The Best Practices for Booking Group Travel
Booking corporate group travel requires organization and precise planning. Generally, if 10 or more people are traveling to the same destination and booked on the same registration, it is considered group travel. In this business world, conferences, sales kick-off, all hands, and quarterly business reviews, and team offsites are just a few scenarios when group booking would apply.
Group travel provides an avenue to save the company money and allow traveling employees to spend less time focused on their itinerary and more time concentrating on the reason for the trip.
Understanding the Benefits of Booking Group Travel
So why book as a group instead of letting each employee book on their own? For starters, cost savings. Many hotels will give discounts based on the number of rooms reserved together, also known as room blocks.
Once you know your budget for the event and the approximate number of employees attending, you can chat with hotels to negotiate group rates. Often, if you host the event itself (like a QBR or SKO) at the same hotel, you will receive a more significant discount and package price.
The cost savings also apply for events that aren’t sponsored by your organization.
Communicating with Your Travelers
A key component of booking and managing travel for colleagues is timely and clear communications. Face it, everyone is crazy-busy. They will likely need to coordinate family schedules, such as childcare or petcare, have time to refill medications, or ensure their workload is up-to-date so nothing falls through the cracks. It’s important to provide plenty of lead time regarding the trip dates, destination, and booking expectations.
As the trip approaches, you will also need to provide regular updates to the team. Confirm when rooms have been booked, advise as to the best time to book flights, ground transportation details, and inquire as to food allergies and other dietary restrictions. You should also advise on dress codes and provide insights on typical weather for the destination when you will be visiting.
Be clear on expected arrival and departure times, as well as required activities and after-hours events.
Booking for the Team
There are several approaches you can take when it comes to booking group travel for your colleagues. You can opt to book travel from start-to-finish, including flights, hotels, and ground transportation. Or, you can book pieces of the trip, like lodging, for the team, and provide them with clear communications on appropriate arrival and departure times and ask that they book their own flights. Regardless of what scenario works best for you, please know that utilizing managed travel will simplify the process.
For example, if you elect to book airfare for your travelers, a corporate travel booking platform like TravelBank can simplify the process. We allow travel managers to book flights for up to seven travelers at once. Better yet, their traveler profiles, loyalty membership information, and even seating preferences will pull in.
TravelBank Makes it Easy to Book on Behalf of Another
Beyond airfare, we understand that travel managers and executive assistants often juggle travel itineraries for multiple people. This task can be incredibly difficult without the right tools. TravelBank makes it possible for travel managers and executive assistants to coordinate itineraries quickly and securely.
Through our desktop platform we make it easy for those managing travel to book on behalf of others–including flights, hotels, and rental cars. Using our Book on Behalf of Another feature, travel managers can simply select the option to “book for someone else” and the traveler profile information, including loyalty membership numbers, will populate.
“I book and manage several executives’ complex travel schedules on my own. One of our executives traveled to more than 20 cities alone last month,” said Maggie, a business associate at a fast-growing tech startup business. “Using TravelBank has simplified making last-minute changes, including late-night or early morning requests. Their travel concierge gives the support of a full team and the Book on Behalf of Another feature simplifies the process immensely.”
Group Travel Wrap-Up
Booking group travel is not for the faint of heart, or for the inexperienced travel manager. There’s a ton to consider and coordinate, especially since workforces today have become increasingly distributed. Fortunately, technology-enabled managed travel can help streamline the planning and booking process.
For many companies, especially those that have a largely distributed workforce, getting together requires coordinating significant amounts of employees from across the globe. Company All Hands, Sales Kick-Off, and QBRs are a few instances that require tons of planning, budget considerations, and the need to have a well thought out plan in place to guide employees through booking and travel itself.
Booking corporate group travel requires organization and precise planning. Fortunately, there is technology available that can streamline the process and make sure that whatever the reason for the trip, everything runs smoothly and comes in on budget.