How can savvy planners take advantage of currency fluctuations and still deliver memorable meeting and incentive events?


With a little planning you can include Europe or any International destination while keeping your budget in line.

Here are some ideas to consider: (from my dear friend John Udell)

• Use "shoulder" and "green season" dates rather than traditional meeting and incentive dates.


• Focus on less expensive locations based on current currency trends - today it makes more sense to enjoy Greece, Norway, South America, some places in the Orient rather than higher priced areas like Western Europe, the Caribbean, and Dubai.


• Utilize a region's national holiday as a program event; many hotels that focus on commercial customers will have low occupancy and are willing to reduce pricing. (But realize that some venues may be closed for the holiday as well)


• Include more free time to explore the destination on an individual basis rather than designing a fully loaded daily program.


• Offer a cash allowance for some meals or activities in lieu of a structured event.


• Purchase currency futures to lock in pricing on major budget items.

• Review the VAT rebate program --- many international companies are able to recoup the VAT for some program features. (But realize this is a slow process and not always easy to recoup your funds -- never budget using this refund)


• Buy value over price; purchasing a Five-Star hotel at a discount might be perceived as a better program feature to a traveler than a deeply discounted Three-Star property.

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