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Charisma Productions Gazette Volume 3, Issue 7

July 2011

What's the ROI on Your Business Travel?

How to Design a Great Leadership Team Off-Site Meeting!

Business Travel

Meeting Design Business Travel ROI

Successful Leadership Charisma Productions Network

Charisma Productions Network

1. What's the overall purpose of the meeting? To develop a 3 year strategy, improve teamwork and or solve a big hairy problem? Sometimes it's a combination of a few things, but try and keep it to just a few. A great off-site agenda should not look like an extended staff meeting. This is an opportunity to take the time needed to strategize, brainstorm, debate, reflect, and learn.

Since the days of expense reports coated in road-weary cursive, managers have burrowed through spending data to figure out what business trips are actually worth. As Christa Manning, director of research at American Express Business Travel puts it: “Measuring ROI is somewhat art and somewhat science.” The science aspect has never been more valuable.

2. What's the "desired outcomes"? Desired outcomes are a tangible set of deliverables that describe what a successful meeting would look like at the conclusion. Examples: "A list of 3-5 three year goals", "A shared vision", "a shared understanding of each other's concerns". Desired outcomes give you a target to shoot for and a way to evaluate the success of the meeting. It also helps drive the creation of the agenda - a way to screen out the clutter that everyone always seems to want to bolt on.

In recent years, companies have mined mountains of creditcard and booking data to scrutinize their staff travel. According to Future Watch 2010, a survey of 1,832 Meeting Professionals International (MPI) members presented by MPI and American Express, roughly 70 percent of organizations reported using benchmarks to track the value of their meetings. Only 7 percent said they didn‟t track ROI at all. “The data is actually becoming the fundamental tool that can be used to support strategic use of travel budgets in the

3. Determine participants and roles. Usually there's one meeting leader, participants, maybe a facilitator, and sometimes guests.

company,” Manning says. “By just collecting the data and sharing it with executives and business line leaders, they can see just how significant travel expenditures are and what

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impact they are having on the business.


How to Design a Great Leadership Team Off-Site Meeting


ROI On Business Travel


Great leadership Team Continued


Business Travel Continued


From Our It Department


From Our Executive Chef


Happy 4th of July continued on page 3 Newsletter 1

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4. Do a "stakeholder assessment". Who are all the key stakeholders for this meeting and what would a "win" look like for them. Stakeholders may be attending the meeting or they may not. For example, the manager of the meeting leader is a key stakeholder. You won't be able to pleased all stakeholders but it helps to least be aware of their needs.

17. Fine-tune the agenda, trouble-shooting potential snafus and making the inevitable last minute adjustments. Once the meeting starts, be prepared to make adjustments. Things never go as planned, but if you follow these steps, you'll improve your chances of

5. Consider the context. What's going on in the environment that may influence the participant's behavior, mindset, or participation? For example, is there a pending downsizing? A new team member? A restructuring?

having a great leadership team off-site.

6. Establish the dates. Three days is often ideal, two is OK, and anything more than four can turn into a death march. 7. Notify the participants - just have them hold the dates for now. 8. Select an overall "theme" for the meeting. The theme will emerge based on the purpose, desired outcomes, and context. The theme could be "Leading change", or "A winning team", or "playing to win". Having a central theme allows you to creatively tie all of the meeting elements together: agenda, venue, activities, gift, etc... 9. Find the right venue. Work with your corporate meeting planners, your meeting facilitator, or do your own search. Most resorts and hotels cater to corporate meetings and can help you select the best room, meals, and activities. You'll probably work with a conference planner. Make sure you specify AV needs, room set-up, meals and breaks, and any other details. 10. Begin to work on the key design elements. This is a creative process, where you begin to come up with ways to accomplish the desired outcomes. There could be teambuilding activities, strategy or problem solving sessions, training, and/or presentations. 11. Design the high level agenda. The pieces begin to fit together like a puzzle. I often write the key agenda pieces on post-its, and move them around until they begin to form a nice flow.

Informative, Inspiring, and Empowering Charisma Productions Network

12. Confirm any outside speakers or other guests. 13. Develop the detailed agenda. For each major agenda segment, determine the what, who, how, when, and how long. 14. Select activities. Activities are a great way to informally build the team and keep the energy high. Pick activities that support your meeting purpose and theme. 15. Send a high level agenda to the participants and any invited guests, including all of the logistical information, including maps, dress code, pre-work, and any activities. 16. Select a parting gift - some kind of special memento that supports the theme and creates a lasting anchor for the experience.

All comments and suggestions welcome. Join us on FaceBook and Twitter to discover what’s new and exciting at Charisma Productions Network!

Newsletter 2

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How Travel Generates Revenue Two other studies released in late 2009 seem to support the correlation between travel and revenue on a macro level. One of them, conducted by Oxford Economics USA for the U.S. Travel Association and the Destination and Travel Foundation, found that a dollar spent on travel returned an average of $12.50 in revenue and $3.80 in profit. Another study, conducted by IHS Global Insight for the National Business Travel Association and partly underwritten by American Express, pegged the increase in sales at closer to $20 per travel dollar spent. Returns varied by industry, but the latter report went so far as to say that the economy could realize an additional $248 billion in profits if all industry sectors increase travel to optimal levels. “Travel does drive the revenue numbers both ways,” says Manning. Following two years of deep cuts in travel spending, both she and Future Watch respondents are cautiously optimistic that an economic recovery will help stabilize travel budgets this year. Future Watch participants predict smaller budget cuts in 2010, although meeting planners also anticipate an average 21 percent increase in the number of meetings. Manning says that she expects flight prices to creep up in 2010, although she doesn‟t expect pre-recession spending to return until 2012. Whatever executives decide to spend, new techniques for analyzing travel data now allow them to hone budgets in surprisingly precise ways. Craig Fearon, the senior product director at New Jersey‟s Cyber Shift, has spent the past 11 years turning the administrative backwater of expense reporting into a fount of cost-saving insight. Many customers who use his firm‟s automation software, he says, also use the data it produces to enforce travel policy compliance, analyze the difference between expense reports and corporate card charges, and even capitalize on overlooked savings such as exchange-rate fluctuations or VAT refunds abroad. In many cases, travel managers approach vendor negotiations with specific dollar amounts spent on their companies in the past 12 months. “Travel expenses have come under the microscope in the last couple of years, especially during this downturn,” Fearon notes. “So we‟re seeing clients tinker with data and really push it into other systems,” such as customer relationship management and bookkeeping programs that can link trips to particular projects. Why face-to-face business meetings are important.

Using Benchmarks Beyond their own spending, data-driven companies have the ability to compare their travel expenditures with the rest of their industry. American Express Business Travel draws insight from $100 billion in travel transactions to set industry benchmarks for its consulting clients, and Travel GPA, a smaller firm that offers real-time reports on travel spending, uses anonymous data gleaned from more than 32,000 companies. This type of raw, aggregate information can point out hard-to-spot norms in areas such as the hotel tiers most used by a given sector—a touchy subject among travel managers, who are fearful of driving away talent. “By focusing on performance benchmarking, that helps us get to that point where we can provide a detailed ROI analysis that pinpoints the problem areas by identifying the trips, travelers, markets, suppliers and those areas where savings opportunities were lost,” says Travel GPA chief executive Rock Blanco. Historically, executives have found ROI in travel hard to nail down because prices change so frequently. But a constant stream of data from travel companies now enables services like Blanco‟s to calculate, for example, how much a department could have saved by booking flights to a given destination for a Tuesday instead of a Monday. In other instances, Blanco says, the data reveals that departments can save money by abandoning a policy to book flights longer in advance because the rebooking fees far outstrip the savings. Even companies without a six-figure travel budget to scrutinize have found advantages to treating travel as an investment, rather than an expense. “Everything‟s got to pay back six,” says Ted Wright, CEO of Fizz, an Atlanta word-of-mouth marketing company. “What that does is keep things from being willy-nilly.” For conferences, the corporate policy employs similar logic. You should try to gauge how much attendees can learn from a conference‟s advertised offerings. The better the development opportunities, the more people the figures will show up and the more potential customers your team can meet to earn back the cost of the trip. Like a growing number of businesses, you should no longer settles for a good price but instead takes a hard look at the numbers to figure out what travel is worth in terms of sales down the road. “I just say to them, „Look, its five grand for me to come out there. What‟s my payback on this?‟”

Newsletter 3

From Our IT Department

Outlook Tips: Have Replies Sent To a Different Address Do you need to send an email from your account but would like replies sent to a different email address or additional recipients? You can do this with both Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2003. When composing a new message, click on the “Options” tab. Then, click “Direct replies to”, and a new window will open. You can type in alternative or additional email addresses in the “Have replies sent to” field, or select the recipients from your address book.

Set Your Work Week In Microsoft Outlook 2007, the work week is by default set from Monday through Friday with a work day extending from 8 am to 5 pm. The first day of the week in the calendar is Sunday. Users can choose the days of the week that are a part of their work week, the time when their work day starts and ends, and the day of the week with which they want to start their work week. It can be done by selecting Options on the Tools menu, then clicking Calendar Options, and changing the settings under Calendar work week. This is primarily used to check users' availability for meeting requests from other people.

Charisma Productions Network Newsletter 4

From Our Executive Chef JULY 4TH FAVORITE

Kickin' Turkey Burger with Caramelized Onions and Spicy Sweet Mayo Ingredients Spicy Sweet Mayo 1 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise 1/4 cup coarse-grain mustard 1/4 cup honey 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco™) to taste 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper Burgers 1 1/4 pounds extra lean ground turkey 1/2 large onion, grated 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced 2 tablespoons barbeque sauce 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring 1 tablespoon steak seasoning 1 teaspoon dry mesquite flavored seasoning mix 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/2 large onion, sliced 5 hamburger buns, split

Directions 1. 2. 3.


Combine mayonnaise, mustard, honey, horseradish, hot pepper sauce, and cayenne pepper in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate. Mix ground turkey, grated onion, jalapeno, barbeque sauce, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, steak seasoning, and mesquite seasoning in a large bowl. Form into 5 patties. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, and continue cooking and stirring until the onion is very tender and dark brown, 15 to 20 minutes more. Cook the patties in a medium skillet over medium heat, turning once, to an internal temperature of 180 degrees F (85 degrees C), about 6 minutes per side. Serve on buns topped with spicy sweet mayo and caramelized onions.

Newsletter 5


FROM ALL OF THE STAFF AT CHARISMA PRODUCTIONS NETWORK Let us never forget the true meaning of the Fourth of July and what it means for our amazing country and the freedom we are afforded here in America, even if it is through Fourth of July quotes. So many take the freedom and liberty they are granted here in the United States of America for granted and forget the true meaning of the day. We may dress up in our nation's colors of red, white and blue, but do we know what the true meaning behind our flag is? The Fourth of July is a time to commemorate America's declaration of separation from Great Britain that was made on July 4, 1776. Our freedom and our democracy that we have been blessed with is a direct product of the sheer determination from our forefathers who worked to establish the United States of America as a free country. Many of the Fourth of July quotes listed below will help share this. One Fourth of July quotes, but also a serious quote as well is, "During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the American colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia. After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the Declaration, finally approving it on July 4." In celebration of our independence it is nice to be able to share an inspiring quote to help to remember and rekindle our patriotism. So, here are some Fourth of July quotes to share with those whom are important to you. “Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.” – Benjamin Franklin Newsletter 6

Informative, Inspiring, and Empowering Charisma Productions Network

Charisma Productions Network

Newsletter 7

Charisma Productions Gazette  

Volume3 Issue 7

Charisma Productions Gazette  

Volume3 Issue 7