How to Organize: The Office
How to Organize Executive Accommodations
Whether you are planning travel for one executive or for an entire group, the choice of accommodations can impact the success of the business trip. An executive on the road is typically working long hours, possibly fighting jet lag or fatigue and dealing with an unfamiliar city while trying to make a good impression on clients and maintain continuity with the home office. If travel is to a meeting held at a hotel and convention center, the accommodations will usually be at that hotel. Often, however, an executive may be traveling through several cities or to meet with clients. Thinking of executive accommodations as a temporary home and office will help to develop a checklist for executive business travel.
Determine the primary meeting or work location for the trip.
- You will want to find accommodations as close as possible to minimize travel delays.
- Reliable transportation is also an important consideration, whether you will work with a car service or transportation provided by the hotel or reserve a rental car.
Find out whether the executive has a preferred hotel or hotel "brand." Consistency when traveling from city to city can help smooth the way for increased productivity.
List the essential attributes in accommodations and ensure any hotel or venue you consider meets these requirements.Specifics will vary, but some items to consider include:
- Meeting space. Does the hotel have space available if the need for a meeting arises? Are projectors, sound systems and other audiovisual aids available through the hotel?
- Business technology and services. Be sure that WiFi, fax and photocopying services, as well as a courier service, are readily available. Video conference services may be needed as well. These services should be available to guests in executive accommodations 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, to accommodate long hours or global meetings.
Smoking preferences.If the hotel is in a city that allows smoking, the preference for a smoking or non-smoking room is an essential element of the reservation process.
- On-site dining facilities and room service are assets for client entertainment and for relaxation during a hectic trip.
- Guest parking and hotel courtesy cars.
- Personal services such as cleaning and valet services are helpful. The Lanesborough Hotel in London, for example, presses a change of clothing on arrival for executive travelers.
- Exercise facilities and spa and salon services. These amenities can provide a much more comfortable hotel stay.
- Concierge service is helpful with tickets for shows, restaurant reservations, travel changes and transportation needs.
- Individual preferences that may make the stay more comfortable, such as the women-only floor with all-female butler service offered by the St. Regis Shanghai.
Obtain recommendations and reviews for the accommodations you are considering.A meeting planner or travel planner in the city may be able to advise you.
Contact the destination city's convention and visitors' bureau.
- Ask for recommendations for accommodations that meet your criteria, nearby dining and any welcome packages they may offer.
- Inquire about other significant events or factors that may affect the travel plan, such as major road construction that could cause delays.
Visit the sites you are considering, if possible.
- Meeting with the sales staff or concierge will give the best sense of the accommodations, amenities and services, and will establish relationships with people you can contact if you need assistance during the executive's stay.
Provide the executive with a package detailing all hotel accommodations and amenities, key service staff that can help them during their stay, transportation services, health accommodations and emergency contacts
- Include the long-term weather report for the city and a supply of business cards and business stationery and brochures.
- If possible, have this package placed in the hotel room before arrival.
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