ETD Announces New Pros and Cons in Using Local vs Non-local Travel Staff

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The Benefits and Downfalls in Compromising Price for Skill-Sets That Meeting and Event Professionals Will Want to Know for Their Next Program

Especially with growing budget constraints, meeting and event professionals find themselves choosing between low-cost local travel staff and more experienced non-local travel staff. Executive Travel Directors, a corporate incentive and meeting staffing company, offers insight into the benefits and short comings of using either local or non-local staff as on-site event support.

Local Staff

Pros: Local travel staff are familiar with the area in which a program is held, so they are able to advise attendees on the best transportation and places to dine and find entertainment. Hiring local staff saves money on air fare and hotel expenses as these individuals can stay at home and commute via car or public transportation. This also makes them more readily available for last minute requests or cancellations.

Cons: While using local staff reduces costs, their quality of on-site support may not be as sharp as a non-local staff member, who might have more experience with a certain client or service area. Local staff are not typically as familiar with client and VIP preferences or as seasoned in meeting operations.

Experienced Non-Local Staff

Pros: Choosing non-local staff, who have more experience and broader skill-sets, is likely to ensure event success. These travel staff are more aligned with client meeting procedures and corporate culture. This comes in handy when dealing with attendees, particularly VIPS.

Cons: Increased skills come with a higher price. Non-local staff incur higher travel costs as a result of required air fare and hotel charges. They are also less likely to be familiar with the location of a program. This can poses problems if an attendee has a question about a meeting or event destination.

Choosing local vs. non-local staff is a decision that must be made based on program needs and budgets. What one type of on-site support lacks in savings, the other lacks in skills. Nonetheless, knowing the pros and cons of each can make the staffing process less daunting and more efficient.

Executive Travel Directors (ETD) is a Chicago-based company providing onsite logistical assistance to business meetings, incentive trips, and medical educational sessions. Since 1988, ETD has operated on respect for meeting planners and the success of their programs. ETD hosts a registry of over 2,000 travel directors and provides staff to more than 5,000 programs annually. For more information on Executive Travel Directors, please visit us at

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Kim Korhonen
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