The phrase ‘global market’ is almost an oxymoron as it implies a degree of homogenisation that simply doesn’t exist.

Any talk of a global market is actually referring to a collection of local markets with their own languages and idioms, time zones and technology, history and culture, taste and rules of propriety.

As companies expand into new markets, buying, selling, meeting and travelling beyond their home ground, their success depends on how well they understand and accommodate the differences they encounter elsewhere.

And the most reliable, efficient and effective way to achieve that is to draw on local expertise.

There are two possible approaches to working in a global marketplace: you can be haphazard, or organised.

The haphazard approach would involve reaching out to individual businesses, services, organisations and venues that you have found in an area and trying to manage your employees travel, accommodation, meetings and events from your home base with very little central oversight. An organised approach would involve building up a pre-qualified network of companies that you can rely on to deliver
the same service standards you would expect back home. And if you don’t have the time or resources to do that, working with a facilitating company that has reliable and responsive local contacts (wherever you want to be doing business) and the central systems in place to monitor and manage them well.

There are many benefits to taking the organised approach, and each one is strong enough to win the argument on its own. Taken together they make a compelling case for a structured global travel programme that encompasses all of the arrangements involved in your international meetings and travel.

Safety

It’s harder to keep your people safe when travel and other arrangements have been made on an ad hoc basis. A centrally managed programme that applies to all business travellers for all destinations makes it easier for companies to deliver on their Duty of Care to their employees. For example, any request for business travel should trigger a standard care assessment that covers a medical check (vaccinations, cautions or advisories), risk assessment and destination-specific advice.

Travel documentation should ideally include local contacts for emergencies and security concerns, and all traveller data should then be held centrally, so that employees can be located quickly should the need arise.

Savings

How can you keep your budgets under control when you don’t know what counts as good value elsewhere, you don’t do sufficient business to access preferential rates and you are left with a mishmash of invoices and receipts after the event?

Again, working with a global facilitator and adopting
a centralised travel, meetings and events programme enables you to reap the financial rewards that come with greater purchasing power and management oversight.

Standards

Both your travellers and your business plans will become quickly frustrated by poor service standards elsewhere, especially when you are trying to expand into new locations where you have little influence or clout. Ideally you need to be working with and through local contacts who have their own excellent reputations (that command respect and open doors) and are able to secure the service standards you demand for your travellers and expect from your suppliers.

Simplicity

The so-called global market is vast and fragmented. If you’re trying to do business around the world, the administration involved can be a huge burden for your business if the volume of data you need to manage (covering travel itineraries, accommodation bookings, meetings venues, subsistence bills and more) is equally vast and fragmented. But it doesn’t have to be.

The beauty of a global travel programme (covering meetings and events) is that, when properly implemented, all of the relevant data can be consolidated and streamlined and delivered in a clear and transparent format. This then gives you the oversight you need to take informed decisions about what you are spending where – and the insight to identify any issues you need to address.

Inntel’s Worldwide Reach

In February 2017 Inntel was appointed a UK agency member of Radius Travel, the US-based organisation that delivers global travel programmes for multinational companies through a network of carefully selected ‘best-in-class’ agencies.

Through the Radius network, Inntel can help clients to achieve their global ambitions by running meetings and events more efficiently, effectively and appropriately at a local level. Working in partnership with our fellow agency members we can help you to navigate local customs and regulations, technology and currencies (and achieve competitive rates and terms) while monitoring and managing all of the relevant data, procurement processes and payments from a central point closer to home.