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elping G M reat Y 14


ou’ve sold a large program and worked for months to plan every detail from the largest group movement to the tiniest accent color on the trim of your napkins, but there are so many simultaneous events and only one of you to make sure they go off without a glitch. This is when you stop and realize that you need a team of professional Travel Directors


to help oversee your program’s food and beverage, hospitality desk, transportation, rooms, activities, meetings and executives. When you staff your program with experienced Travel Directors, you can trust that they will follow up on all of the details, leaving you time to focus on the big picture and your client. Travel Directors (TDs) are an extension of you the meeting


planner, and are experienced in managing the most intricate de- tails of today’s complicated programs, according to Kim Korhonen, General Manager of Executive Travel Directors a Chicago-based company that works with over 2000 independent TDs to staff thou- sands of meetings annually.


TDs know how to coordinate your group movements and to suc- cessfully manage your budgets in addition to the following areas: Program Lead


The Program Lead is the main on-site contact between the TDs, planners, clients and vendors. The Lead TD typically oversees and delegates all of the tasks on a program, including the scheduling of travel staff to provide coverage on all program areas such as meet- ings, transportation, activities, etc. The Lead TD usually comes in earlier and goes home later than the rest of the staff, follows up on all of the billing, and has the ability to see the big picture and assist his or her fellow TDs in coordinating their various areas.


Food and Beverage Once a program is complete, be it a meetings heavy pharmaceu-


tical launch or an excitement filled automobile reveal, the aspects most commonly discussed afterwards revolve around food. This makes the Food and Beverage (F&B) TD an integral part of what makes or breaks a particular program. The F&B TD manages the details of every function from knowing how early the venue will pre-set an event to the exact percentage of extra food that a venue adds onto the guarantees, and the dietary needs of each partici- pant. The F&B TD manages your BEOs and collects your Banquet Checks making sure that every event is billed according to your specs.


Rooms The Rooms TD works hand in hand with the hotel rooming coordinator, housekeeping, and the front desk. The Rooms TD knows the hotel occupancy for program dates and makes sure that rooms are ready for check-in based on participant arrival times, cleaned based on program meeting times, and billed according to your signed hotel contract. Registration/Hospitality Desk From the day participants arrive until the day they depart the


MIDWEST MEETINGS FALL 2012


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Transportation The Transportation TD anticipates all group movements, con- stantly updating program arrivals and departures, bag pulls, and transfers to and from events by advising hotel staff and Destination Management Companies (DMCs) of the changes. The Transporta- tion TD knows how to determine the size of the vehicle needed, and if a change should be made to a particular movement, as well as how to generate program materials such as departure notices for attendees.


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