Whether it’s on a small scale or a large scale, onsite or offsite, planning and executing an event is an immensely complex task. Corporate events, which require a high degree of finesse and perfection, are especially challenging. Securing buy-in from internal stakeholders, working on a fixed budget and a tight deadline, all the while ensuring that only the best quality experience that upholds the brand value of the organization is selected is not easy.
The following are some of the key challenges in planning a corporate event:
Finding the right destination and venue
One of the first things to fix is the destination where the event would take place, and the ideal venue for hosting and lodging the event participants. While several online travel portals make it easy to identify the pros and cons of each destination, they do not offer much help when picking a venue to host a large group of people. Most travel portals cater to individual travelers and do not contain information about flight information and room availability in hotels for bulk bookings. This would require corporate event organizers to call each airline and hotel individually to learn of their seat and room availabilities, compare costs and strike a deal.
They can even choose to go via a professional travel agency for bulk bookings of flights and hotels, but it would take each travel agency at least a couple of days to find information and provide a list of options to pick from.
Evaluating multiple service providers to organize each aspect of the event
A corporate event, especially an offsite one, lasts a minimum of 2 days, and comprises of formal meetings/conferences as well as engaging activities for fun. Organizers would require to hire vendors for merchandising, entertainment professionals and hosts for engaging participants at events, and for other logistical requirements when putting together an event.
Typically, to do this, they would need to call each vendor up individually and compare their service offerings and costs. For each aspect of the event, they would need to evaluate at least 2-3 vendors before finding the right one to suit their requirements. This is a very time intensive process, requiring immense amount of coordination between event organizers and numerous vendors.
In addition, vendor recommendations usually come via word of mouth and may not be the most reliable way to find and select vendors.
Benefits of using technology in the event planning process
Technology has helped increase efficiencies across industries and has empowered consumers, both individuals as well as businesses, to receive faster inputs and make more informed decisions. Finding information has become easier in an online world, and comparing multiple options to find the most customized and optimum service too has become easier.
Even when it comes to corporate travel and event planning, technology can help aggregate information and offer a one-stop shop for all services that go into making an event – right from the start to the end, and even after that. Online portals, like the ones for individual travel planning, can offer information on the availability of flights and hotels that have capacity for bulk bookings. In addition, such portals can offer a much-needed space for vendors to describe their service offerings and connect with their target customers. Such an online corporate travel portal can also allow service providers to offer special deals during off-season, which customers can leverage while planning an event in a cost-effective manner.
One of the biggest advantages of having a centralized portal to offer information about all aspects of event planning is that it would save considerable amount of time for corporate event planners, which would otherwise be spent in communicating with each vendor individually, comparing their quotes and finding the best option.
Another significant advantage is that of assured quality – such a portal which hosts information of only verified vendors can offer quality control to ensure that corporate customers book only reliable vendors through the portal. In addition, the portal can also encourage customers to review each vendor based on their experience, providing new customers honest feedback right from the ones who matter – their peers.
Much like any other industry, technology offers a chance to transform the MICE and corporate travel industry by improving efficiencies, offering reliable information which can be used for faster consideration and decision making, and making event planning a hassle-free process.
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