While Zoom and other online technologies are easily accessible and make great tools for virtual communication, business travel is still pivotal. Companies that realize the important purpose of business travel reap the many benefits that it brings. According to Oxford Economics, the sales return on each dollar invested in business travel was between $10 and $14.99. Each of these types of business travel offers its own benefits and can be made even more cost-effective with managed travel.
Why travel for business?
There are plenty of reasons for business travel, but putting a face to a name is chief among them. Simply put, nothing closes a deal, develops a relationship, or cements a partnership like a handshake. The benefits to face to face interaction extend to all types of business travel and help to meet a variety of business objectives.
1. Exhibitions and Trade Shows
A great way to promote your product and expose it to new people, whether it’s food or a college education, is to attend an exhibition or trade fair in a different region, or maybe even a foreign country. You’ll also be able to look at your competitors’ products and services, as well as network with those in your industry.
Exhibitions can be big-budget events where innovative companies unveil cutting-edge products. The primary benefit of business travel–conducting business face-to-face–extends to exhibitions and trade shows where a person can ask questions and vendor relationships can be established. Moreover, the small investment of sending a handful of employees to trade shows can pay big dividends, especially in industries where it’s important to identify trends early, like in tech, healthcare, or finance.
2. Conferences and Meetings
If a meeting or conference related to your business or industry could be worthwhile for growth or networking opportunities, think about going the distance.
As travel ramps up to its pre-pandemic levels, the annual industry conference or company meeting will resume for many. For businesses with multiple branches or regional offices, an annual meeting might be the only opportunity for a company’s employees to meet in person. For remote employees that only interact with colleagues and supervisors virtually, a centrally-located annual meeting is a perfect opportunity to inspire a deeper connection among coworkers.
3. Corporate Events
Corporate events take many different forms and functions, including meet and greets, business to business meetings, and employee-only gatherings. Corporate events often present networking and marketing opportunities, as well as the chance to meet peers face-to-face while engaging in instructional training.
4. Incentive Travel
Incentive travel is funded by an employer to motivate employees, usually to achieve a goal. A corporate-sponsored trip to an enticing destination not only offers a fantastic reward but also inspires company loyalty. In turn, the employee is given encouragement, a break from workplace stress, and an awesome reward!
ROI for travel programs can grow over time as you develop relationships with hotels and other vendors. You can also expect to spend less on employee recruitment and turnover as travel programs help retain your highest-performing employees. Plus, planning an incentive travel program is easier than you think.
5. Team Building Activities
For team building activities to provide maximum benefits, they need to be exciting and engaging. Employees simply aren’t going to make the extra effort to connect in a way that is valuable to your business unless you go the extra mile. Make team building a truly exciting event by adding travel to the equation.
Popular team-building destinations are more affordable than you might guess—especially when taking advantage of the group rates being a business customer can grant you.
The cities of Las Vegas, San Diego and Nashville have all become epicenters for corporate team-building getaways. Travel advisors can plan a team-building trip with long-lasting benefits by linking your company with high-impact team-building and off-hours activities sure to please just about any employee.
6. Bleisure Travel
Bleisure travel, a growing trend, is time added to a business trip for leisure. It’s the perfect opportunity for business travelers to stick around in a new location and explore what it has to offer without all of the travel costs of a vacation.
Business leaders may wonder why bleisure travel is included on a list of types of business travel. The truth is, businesses have a role to play–and benefits to enjoy–when it comes to their employee’s pursuit of personal travel. By coordinating with an employer to add extra days to a business trip, either by taking time off or working remotely, employees are likely to be more focused during the business portion of their trip. Without having to cram in sightseeing after a long work day or over their lunch hour, they can focus on the task at hand!