The Importance of On-Site Staff to Meetings, Events and Incentive Travel – Part Three

Today concludes our informative three part series on The Importance of On-Site Staff to Meetings, Events and Incentive Travel. If you have not already, take a moment to read Part One and Part Two. In today’s final piece we cover the qualities to look for in a capable on-site staff member.

JNR is committed to delivering phenomenal business meetings, corporate events and incentive travel programs every time. A large part of ensuring that we deliver on this is making sure we have the right people for the job. We employ on-site expert Travel Directors that we like to call your “insurance policy.” They make sure the event runs smoothly, keep costs in check and they send participants and clients home happy. A solid team of on-site logistical staff is crucial to any event’s success.

When hiring on-site staff members, JNR looks for certain attributes, skills and qualities in a potential employee. These are often elements that cannot be taught.

Hardworking

On-site staff members must be disciplined enough to work incredibly hard. They are the first to rise and the last to rest. They have an array of intricate tasks that must be completed before participants arrive, seemingly impossible tasks while the event is running, respond to individual needs as well as the entire group’s needs, and, as participants are heading home, they stay to make sure everyone has checked out, have rides to the airport, and arrange for any outgoing shipments. Amidst it all, they make sure all billing notes are in order.

Responsive

The first thing you learn on-site is that things change. Our expert Travel Directors expect that there are factors that are out of their control and that they must remain flexible and on their toes in order to keep the event on track. Whether it is a travel delay, inclement weather or a key item that will not be delivered on time, they work on finding solutions rather than getting stuck on problems. They also keenly anticipate complications arising before they actually happen and prepare accordingly. This is fondly referred to as avoiding Murphy. When factors do not go as planned, most of the time, they are solved so efficiently that participants remain blissfully unaware.

Teamwork

On-site staff members are given key responsibilities and are empowered to jump in where needed to help other staff members. While they work in their own specialty areas, they know that at the end of the day the program as a whole is the big picture and that they need to work together for it to be successful – no task is solely one person’s duty. Members of the on-site team know what each other are working on and come together to help with all things from finishing touches to more complicated elements.

Positive Attitude

On-site experts work grueling hours, have multiple jobs on their plates at once and respond to client and participant requests at any hour of the day – all with a smile on their face. Even if an event throws curve ball after curve ball, having the right attitude with a passion for delivering their best can be the difference between an average event and an incredible event. Our on-site staff members see the big picture and work diligently towards that rather than getting stuck on components that do not go as planned.

Ability to Understand the Client’s Objectives

Travel Directors must be fully aware and understand the client’s objectives to deliver a successful meeting, event or travel program. Once goals and objectives have been explained to on-site staff members, they know what elements will deliver on these goals. They are conscientious of how to use their skill sets to direct a meeting, event or travel program in the direction the client wants.

Communication and Negotiation Skills

At any one time, Travel Directors will be in communication and negotiation with multiple parties. They rely on third parties to deliver exactly what is expected of them and must therefore communicate what is needed in an efficient manner. They use their strong negotiation skills to get the best outcomes and value for the client, all while keeping a positive relationship with the vendor for future programs.

Communication with participants can truly enhance the program. We often hear that our client was impressed with our team, how nice it was that participants knew the on-site staff members by name and how wonderfully they were treated.

 

On-site staff members are unique individuals that are driven to deliver above what is expected of them. With a trained eye and a thorough understanding of “back-of-the-house” operations, our experienced on-site travel management professionals direct the logistics of your event, leaving you free to attend to VIP’s, participants and the actual program content. You can focus on just one thing… your business.

 

To find out how JNR can help orchestrate an amazing meeting, event or incentive travel program, please call us on 949.476.2788 or email us at jnrinfo@jnrcorp.com. We would love to work with you on your next program.

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Stephanie Thomas with insights from LuAnn Jalet, Chief Operating Officer at JNR.

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JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

Photo: “The Standard – Cooper Square” by Susan Sermoneta is licensed under CC By 2.0

Indian Travel Spotlight: Top Ten Tourist Attractions

Last week our Indian cultural exploration pointed out some of the lesser-known, yet unforgettable and unique experiences that the country has to offer. Now we shift our attention to the more common, touristy attractions that India is most known for. Visits to these destinations are popular for good reason and we would recommend that you include as many of these spots on your itinerary as possible.

If you crave variety in your life then India is one of the best places you can possibly visit. Diversity in landscapes, ethnic groups, languages, music, monuments and places to explore make India very unique.

Top Ten Indian Tourist Attractions (List courtesy of Touropia)

10. Kerala Backwaters

The Kerala backwaters are a chain of lagoons and lakes that lie parallel to the Arabian Sea coast in the Kerala state. The waters are home to many unique species including crabs, frogs, mudskippers, water birds, otters and turtles. Houseboat tours are the best way to experience the area.

9. Lake Palace

Located in Lake Pichola in the city of Udaipur is this 18th century-built royal palace. It houses a luxury 5-star hotel and is accessible by boat.  Read more about how to experience this destination in our post about unique Indian experiences.

8. Virupaksha Temple

Virupaksha Temple is located in the city of Hampi and grew into a large complex under the Vijayanagara rulers. Some say that it has been operating since it was built in the 7th century AD and therefore is one of the oldest functioning Hindu temples in India.

7. Palolem

Palolem is a developed southern beach in Goa that is stunning at first sight. It is a natural bay surrounded by headlands on both sides creating a calm sea. There are plenty of affordable restaurants, hotels and nightlife in the area to enjoy in addition to the natural beauty.

6. Kahna National Park

Kahna is one of the best places to see a tiger in India and one of the most beautiful wildlife reserves in Asia. Bamboo forests, grassy meadows and ravines highlight the amazing landscape. Rudyard Kipling’s famous novel “The Jungle Book” was inspired by this very place.

5. Harmandir Sahib

Sometimes referred to as the Golden Temple, Harmandir Sahib is the primary tourist attraction in Amristar and the most important religious place to the Sikhs. Construction of the temple began in the 16th century by Guru Ramdas ji. The upper floors were covered in gold in the 19th century giving it the signature look it has today.

4. Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer is located in the remote westernmost corner of Rajasthan near the Pakistan border and is a wonderful desert town. The yellow sandstone walls rise from the Thar Desert like something you would expect to see in Arabian Nights.

3. Ajanta Caves

These rock-cut cave monuments date back to the 2nd century BC and were abandoned around 650 AD. The Ajanta Caves were forgotten until 1819 when discovered by a British hunting party. Murals throughout the caves depicting many different scenes such as battles are still well-preserved.

2. Varansi

Varansi sits on the banks of the River Ganges and is a sacred place for Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. The city is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.

1. Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal needs little introduction as it is the obvious top tourist attraction in India. Located in Agra, the mausoleum of white marble was built between 1632 and 1653 by order of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife. It is a masterpiece of Mughal architecture and contains white domed marble mausoleums, reflecting pools and extensive ornamental gardens.

Download our incentive travel whitepaper to see why rewarding dealers, customers, employees and advertisers with trips to exotic places can strongly impact your company’s bottom line.

Check back next week or subscribe to our email feed to be updated when we post our final installment of our Indian Travel Spotlight next Thursday.

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Kristopher Hewkin

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JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

Photo: “sunset on Lake Pichola” by ruffin_ready is licensed under CC By 2.0

JNR Incorporated Named “Top 50 Event Company” by Special Events Magazine

We are extremely honored to announce that JNR Incorporated has been selected as a Special Events Magazine Top 50 Event Company for the 2nd consecutive year!

Our spike in international events and authentic experiences to destinations such as South Africa, Vietnam, Cambodia and Brazil were cited as some of reasons for our inclusion on this exclusive list.

Here’s to hoping for a third consecutive selection next year.

http://specialevents.com/septemberoctober-2014#12

The Importance of On-Site Staff to Meetings, Events and Incentive Travel – Part One

JNR has planned and operated thousands of programs throughout our three decades of being in this industry and although hundreds of hours go into planning every aspect of an event, meeting or travel program, we would not have had the unmatched level of success that we have had if it was not for our talented and experienced on-site team. We are committed to creating breathtaking and memorable business meetings, corporate events and incentive trips that best meet our client’s goals and needs. We understand that you can create the perfect company event on paper, but if things go wrong on-site, none of that matters. That is why we are proud to release our three-part series on The Importance of On-Site Staff to Meetings, Events and Incentive Travel.

In Part One, we will cover the basics of why expert on-site staff are needed to ensure flawless execution of any event. In Part Two, we will go into detail about how on-site staff can best be utilized in each aspects of a program. In Part Three, we will go over the qualities to look for in a capable on-site staff member and how JNR meticulously screens for only the best.

Meetings, events and incentive travel programs are all implemented and designed to help companies reach business objectives and must add value to deliver maximum return on investment (ROI). At JNR, we listen to the client and ask the right questions to completely understand your company’s objectives and attain measurable goals. From the start, we work within your budget, reinforce your goals to participants and then conduct a comprehensive post event survey in order to measure ROI, allowing you to invest in continuous improvements for future events. This process relies on thorough planning right from the word “go” and impeccable execution when on the field.

So, how does the JNR on-site team achieve this impeccable execution on-site?

1)    Experience

Professional on-site team members work thousands of hours of events every year. They have seen and overcome it all. They have firsthand experience at managing the most intricate of on-site details, are committed and passionate about their jobs and are thoroughly cross-trained with superb attention to detail.

The experience they gain from every program they work increases their dedication to customer care and builds on their understanding of what participants are looking for in an exceptional program.

Travel Directors add value and directly impact the bottom line for a client by driving efficiencies, managing the budget and being the company’s advocate with the venue, vendors and service providers.

Experienced on-site team members reduce the cost to clients by eliminating the use of inexperienced internal staff and ensuring the entire meeting, event or program goes as planned. Unlike corporate administrative staff, JNR’s on-site team, specializes in executing meeting plans and use their knowledge and experience to keep participants and especially the client happy.

2)    Destination Knowledge

Our on-site professionals go to great lengths to know every aspect of the event which includes advanced preparation for the chosen destination. This preparation allows them to stand out to participants as a visible resource to answer questions and help the program stay on track. They are a critical pillar of knowledge for participants in what can sometimes be an unfamiliar situation.

3)    Early Arrival

There are many elements that need to be organized before participants arrive. This is achieved through the Travel Director(s) early arrival. In the days and hours before participants and even the client arrives, the travel director(s) has many crucial jobs including:

  • Setting up the headquarters office
  • Reviewing the meeting manual
  • Receiving and doing a quality control check of supplies
  • Walk-through of venues, restaurants and other sites

Once these jobs have been completed, it is essential that the onsite team collaborate with all contracted suppliers to make sure expectations for a successful execution are understood. It is then that participants will begin to arrive, blissfully unaware of the background workings that have taken place to achieve the amazing event they are about to experience.

4)    They Seamlessly Work Together

Each member of the on-site team may have different areas of responsibility, but ultimately they work together as a team moving towards the big picture of a flawless event.

Lead Travel Directors are usually assigned to specific areas of responsibility including:

  • VIP Service
  • Rooms
  • Food and Beverage
  • Transportation
  • Meetings
  • Activities
  • Hospitality Desk
  • Amenities

The other members of the on-site team report to the lead Travel Directors for the duration of the event.

Although responsibilities are usually assigned to specific team members, all on-site team members are empowered to jump in whenever they are needed, guaranteeing that every aspect of the program runs smoothly, on time and on budget.

They have real-world experience of industry best practices and can anticipate, plan and react to any issues without missing a beat.

Every organization has important internal and external stakeholders at their meetings, events and travel programs and so it is imperative that the months of impeccable planning turns into a reality when finally operated. Professional on-site teams are an insurance policy for your investment to ensure each meeting, event and travel program runs as smoothly as planned, keeping costs in check and sending participants home happy.

If you would like more information on how JNR can not only plan an amazing event, meeting or travel program for you but also deliver on the execution with our trusted on-site team, please call us at 949.476.2788 or email jnrinfo@jnrcorp.com. Check back next week for Part Two of our series on The Importance of On-Site Staff to Meetings, Events and Incentive Travel where we will expand on how on-site staff can best be utilized in each aspects of an event, meeting or program. Part Three will be released the following week and will explain the qualities to look for when hiring a capable on-site staff member and how JNR meticulously screens for only the best.

 

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Stephanie Thomas with insights from LuAnn Jalet, Chief Operating Officer at JNR.

 

______________________________________________________________

JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

Indian Travel Spotlight: Diwali Festival

With your bellies full on Biryani Rice, JNR now takes you into the bright and dazzling world of India with the Diwali Festival. Diwali, or the Festival of Lights, is a traditional Hindu festivity celebrating the victory of light over darkness, hope over despair and good over evil. This tradition dates back to ancient times and brings family and friends together for many days of preparations before the darkest night of the new moon between mid-October and mid-November. On the night of Diwali, Hindus wear their best outfit and light lamps and candles inside and outside of their homes which have been cleaned and renovated for this occasion. It is common for family and friends to give gifts to each other and, after a beautiful feast, the night is capped off with a fireworks display.

This festival is celebrated throughout India with different regions varying their traditions. Diwali occurs after the summer harvest and is said to be one of the happiest holidays in India. The use of light as a major feature is intended to please the gods and to ask for health, wealth, knowledge, peace and prosperity. Firecrackers are said to represent joy, with the sounds awaking the gods and letting them know they are in a plentiful state.

The four days of preparations each have different traditions associated to them. The first day of the festival is known as Naraka Chaturdasi and celebrates the vanquishing of Naraka, a demon, by Lord Krishna and his wife Satyabhama. It is common for people to buy gold on the first day. On the second day, Amavasya, the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi, is worshipped. Kartika Shudda Padyami is celebrated on the third day and remembers the time Bali stepped out of hell and ruled the earth. This is usually the main day of merriments with family and friends celebrating together. Yama Dvitiya is the fourth day which is a time for brothers and sisters to come together and share food. In the Hindu calendar, Yama Dvitiya is seen as the start of the New Year.

This year, Diwali runs from October 20th – October 23rd.

If you would like more information on this festival or India as an incentive destination please email jnrinfo@jnrcorp.com.

 

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Stephanie Thomas

______________________________________________________________

JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

Photo: “Diwali Lanterns” by Dhinal Chheda is licensed under CC By 2.0