that go longer than planned, and for small talk that might occur before and after the meeting.
It also helps to work with a meeting organizer/event planner. An event planner will help you meet your corporate objectives, ensure your event is on-brand and comfortable for everyone, and ultimately save you time and money. They also have the know-how and insight into the best local meeting spaces and will work according to your needs, specifications, and budget.
Provide Comfortable Resting Spaces
When your staff is on a company trip, it’s important that they have a comfortable place to sleep at night. After all, it’s no secret that performance is directly related to the amount of sleep an individual gets. Sleep deprivation affects productivity and the ability to concentrate. If your team cannot perform well because they had trouble sleeping due to their sleeping arrangements, you end up losing money.
You may not think of productivity as a tangible cost, but it’s true: according to one study, sleep-deprived productivity losses cost businesses around $2,000 annually. In addition to investing in comfortable sleeping spaces, you should also be sure not to over-stuff their schedule with meeting after meeting. Give them time to rest at the end of the day, and do your best to offer ample gaps between meetings.
Evaluate Your Success
No one understands the business travel experience like you and your team. Collecting feedback from your staff not only helps you analyze your current business practices but shows that you value their opinion, which ultimately improves company culture. Take a step back and see what part of the process could be most improved. If certain vendors, management teams, and event organizers weren’t performing up to par, you need to know.