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.

______________________________________________________________

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

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

Last week we took the opportunity to release The Importance of On-Site Staff to Meetings, Events and Incentive Travel – Part One, the first part of our informative three part series. We covered the basics of why expert on-site staff members are needed to ensure flawless execution of any event. This week we will dive into Part Two where we will cover how to best utilize on-site staff and the roles they play on a program. Make sure to check back here next week when we will conclude the series with Part Three which will take a look into the qualities that capable on-site staff should posses.

In any event there are numerous components that come together seamlessly to make it a success. Most of these are executed behind the scenes and, if done correctly, participants will never know that these intricacies have taken place. The event should look effortless in the eyes of a participant. This is where the difference between internal administrative staff and expert on-site staff truly shows through.

Although Travel Directors wear a multitude of hats when operating a meeting or event, today we will focus on the range of tasks that a Travel Director must undertake when operating an incentive travel program and the roles they should be assigned to best utilize their expertise.

VIPs

Important internal and external stakeholders are sure to be at any organization’s event, and while it is important for all participants to enjoy a program, there is an extra level of attention that needs to be paid to the “VIPs”. Regardless of how well an event goes for everyone else, if it goes poorly for the VIPs, the event is remembered as a failure.

The top Travel Director should always be assigned to the VIPs and their needs. This Travel Director will work with the VIP or their representative from start to finish. There are certain expectations that must be met and attended to by the assigned Travel Director. These include:

  • Meet and Greet upon arrival
  • Private transportation to and from venues
  • Inspection of hotel rooms to ensure all requested amenities are ready prior to arrival
  • Collaborating with security detail
  • Pre-arranging spa services
  • Pre-arrange the Entertainment and Activities

The Travel Director must go to great lengths to ensure that the VIPs enjoy the program and leave knowing that it was a success.

Guest Rooms

The Travel Director assigned to guest room responsibility has a huge role that requires meticulous organization. They spend a significant amount of time working with hotel staff to manage room blocks and ensure each participant has the correct room for the correct dates. Having someone arrive on the program to find there is not a room for them is simply not an option.

Food & Beverage

Whether it is an early morning breakfast, an outdoor lunch, a mid-afternoon break or a lavish dinner party, participants always remember the food and beverages. It has to taste amazing, be delivered on time and there must be enough to go around.  Special requirements and allergies need to be taken into account and the venue must have ample notice to make such preparations. The Travel Director that is in charge of F&B makes sure this happens as planned and is a highly visible part of the team. They keep detailed documentation and invoices to ensure you get what you pay for and are not overcharged. Having the correct information on food and beverage details will help resolve final billing after the event has operated.

Transportation

Travel is one element that stresses participants out on programs. Travel Directors know this and work diligently to alleviate some of this worry by ensuring transportation runs smoothly, efficiently and on time, leaving a positive lasting impression on attendees. Travel Directors assigned to transportation will work closely with car services, bus companies and airlines to coordinate stress-free transportation logistics from the beginning of the program to the end. This allows participants to arrive feeling relaxed and ready for the program ahead.

Business Meetings

Most corporate events and travel programs will integrate at least one business meeting into their agenda.  So that participants can gain the most from it, Travel Directors work to ensure that:

  • Meeting rooms’ environmental conditions meet expectations
  • Meeting rooms are correctly organized
  • Audio-visual requirements are met
  • Technology is set up and working correctly
  • Hosts and speakers know when they are required and what is needed of them

With these things in place, the Travel Director allows for easy facilitation of meetings and, regardless of the primary objective for the business meeting, companies and their participants can run an effective gathering on-site.

Entertainment and Activities

Entertainment and activities can often be the highlight of a travel program, or any event for that matter. It is the fun part that builds a sense of camaraderie and creates memories that participants will take home and share with others. When activities do not go as planned, it can ruin the participants’ entire program experience. Professional Travel Directors are experienced enough to stop incidents from taking the program off course. Many activities are planned away from the hotel, so Travel Directors must stay on top of all the small details, always be prepared for the unexpected and ensure the participants’ happiness. They are trained to negotiate and can put a program back on track if something unexpected does occur, all without the participant ever knowing there has been a change.

Hospitality Desk

Travel Directors represent the client as program ambassadors. They work the hospitality desk and are the face of the program for participants. They help participants with checking into the hotel, confirming activities and pass on important guest information. Participants see value when there are knowledgeable staff members on hand to deliver accurate, timely information or to help with any need that may arise. The hospitality desk is a hot spot for activity, with Travel Directors keeping things organized and efficient.

Merchandise and Gifts

Most travel programs will incorporate specially sourced gifts that participants receive before the program, when they arrive on-site, during activities and delivered to their rooms on certain nights. Travel Directors take charge of all these amenities, keeping them organized and on track. They start by procuring the correct items, getting them through customs and ensuring that they arrive on time. They make sure quantities are correct and that colors, sizes and styles will bring the most enjoyment to the participants. These Travel Directors work behind the scenes to organize everything by working with the hotel bell staff. Travel Directors make sure the Bell Captain knows as much as possible ahead of time, so they can guarantee adequate bell staff and resources are available to properly execute the room drops at the scheduled times.

 

Whether responding to one individual, or the entire group, JNR’s on-site Travel Directors are prepared should an emergency strike. When a situation impacts on your travel program, rest assured, they have the comprehensive training, skills and resources to manage the well being of all your participants. By assigning Travel Directors to specific aspects of programs their skills can best be utilized, focusing on their assigned element, while using any down time to assist other Travel Directors where needed.

Their job is to make your company look good.

 

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.

Photo: “Cydcor Conference Audience” by Cydcor Offices is licensed under CC By 2.0 

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.