Planning the Perfect Meeting
MEMBER TRAVEL can assist in planning meetings from 8 to 5,000+. We make the process fun! We respond to your needs and to your “dreams and wishes”. Our company has handled many meetings, retreats and incentive trips for sports teams, radio stations, law firms, medical groups and charitable organizations. We use top hotels and resorts all around the world, and we are doing an increasing number of meetings at sea. We also arrange the air transportation if needed, along with land transportation and private tours. Hawaii is our most popular destination, followed by Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York and London. We handle all aspects of the event planning and execution so it can be truly enjoyed by the attendees.
What could possibly go wrong?
Many people think that meeting and event planning is rather simple. Sometimes it is simple, but it can also be a disaster. We have had to bail others out when things went wrong. Typical challenges we have encountered include airline, hotel and motor coach strikes, hurricanes, plumbing disasters (I’ll spare you the details of that one), overbooking, underbooking, and chefs disappearing before preparing the meal for their guests. As anybody who travels knows; things don’t always go exactly as planned. The difference here is that it is much more difficult for a large group to just “go with the flow” and adapt to the changes. Part of our job is to cover the variables so there is less likelihood of unexpected changes. The other part of our job is to properly communicate when plans are altered so that any inconvenience is avoided. Along the way, we handle the stress and negotiations so you don’t have to.
Phase 1 – The Basics
Our initial questions consist of the following:
When, Where, How Many, and Where Will They Be Coming From? The more specific you are with your requirements, the easier it is for us to get started compiling relevant information. Some people come to our offices in Sherman Oaks to go over the details. We have a Starbucks right here to keep you supplied with caffeine. Sometimes we visit you to experience the culture you are trying to replicate for the meeting. Other times, all arrangements are conducted via telephone and e-mail.
Phase 2 – The Plan
Once we have conducted the research, given you a smorgasbord of choices and our personal recommendations, we begin putting the pieces of the puzzle together. During this phase we reserve the airline seats, hotel rooms, motorcoach transportation, spa appointments, golf times and guest speakers. We also finalize the menus for any dining functions. All costs and fees are clearly outlined so you know what you are getting and how much it will cost. We also discuss what role our company will have in the entire process. Some organizations prefer us to handle all details with onsite representation, while others choose to provide their own onsite representative from their company.
Phase 3 – Execution
We try to make the entire process go smoothly for our clients. To accomplish that goal, we organize all the many elements of the meeting/convention/event and prepare a detailed itinerary. It is essentially the roadmap for how things “should” go. We also prepare an alternate roadmap for when things do not go as planned. Being prepared for the unexpected separates the good meeting planners from the amateurs. Our representatives re-check and verify reservations and specific details with the contracted companies. Essentially, we catch most supplier errors before they affect your guests. About a year ago, we had a plane full of corporate guests and families arriving in Honolulu for a meeting. We were to have each guest greeted with an “Aloha” and flower lei. Despite promises and contracts, we found out ½ hour prior to our guests’ arrival that the company that was supposed to be there with 82 leis had only 65 leis. Although they were sorry about their mistake, that was all they could offer. Our representative scrambled inside the terminal with every other greeting company to come up with the 17 additional leis. Our clients didn’t have any disappointed guests and we prevented something that could have been a problem from ever becoming one.
Phase 4 – The Extras
Since we are a full service travel agency, we can also arrange any extensions or deviations for the participants. We want to make our clients happy! More than anything else, that is how we build our business. We build relationships that stand the test of time, both with our suppliers and with our clients.
Call or e-mail MEMBER TRAVEL to get the ball rolling for your next corporate meeting. We think you will be impressed!
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