Oxford International launches guide for credit-crunched corporates

Agency targets planners asked to achieve 'more for less' with marketing push

Agency Oxford International is targeting corporates charged with cutting costs while running their normal event schedule with its latest marketing drive.

The company has created an eight-step guide - ‘Factors to Consider When Choosing a Destination' - due to be emailed shortly to its database.

"Many organisations are operating with more efficient teams, but are still expected to manage a hectic event schedule," said operations director Ian Lapworth. "We want to make sure they produce the same quality event with even greater return on investment."

The guide is the second of what Lapworth said would become "a library of useful event related articles, top tips and guides" on the Oxford International website.

The new guide is available below.


Taken from Oxford International's ‘Factors to Consider When Choosing a Destination'

1. Accessibility
Although the idea of jetting off abroad for a conference or meeting might sound exciting, the reality of early starts, airport queues, delays, lost luggage and stressful transfers can really take the edge off an event. If you want your delegates to arrive fresh faced and ready to focus on the business in hand their journey needs to be as straightforward as possible.

If your delegates are travelling from multiple countries, then choose a central destination with an international airport. This will reduce the need for connecting flights and the possibility of luggage going astray. It will also have a positive impact on your budget, as flights to more accessible destinations are often more frequent and better value.

2. Transfers

The location of your event in proximity to the airport should be high on your list of priorities. Transfers between the airport and the venue can really eat into your budget. They can also be a logistical nightmare to organise and require a huge amount of resource to manage. If your budget is restricted or your schedule is tight, then look for a destination that has a suitable venue near to the airport.

3. Timing
Again, if you're watching the purse strings, you don't necessarily have to reject expensive destinations such as Monaco or Cannes. If you are able to hold your event out of season then luxury locations can offer very good value for travel and accommodation.

4. Research
Take the time to find out where your delegates might have attended meetings and events before. If you're looking to attract an audience, then offering a location that is ‘a bit different' will increase attendance figures.

If you're organising an event where the same delegates attend year on year, you'll need to ‘up the ante' with your location. People always expect the next event to be that little bit more special than the last one. Take the time to find out where they've been previously and then choose somewhere very different. That way they won't be able to make comparisons.

5. Attractions
If your event is going to include a social programme that uses local venues and facilities, don't finalise your destination or hotel choice until you've explored the attractions in the area. You need to make sure that it can cater for your social activities before you commit yourself.

6. Regulations
Keep up-to-date with the latest regulations affecting the organisation of events for your industry. This is particularly important for pharmaceutical events, which are regulated by very strict codes of practice. If you're organising a pan-European pharma or healthcare meeting you need to bear in mind that different countries have different regulations. It is your responsibility to make sure that your event meets the regulations stipulated by every country represented on your delegate list.

7. Visa requirements
If you're inviting an international audience, choose a destination where the minimum number of attendees will require an entry visa. Obtaining visas can not only be costly and time consuming, there is also never any guarantee that they will be granted. You event company can advise you on visa requirements for the destinations you are considering.

8. Local red tape
Recent increases in flight networks (particularly with low cost carriers) have opened up the possibility of many new and exciting destinations. Whilst some of the newer countries on the conference and events map may offer great value for money and attractive venues, their infrastructure may not be quite so ready to accommodate your event. Collateral material shipped ahead but tied up in red tape at customs and transfers made impossible by poor road networks are just a couple of examples.

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