Once you have booked your space and ordered your exhibition display stand there is lots of other planning ahead to ensure you have a successful show! Travel and stay are no exception, make sure you organise accommodation and travel plans well ahead for employees who are going to exhibitions or events nationally or nationally. This will mean you not only get the best rates but also give you time to make sure your staff know where they need to be and how they are getting there and making sure you stay on budget.
Some exhibitions will offer suggestions within the show manual of the best places to stay for the exhibition and they may even have preferential rates agreed with the hotels.
So here are some tips to ensure your exhibition travel and stay is stress-free!
- First check the show website for offers, discounts, recommendations and web links for travel and accommodation.
- Create and distribute a ‘Travel and Stay’ information pack to all your show staff and suppliers. Keep a master copy and make sure everyone knows where it is and has access to it.
- Include your subsistence policy in the information pack.
- Set up a simple expense claim system to ensure staff keep receipts and forward claims within a specified time period.
- Aim to book all travel in advance to take advantage of discounted rates.
- Pre-book car parking spaces at the venue, especially for the people who will need to drop off supplies to the stand.
- Check if the Show Organiser is arranging free transport for exhibitors from local rail stations, airports and hotels.
- Consider using mini-bus transport for your staff rather than taxis if you have many staff to get to your stand. This will reduce taxi costs and ensure all staff get to the stand in good time.
- Include rail and flight timetables and maps in your information pack.
- Check staff that are travelling abroad have valid passports, with at least 6 months to run.
- Make sure all staff and goods are covered under your company travel insurance.
- Pre-book parking at airports to save money.
- Consider placing an order for foreign currency for all your staff to save on exchange rates.
- Book your accommodation at the same time you book your space to avoid disappointment. Look for hotels that offer a free cancellation policy.
- Find out if there is a dedicated hotel for the show. It helps to stay where the other exhibitors and visitors are so you can take advantage of networking opportunities and it cuts down travel time and cost if the Organisers plan to host events there.
- Confirm all room bookings and include copies of the confirmations in the Information Pack. If rooms are pre-paid make sure receipts are also circulated.
- Clarify to staff what will be paid for by your company i.e. food, drink, newspapers, mini-bar and pay per view TV
- Ensure you book accommodation for the days before and after the show if the staff have a long way to travel.