VIP and Celebrity Speakers

Politicians, VIP’s and celebrity speakers often expect to bring their spouse or an aide with them when they travel. If other parties are involved make sure you have something in writing that outlines what the understanding is regarding lodging and food reimbursement. If you retain your speaker’s services well in advance of your conference date he or she may be able to arrange other engagements close to your meeting date and location. If this happens, it could mean you save on the speakers travel expenses as this cost would then be shared.

If you would like your speaker to attend social events before or after the presentation, be sure the speaker is aware of your request well in advance. In many cases a speaker will spend the time right before his/her presentation preparing to go on the platform. Speakers are usually happy to attend extra events if given sufficient notice. Be aware, however, that some speakers prefer not to attend social events and some charge extra for any additional time spent.

Be sure to get the speaker’s photograph and biographical information to ensure you have what you need for any publications (programs, brochures, newsletters). The speaker will also provide you with an appropriate introduction.

Send the speaker as much information as possible about your organization including company newsletters, annual reports and any relevant meeting bulletins. Also send the speaker copies of any material mentioning his or her presentation.

Many speakers and seminar leaders have written books and produced cassette tapes of their programs. Create a mutual understanding about what promotion of their materials will be allowed.

Mention of products being available can be made immediately following a speaker’s presentation. Attendees often benefit from material that extends the value of the presentation. If you want to make an audiotape or videotape of a presentation be sure to get signed authorization in advance.

1. Check contracts for accommodation requirements.

2. Bars, snacks and complimentary buffets.

3. Transportation – to and from the event and to and from the airport – limousines, helicopters, private planes.

4. Welcome and hospitality arrangements in place.

5. Reference material about organization supplied to speaker well in advance.

6. Outline of speech received prior to event.

7. Date given for when biography, headshot and introduction to be received.

8. Arrangements for any other person(s) traveling with the speaker.

9. Be aware of VIP’s personal preferences i.e. likes golf, will attend banquet, meet and greet.

10. Send out thank you letters.

11. Gifts – either delivered to room during conference, presented following speech or sent after the event.

12. Allow time for questions from the audience following speaker’s presentation.

Reasons for Booking Your Business Class Ticket Through a Travel Concierge

If you fly regularly for business or pleasure, flying first class can take the edge off the travel time with its great amenities. But landing a cheap business class ticket can be a hard. Airlines advertise conventional fares for these tickets and most people are unaware that it is possible to pay less for the same flights. Using a travel concierge service is a wise decision to make your travel time hassle free. Travel concierges have a number of benefits for the often last minute business class flyer:

Here are the services offered by travel concierges:

• Flight notifications
• Flight booking:
• Check-in assistance
• Fast track immigrations and custom clearance
• Luggage concierge
• Airport transfers
• Hotel bookings

Advantages of using a travel concierge to get your first class flight

• Cheaper flights; travel concierges have access to a database of different airlines plying your travel route and can land you much cheaper first class tickets. They also have discounted fare rates from airlines, allowing their clients to enjoy the luxury of business class while saving you a lot of money over time.

• Save time: travel concierges provide assistance for checking in and clearing customs therefore fast tracking the entire process for you and saving you the hassle of long cheque in and clearance queues.

• Ground concierge: by assisting with your luggage on the ground and providing other services such as airport transfers, you get a truly VIP travel experience.

• Last minute first class bookings: first class bookings are rarely available last minute and the extra charges can be avoided by booking through the travel concierge.

• One way first class tickets: these are also hard to get on most airlines and more so on short notice. They can handle such bookings for you.

With this in mind, traveling business class doesn’t have to be a reserved for VIPs only. Now you too can enjoy hassle free premium travel even if only for a one way business class experience by using a travel concierge service. In some cases, they are able to get you flights discounted by as much as 70%. The facilities and services attached to first class travel including the business lounge, in-flight wifi, gourmet dining and cocktails, reclining seats and entertainment systems are designed to make your journey memorable. All this makes your travel time comfortable with plenty of rest and peak productivity for those who like to get some work done while traveling.

How to Make Your Business Travel Easier

“Wow, that sounds really cool. Have a great time!” That’s the kind of thing people who don’t travel for business say to those who do.

If you’ve ever traveled for business, you know that it’s a lot of work. Fun? Not so much. You’re often ‘on’ for many hours in a day, at meetings, and at meals with clients and colleagues. The travel itself, especially by air, can be exhausting. Plus, you don’t have the comforting presence of home and loved ones when you finally stop at the end of the day.

Still, it’s a great way to expand your business and take advantage of opportunities you wouldn’t otherwise have if you just stayed home.

So how can you make travel for business work for you as much as you do for it? Here are some strategies I’ve used over the years that make the process easier:

1. Pack smart. It really does pay to keep it light. Leave your bunny slippers and sequined ‘I Love Paris’ sweatshirt at home. Pack as little as possible: plan ahead exactly what you will wear and take only that. Minimize bulky items, including extra shoes. Pack it all in a bag small enough to be carry-on. It not only saves you time, money, and blood pressure-raising conversations with airline staff if it’s lost, because you’re not checking a bag. It’s also less for you to keep track of. That frees up mental space that comes in handy especially when you’re tired or preoccupied with your upcoming meeting. One final note on packing: roll your clothes rather than folding them. It really cuts down on wrinkles, which means less work at your destination. Unless you find ironing relaxing, in which case wadding your clothes into tight balls works really well.

2. You can take it with you. Having something familiar and meaningful with you can be very grounding. It provides an instant visual that takes you to your happy place. Besides the usual photos of that embarrassing moment at the last family reunion, or your dog looking cute and guilty with a gnawed chair leg in his mouth, you can also carry a (small) piece of uniqueness with you to help ground you. I’ve carried small artwork with me that I then put on my hotel desk or night table. For a while, I carried a red metal moose with me (he’s the dude in the photo) when I was away a lot. He reminded me of home.

3. Shhhhhhhh. Carry noise-cancelling headphones on flights. While it’s soothing to know that the airplane’s engines are still operating, listening to the constant roar for hours can be surprisingly tiring. Reducing that noise, plus giving you the control of choosing what you listen to via your smart phone or tablet, cuts down on ongoing stress.

4. Track your numbers. Email yourself photos of any important documents that might be stolen or left behind. You can access them from anywhere in the world that lets you access your email, and speeds up the replacement process.

5. Feed your body and soul. Eat well. Move. Listen to uplifting stuff. That pretty much sums up my nourishment strategies on the road. Eating healthy food and not to excess can be a challenge, especially when meals are pre-chosen for you, e.g., at a meeting, or your client’s product is chili cheese dogs with all the trimmings (eat up!). Plan ahead for this by asking about healthy choices. (Organic chili anyone?) Next: move! Get up during your flight and walk up and down the aisle a few times. You do get some concerned looks if you do this hastily or linger near the cockpit door, but it’s invigorating and keeps your energy level up. Getting up early to walk or swim or work out is also so worth it. Finally, listening to music or a great talk or book that feeds you will support your Entrepreneur Energy.

6. Be your own VIP! Any small ways you can treat yourself really well on a business trip will help you not only feel better, but will build the confidence you need to perform well. How would you treat a visiting VIP? Apply this to yourself. It doesn’t have to be just the more obvious business class seats (frequent flyer points will get you these too) or airport lounge access (available via some credit cards if not through your frequent flyer miles). VIP treatment also means making thoughtful choices, customized to you. It can mean that you choose with care what and where you eat. You take some down time to watch Road Runner cartoons. You indulge in a great magazine or book that you don’t usually make time for. Look for small ways to delight yourself with thoughtful attention.

Business travel doesn’t have to be such hard work. By supporting yourself in these ways when you travel for business, you make the best use of your opportunities, money, and energy.

And hey, you might even have a great time!