As travel managers and human resources professionals know very well, various elements come into play in coordinating a successful team event. Finding a suitable date, finding airline tickets, making group hotel reservations, and arranging transportation are just the beginning of the challenges faced when planning team events.
In recent years, companies have adopted new ways of working. With more and more employees working remotely, bringing teams together to foster belonging and tackle certain tasks face-to-face has never been more important.
Team events can take many forms. From conferences to corporate retreats, team building meetings to offsite brainstorming sessions, in the world of hybrid work, there are many other reasons teams will need to travel to meet in person.
With the increase in team travel, how can planners ensure expenses don’t spiral out of control? As with any event, you can set a budget, but with so many employees in transit, it’s easy for unforeseen costs to crop up. So how can you save money on your team events and take advantage of the special group discounts on offer?
6 Tips for Getting Group Travel Discounts for Your Next Team Event
It may seem simple, but planning your event as far in advance as possible can have a huge impact on the results. Airlines, transport and accommodation all charge a premium to travelers who choose to book at the last minute. With multiple team members on the road, making your group reservation late in the day can quickly eat into your budget and waste valuable resources you could be spending on other elements of your team event.
When planning dates for your team event, it pays to be strategic, especially if your plans involve booking flights for employees. Research suggests mid-week airline fares are cheaper, with Tuesday being the best day to look for the lowest ticket prices.
The time of year of your event can also have significant implications for transportation and accommodation costs. Avoiding typically busy times for vacationers can significantly reduce your travel expenses and expand your accommodation options.
The most profitable months for business travel are midweek dates in April, May, September or October. These months avoid holiday price hikes and will see hotels more incentivized to offer group rates.
When it comes to corporate events, it pays to be flexible. Someone falls ill or has to take an unplanned period of absence. There are a myriad of reasons why you are bound to have at least one undo when gathering a large group.
While cancellation policies have been more generous in recent years, it’s now crucial to pay attention to the fine print. Going for flexible fares is always a good idea, but airlines and accommodation providers often place a premium on these options. Plus, as many travel managers can attest, you can spend hours on hold trying to change your travel plans.
Solutions like TravelPerk’s FlexiPerk simplify group travel planning by offering the most flexible rates on the market. Business travelers can cancel their plans no questions asked up to 2 hours before departure and receive a guaranteed refund of at least 80% of their costs. Plus, with FlexiPerk, you won’t have to wait for hours. Travelers can edit their itineraries in the simple dashboard or speak to a travel expert in just 15 seconds, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
FlexiPerk gives you the most flexible business travel available. You pay a small fee on top of your booking and if your plans change you can cancel up to two hours before and get at least 80% of your trip refunded. No questions asked.
Promote public transport
If your team event is close to your headquarters, if applicable, encourage employees to avoid renting cars or taking taxis and opting for public transportation instead. Not only does this improve your event’s carbon footprint, but you can also purchase group tickets for trains and buses in most major cities. But for safety reasons, make sure team members know they can take a taxi if they have to travel alone late at night.
Work smarter, not harder
As we mentioned before, booking travel for team events can be time consuming without the right tools. Travel management solutions like TravelPerk can help managers streamline the booking process by integrating corporate travel policies and automating approvals. Thanks to these tools, travel managers and business travelers can save considerable time. By removing the need to browse through multiple browsers, users can book flights, accommodation, car rental, and train tickets in one easy-to-use platform.
Planning a big event? TravelPerk’s event management tool can help you track your team’s RSVPs and share itinerary details in bulk with the click of a button. Plus, with TravelPerk’s solution, keeping attendees safe is easier, with real-time visibility and instant notifications for any safety or itinerary updates.
Take advantage of corporate rates
From frequent flyer miles and free hotel stays to business car rentals and rideshare accounts, business travel discounts come in many shapes and sizes. Enrolling in discount travel programs for companies can not only save you money, but also improve the travel experience for your teams.
Hotels and airlines often offer preferential treatment and incentives to loyalty club members. Joining these programs can provide benefits to your business travelers, such as a special customer service phone number or expedited airport check-in. But racking up the miles or number of nights to qualify for corporate rates can be trickier for small businesses. Using the services of a Travel Management Agency (TMC) can help you avoid queues.
TMCs have extensive networks in the travel industry and negotiate corporate rates with hotels on behalf of companies. TravelPerk, for example, has the largest inventory of travel services on the market, and users can take advantage of more 26,000 special rates when choosing hotels on their platform. Plus, on average, companies can save an additional 20% on their travel expenses with their VAT recovery solution.
Check out our free, personalized demo today to see how TravelPerk’s event tool can take the stress out of planning your next corporate meeting.
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