With Assist Travel just a few month’s away, I thought I would share everything that I have been working on behind the scenes. We have been busy, busy, busy finalising the programme and speakers – I am so excited about this year’s line-up. We really do have world-class speakers talking all thing business travel. The venue has been confirmed and we have some brilliant suppliers attending the exhibition. 

Before I go into more detail on all that stuff, I thought I’d firstly refresh your memories and talk a little bit about why I think you should come along to Assist Travel.

News from Assist Travel

Why should you attend Assist Travel?

Well, I actually have three reasons why you should attend Assist Travel! Here they are:

  • Assistants spend A LOT of time organising business travel for their Executives. One PA estimated she spent 24 days per year organising and then re-organising her Executive’s trips. That is an awful lot of time, effort and money that assistants and their organisations spend on business travel. During the course of Assist Travel, we will share the knowledge you need to greatly improve your business travel processes and procedures and save your organisation lots of money!
  • I can’t overestimate how much time assistants spend on business travel and I genuinely think that our Executives do not have a clue that the process is so long and complex. Just think of all of the tasks and interesting projects you could be working on if you could reduce the amount of time you spent on business travel.
  • One of the reasons we do spend so much time organising business travel is that we want to get this one right. Our Executives travel far and wide, they are often away from home for long stretches of time and have to rely on our organisational skills to get them from A to B. At Assist Travel we want to give you all of the tools you need to ensure your Executive has the best possible experience while travelling on business.

It can be easy for assistants to justify training on tasks such as Excel or PowerPoint, but you probably spend much more time organising business trips. The business travel industry is constantly changing and assistants really do need to keep on top of all of the updates that affect your Executives and colleagues.

The Assist Travel Programme

Here are just a few programme highlights for 2016…

How to get the most out of your travel management company

Almost two thirds of our attendees currently use or plan to use a Travel Management Company. In this session we will look at how to ensure that when you use a TMC you get the most out of the relationship. On our panel we will have three very different TMC’s. Chaired by Nicky Christmas we will look to draw out and expand on how Assistants can ensure that their organisation make the most of their relationship with a TMC.

Hotels Secrets. Corporate rates, tips and how to get your boss an upgrade!

At our first Assist Travel event last year we found out that our attendees were responsible for booking a staggering 32,000+ hotel nights across the world. So, we thought we had to make sure that they are getting the best deal for their Executive and for their organisations. In this session “Hotel Secrets from Behind the Front Desk” we will pull the duvet off the secret world of hotels. Want to know how to get your boss a free upgrade? How to book the best rooms at a hotel you’ve never visited? And how to get the best rates? All will be revealed!

How to avoid Visa disasters! 

Every PA will know the feeling when a Visa application doesn’t work out – it’s probably one of the most stressful elements of booking travel. Using a few real life stories, we will explain how horrors can be avoided. In this interactive session we will also look at “The Top Rules for Visas” as we highlight:

  • Why time is the most important factor with Visas
  • The key points for the most problematic Visa destinations
  • And a whole load of helpful hints

Top 5 Business Destinations Uncovered

Every April, American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) publishes a list of the most popular international cities for business travel and this year the worldwide community that supports Practically Perfect PA will give our attendees the inside track on the top destinations. For each city we will have a local PA give us the best:

  • Bar
  • Nightclub
  • Restaurant
  • Hotel and
  • Their hidden gem

How to Organise Events Abroad

More and more often we are asked to be involved with events. It would be easy if they were all just down the road! But increasingly the events we are involved in are happening abroad. In this session we will give you top tips when involved in events abroad. Concentrating on some of the top event destinations our tips will save you stress and time.

The entire programme can be viewed on the Assist Travel website.

The Assist Travel speakers

News from Assist Travel

We have a fantastic line-up of world class speakers at Assist Travel this year and you can see the full line up on the website. Today I want to draw your attention to one in particular. Lara Morgan is a British entrepreneur and the founder and former CEO of Pacific Direct. She has been voted in the top ten most powerful business women in the UK. She is a regular commentator on current affairs and has appeared on many TV shows, including my favourite – The Apprentice: You’re Fired. Lara will be speaking on the future of business travel. Here is a little more information on her session…

The Future of Business Travel

A new generation of business travellers are quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with. Millennials, the generation of tech savvy digital natives currently in their twenties and early thirties, will account for nearly half of the workforce by 2020. In this session we will look at how the travel industry is already getting ready for them. We will also look at how individual Assistants can prepare as increasingly their Executives travel habits and expectations start to change. So how should Assistants react to their Executives:

  • Travelling more often
  • Loving gadgets
  • Increasing their expenses
  • Spontaneous nature and
  • Ease in voicing dissatisfaction

To give you an idea of how incredibly lucky we are to have Lara speaking at Assist Travel this year, please do take a look at her in action!

The Assist Travel venue

News from Assist Travel

This year’s conference will take place at the Grange Tower Bridge Hotel in London. It is a great venue and the location is really central!

Discount for Practically Perfect PA readers

Our early booking fee of £100 is still available for Practically Perfect PA readers and you can book your place right now. This is the only event in the UK specifically for PAs who organise business travel. I would love to see you there! To get more information about the conference you can visit the Assist Travel webpage or you can book directly through Eventbrite.

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