Superior Travel Customization
By: Ariel M. Weinshanker
Image taken by Ariel M. Weinshanker.
What's the difference between an average Trip and a Bespoke Experience? Customization! And what's Key to executing customization for discerning Individuals and high-end Groups? Preparation!
TLDR: Allergies, Loyalty Club Numbers, Preferences & Headshots
Just like every organization has its quirks, guests attending a Meeting, Program or Event may come with their own set of unique needs. It is key to capture these attributes at the very beginning of the confirmation process in order to share these notes with your Hotels, Airlines and other applicable Vendors.
When collecting details for a new guest you have not worked with in the past, consider arranging a secure, online Survey, requiring responses for each question. Surveys often give the creator a spreadsheet report and an individual response view. For returning guests, be sure to contact them to confirm their information is still accurate. We have included a sample questionnaire at the bottom of this blog post, to get you started.
Don't wait until confirming final headcounts to ask guests if they are Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free and/or require Kosher or Halal meals. Ask when confirming their attendance and share with the venue or program host, as soon as possible. While most professional venues-and Event Hosts- are equipped to jump in with an alternative at the last minute, they will appreciate being notified well in advance to prepare comparable options. Planning an event can be stressful, try to focus on being organized from the start.
I once had a client who informed us of a Gluten-Free guest a day before arrival, when all attendees were set to receive Welcome chocolates. Our team on-site had already set aside the chocolates. While it appeared that we were able to easily execute a Gluten-Free alternative for the guest, it became a mad dash. Had it been a custom designed pastry, procuring a comparable welcome gift may have been difficult.
Loyalty Club Numbers
Even if your Hotel or Air bookings will not yield points or loyalty club benefits to individuals-it is likely you will be asked to provide these details to your Hotel or Airline.
Why should you ask if they will not earn points or other value adds?
(1) Most Loyalty Club Numbers attach to custom guest preferences-set by the User- that hotels and airlines can arrange in advance.
(2) Bookings connected with a Loyalty Club Number can provide access to custom mobile applications, such as a Hotel’s Keyless Entry, Virtual Concierge and/or Text alerts.
Just like Allergies, it is imperative to ask guests about their preferences when confirming their attendance. Beyond food preferences-often mixed in with allergies-don't forget to ask about Airline Seat and Hotel preferences.
When it comes to Hotel preferences, it is a good idea to reconfirm with the hotel what is actionable given the rooms you have contracted. For instance, be careful how you prompt guests for their preferred bedding type or view, if you have contracted Run-of-House rooms.
If your event is longer than one day and/or includes accommodations, secure Headshots of your attendees. And if you are hosting a high-end event, consider including headshots of your attendees, along with VIPs and Speakers.
Imagine attending a Sales Incentive for the top 20 Associates of your company. How would it make you feel, if as you departed the car from the airport the bellman opened the door and was able to greet you by name, without being prompted? Talk about a WOW!
Bonus: If a hotel is small enough or has enough staff and you can (1) provide flight times to the host Hotel (2) provide the drivers of your airport transportation a number for the hotel’s guest relations team. (3) The Hotel can often work together with your transportation vendor to coordinate a personalized welcome.
ProTrip: By preparing Headshots with names and tiles of your attendees in advance, Event organizers and Hosts, can easily locate specific guests in the crowd.
Ready to start planning?
Click for a copy of our Guest Checklist or reach out to us directly to handle the details.
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