Business travel can be both inspirational and a chore. With Euro 2016 now well underway, those lucky (or unlucky) enough to be sent across the English Channel on business may be in store for some disruption.
Companies must ensure a seamless travel experience if they want their staff to be on the ball in early morning client meetings or avoid any own goals by not closing important deals.
So what can businesses do to ensure employees’ safety during the Euros this summer?
Seek proper advice
Circumstances can change very quickly during international sporting events. With France still under a national state of emergency, it is important that employees know all their options in case an unsavoury situation arises. Consult credible and reputable sources such as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office or local security authorities for up-to-date alerts and travel information.
Read more: How to make business travel bearable
According to a recent Egencia study, two-thirds of business travellers expect employers to monitor their safety. Stadiums, fan zones, and transport hubs can be prime targets for petty criminals and terrorists.
While it may be difficult to avoid these areas at all costs, advising employees on the best routes and times to travel would prepare them well in advance of making their journey.
Know your policy
The tournament will host nearly 8m fans from 24 nations in the space of a month (which is almost 10 per cent of the country’s yearly visitors). With this sheer volume of people, it is likely that travel disruptions will follow. Perhaps staff will miss a flight, or get inadvertently diverted into one of the many official fan zones.
To ensure minimal disruption, travellers should be able to easily book within a system that follows policy and gets them support when they need it.
Preparation is key
Roy Hodgson will have meticulously prepared his squad this summer so there are no excuses for not prepping staff for their travels. Be prepared and plan ahead. Work with your suppliers to make sure travellers get what they need in times of extreme disruption.
Relaying frequent travel alerts and advice will help employees avoid risks and make contingency plans if needed. Hotels should have been booked by now, but don’t forget other aspects in high demand such as ground transport and restaurants. Make sure those bookings are made well in advance as well.
Turn to technology
As with all things today, it helps to have a good app. The French government recently released a new app to alert the public in the event of an emergency situation. It will allow users to receive alerts in up to eight different geographical locations and will offer a brief description and advice on how to keep safe. A good business travel app will also keep employees up to date on events impacting them, specific itinerary disruptions and last-minute booking options.
Enjoy the game
Finding the right balance between work and play is key to a successful business trip. But if your staff want to enjoy the footballing festivities, make sure the advice is in place to avoid any unnecessary blunders. Pickpockets will be out in force so pack light and leave your valuables at home, and only buy tickets from official vendors.