Anna Walmsley, owner of DCM VIP Event Management in the South of France, reveals her top tips for companies looking to hold an overseas meet-up.
More and more companies are reaping the rewards of taking their employees abroad for seminars, exercises, business or incentive trips. It is an attractive treat that will encourage employees or partners to achieve all sorts of outcomes including business goals, confidence building and learning new skills.
It’s all very well holding such events on-site, but you might find there is far more incentive and enthusiasm if there’s the added bonus of a trip for whatever it is you’re trying to achieve with your activity. Otherwise, it might just feel like ‘another day at the office’. Throwing in a bit of cultural fun, as well as achieving the aims of the event’s message is likely to gain much more too.
So, where do you start with planning your trip? It’s really important that if you do choose to go abroad that you have someone to be your eyes and ears, who speaks your own language and the language of the country you’re going to.
Planning well in advance and building a relationship with someone who is an expert at planning these events is key. With the right management company, all trips can be tailored to suit any budget, be it a weekend break in the country or an all-singing, all-dancing holiday of a lifetime. Remember, different trips will suit different people so try and gauge your audience correctly. Whatever the trip ends up being – it’s still a big reward for the employee.
You’ll need an expert on the ground well in advance who you can build a relationship with early on. They will have extensive local knowledge and know a wide-range of local suppliers and should be able to provide you with a flawless, smooth schedule.
They will be there to look after all your needs from the day you initially engage, through to when it’s time to go home. This will allow you to focus on what matters most while you are away – team-building, information sharing, brainstorming or decision-making.
A true expert in their field will go the extra mile to help relieve any of the stresses that planning such events abroad can entail. Look for someone who can offer you a range of options on where to stay and types of transport so you can select the most suitable for your event. They should also personally visit each of the venues, and even send you copies of sample menus and wine lists
On top of this, look for someone who will be able to help you organise guided tours and let you know what the best activities are in the area. You could be missing out on so much if you don’t get the right person to assist and end up being pulled from pillar to post, rather than experiencing the true culture of the destination.
In short, spend a bit of time finding the right expert who will carry out the correct research on your behalf, but more importantly someone you can build a solid, trusting relationship with as that person will become a big part of your journey.
Image by Oliver Olsson