These days, event organisers are expecting much more from their suppliers. They are no longer looking for orders-takers but are seeking partners who aim to achieve the same objectives or work towards a shared goal.
Suppliers play a major role when organising any event. Here at Clarity, our in-house team have the skills and experience to deliver all areas of event management. An important part of that event management process is ensuring the right suppliers are chosen and that we utilise their expertise when procuring equipment or organising modes of transportation for our groups.
When a large part of the event involves working alongside suppliers, how do we ensure that they continually represent our core values and are fully engaged to deliver the standard of service or product we offer our clients?
At Clarity, we expect our suppliers to become an extension of our team. Here are our top three tips on ensuring a successful partnership:
Communication is the most important element of any event. How can a supplier deliver above the expectations if they do not have the full picture? How are we, as an event agency, exceed expectations, if we are not informed of all requirements and objectives of the event?
Our latest manifesto Hearts & Minds looks at creating a more balanced approach to business travel, focusing on traveller centricity and experience and how it can positively affect productivity, efficiency and also profit. Knowing the principles and wider objectives for our requirements can empower the supplier to make small changes and improvements to their services, which can have a significant impact on the event outcome.
It is important to know what the client is currently spending, where they are holding their events and whether there are any peak periods.
Clarity’s Management Information reports show us these details. We are able to advise our clients on a strategic approach to booking meetings and events, which can improve their overall bottom line. These details are also very useful in discussions with venues and hotels, as they enable us to secure availability in the required locations and help in negotiating rates to maximise return on investment for the client, and expected revenue for our suppliers.
The events industry is very much based on people and the ‘human factor.’
Our annual client conference creates a platform for our clients to meet with the suppliers we work with. We want our relationships to be stronger, and we are not afraid of introducing the organiser to the hotel manager. We are working together on the same project with the same goal and we believe the most important part of any event is to build trust with each other - the true essence of a partnership.
Here at Clarity, we pride ourselves by working collaboratively with our clients, to help them maximise their investment in events and achieve the best results. We also have a preferred venue programme based on our clients’ demand and we work closely with them to offer the best value.
Partnerships are not there to limit us, stronger relationships make the event planning and delivery process smoother, cost-effective and help us to achieve the best possible results.
As our Hearts & Minds manifesto outlines, business travel should always be cost and time efficient. As a travel management company, we’ll always crunch the number to find the best fare combinations, time efficient connections and swiftest routes.
But true efficiency isn’t always about austerity, sacrificing comfort at all costs. We know a well-planned trip looks beyond the bare essentials. So we’ve put together a short guide on creating an ideal business trip:
Before you even begin to pick up the phone or log onto your online booking system, think about what you want to achieve on your trip. If you have multiple appointments you need to attend, can you arrange them at one single location? And if not, how much time will you need in between.
For important meetings, do you need to allow additional times in case they run over? It’s important to define these details before starting to book, as they can help determine the type of ticket or mode of travel you require
Once you’ve established your objectives, the sooner you can book the better. Booking ahead can significantly save money on travel. If you have a set schedule, booking fixed tickets can also help lower costs and you may even be able to use the money saved to bag yourself an upgrade.
Picking the right hotel is often an overlooked part of business travel itineraries. City centre accommodation may be more expensive butcould save on taxi travel and enable travellers to eat out, within budget, rather than being restricted to an expensive out-of-town hotel restaurant.
No frills accommodation might be adequate for a single night stopover. But a hotel with leisure facilities can make life on the road a lot more bearable during extended periods away from home.
Once your travel is booked, assign some time to prepare for your trip. Even as a seasoned traveller it’s important to assess your schedule and ensure everything is in order before you leave. Do you need a visa? Is your passport up to date?
If you have a long flight and are headed straight into a meeting after it, do you need to find somewhere to freshen up? Plenty of airports have changing facilities, if not you may need to look into a lounge booking if you feel you could do with a quick shower and change of clothes.
If you are a regular traveler, it’s probably worth keeping a bag of essential items at the ready. By singling out the necessary travel items, it can also help reduce the amount of excess you pack, saving you from excess baggage fees and just generally easing your carry load.
Our packing tips post recommended making a packing list as a fool proof way to ensure you remember the important items. We mentioned the Wunderlist app, as it has the ability to replicate past lists - meaning you can keep a general catalogue of things you need and re-check every time you travel.
Click here to download our Hearts & Minds manifesto and see how we're changing the way we think about business travel.