Executive Travel Directors Reveals 3 Tips for Dealing with Transportation of VIP Guests at Meetings and Incentives

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Meeting staffing company reveals methods for ensuring seamless VIP arrivals during meetings and incentive programs

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While every program inevitably has mishaps, it is the VIP Travel Director’s job to minimize mistakes, especially around VIPs.

Executive Travel Directors (ETD) knows that, for Meeting Planners and Travel Directors alike, dealing with VIP attendees requires extreme attention to detail. Meeting Professionals must take every precaution to reduce error and provide a safe and memorable program experience for high-level guests.

While every program inevitably has mishaps, it is the VIP Travel Director’s job to minimize mistakes, especially around VIPs. A minor issue with a VIP has the ability to compromise the overall success of a program.

First impressions are key, therefore, VIP Travel Directors (VIP TDs) are expected to put forth every effort to ensure VIP guests are pleased from the moment they arrive at their meeting destination. Below are some tasks ETD stresses their independent Travel Director staff complete when preparing for VIP arrivals and greeting them at the airport. The more seamless a VIP’s arrival, the better impression he/she will receive of the program, showcasing the diligent planning of ETD’s clients.

1.    Devise a plan of action that can be communicated.

In preparation for VIP arrival, the VIP TD must maintain a chronological transportation grid of VIP arrivals and departures. He or she should devise a transportation plan with Transportation TDs and communicate the plan to the client and remaining onsite support staff. If a program’s VIPs travel by private jets, VIP TDs must obtain tail numbers and airport contacts to call and receive flight updates/delays. Finally, the VIP TD must meet with the Destination Management Company (DMC) to review the VIP ground transportation plan and book limos or sedans for airport pick-up.

2.    Accompany driver for airport pick-up to personally greet and assist the VIP.

The VIP Travel Director should ride with the sedan/limo driver in the passenger seat to pick up VIPs. The TD and driver should arrive at the airport no less than thirty minutes before the VIP’s estimated time of arrival. The driver should be informed of the VIP’s name and position. The driver should be advised not to smoke, play loud or offensive music, or chat excessively with the VIP. While the Travel Director leaves to greet the VIP, the driver should wait in a meeting location predetermined by the Travel Director. The Travel Director should then greet the VIP at his or her gate or baggage claim with a personalized sign that does not advertise the VIPs program or company name. The Travel Director should offer to assist with luggage utilizing a skycap. After escorting the VIP into the waiting vehicle, the Travel Director will ride back to the meeting location in the passenger seat.

3.    Ensure the onsite support team is ready for the VIP arrival at the meeting site.

Before leaving to pick the VIP up from the airport, the VIP Travel Director must schedule another TD and bellman to be waiting by the hotel/property entrance for VIP arrival. They will welcome the VIP to the program and assist with luggage. The VIP TD may offer to confirm departure information and obtain boarding passes if possible in anticipation for the conclusion of the program and the VIP’s departure.

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 http://www.traveldirectors.com.

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Maureen Mulvaney
Executive Travel Directors
+1 (312) 836-1339 Ext: 225
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