Originally published on the Creative Group Blog.
When it comes to corporate meetings and incentives, do you know how to squeeze the most out of every opportunity? Luckily, we do. And we’re freely sharing our cost cutting tips with you. Read on and feel free to share with your co-workers and friends.
1. Say “Yes we can!” to Canada
Why spend eight hours on a flight to Paris when you can be in Quebec City and speak French in half the time? Croissants anyone? Embrace your adventurous side and hit the NW territories and the Yukon with dog sledding, glacier dining and world-renowned winter activities. Consider a Canadian location and leverage the exchange rate. One caveat: Book early because demand for these locations is getting hot.
2. Tighten your belt
You can always consider reducing the number of nights but instead of lots of different events, concentrate your budget on a few memorable ones. And think about scheduling your corporate meetings and incentives during low season, your bottom line will be better off.
3. Leverage your buying power
Just ask! Suppliers will always consider what you ask for. Leveraging past business, future business, multiple year options and rebates within the brand and multiple destinations are ways to leverage your buying power. Additionally, working with a third party will grant you the buying power they have with all their clients. Great value can be found in many places, if you know where to look.
4. Don’t shed a tier
Plan your corporate meetings and incentives in a second- or third-tier destination. For example, instead of Washington DC, why not Baltimore? Instead of Toronto, try Hamilton or Niagara.
5. Fear not the connoisseurs
Please don’t get your feathers in a ruffle, but the truth is most of us can’t taste the difference between Grey Goose and Smirnoff so swallow your pride and save your bucks. For wine, go with house and local brands over international varietals. And while you’re at it, limit cocktail receptions to beer and wine instead of a free-for-all open bar.
6. Uber savings
For one-off transfers from the airport to the hotel, ask your concierge for the name of a reliable car service or even contemplate Uber. It may be out of character to embrace the sharing economy option, but it could very well save considerable amounts of money on individual transfers during non-group dates.
7. Don’t mind (the gap) if I do
Ditch the perfect dates in favor of filling a gap for the hotel when they’re scrambling to put more heads on beds. By being flexible with dates, you’ll stretch your budget further.
8. Fancy footwork
See if the hotel is willing to tango with you. Knowing where a hotel can provide value with minimal hard costs can provide great cost savings on your budget. Ask for an extra hour of a complimentary of welcome reception or complimentary food and beverage at the hospitality desk.
9. Change of region = Change in your pocket
If you typically plan corporate meetings and incentives in the Caribbean, consider Europe, South Africa, New Zealand or South America this time. Europe has budget-friendly destinations galore: Poland, for example, is not currently on the Euro and offers a less costly option than other European destinations. Iceland in the winter is cool. With easy airlift from the east (New York, Montreal and Toronto), the winter months can mean incredible hotel rates. With the New Zealand and South African currencies low, now is the time to visit. And in Colombia, as more hotels enter the market, we are seeing better quality venues and even more value!
10. Don’t go it alone
Working with a third party can offer you a value that’s well worth the investment. Click here for 7 reasons to work with a third party planning company and the 5 pitfalls of skimping on a professional event design team.
Interested in learning more about corporate incentive travel? Contact a Direct Travel expert today.