4 Ways to Find a Skilled Travel Director

From TMCs to CVBs, there are many different resources for finding an experienced TD.

Many meeting planners find their on-site  travel director, or TD, to be an invaluable extension of their team. But how do you find someone highly skilled—and often at short notice—to fill this important role?

Travel directors, or TDs, can help with every aspect of your meeting, small and large, from managing the entire program on site to staffing the hospitality desk.

When searching for a travel director, or TD, it’s important to distinguish the difference between temporary help and experience meeting planners who have transitioned into this role. As Opus Agency, which provides TDs as one of its services, described the difference it in its blog: “Decades ago, the title referred to tour guides who directed groups of tourists on leisure trips. The role has since evolved considerably. Today’s TDs are logisticians, concierges and event coordinators all rolled into one. They are experts in managing and directing groups of people (i.e., at events) around the world for their clients, whether those gatherings are conferences, festivals, leisure or educational tours, trade shows, incentive trips, concerts, sporting events or roadshows. They are not brand ambassadors or temp event staff, but instead are highly skilled and experienced professionals who need no supervision.”

Travel Director Registries

Executive Travel Directors hosts a registry of more than 2,000 professional Travel Directors, ETD provides onsite logistical assistance to more than 5,000 programs annually.

On-Site Travel Directors also specializes in providing event staff and management services for everything from a small corporate annual meeting to a large-scale company celebration.

LinkedIn

A LinkedIn search is another valuable source for researching TDs in different destinations, via a combined geographical and title search.

Independent Planning Firms

Independent meeting management firms, such as Regal Meetings & Events or Meetings & Incentives Worldwide, have teams of contracted TDs located around the country.

Your Network

Reach out to contacts at the CVB, MPI, your travel management company, or local meeting planners for help.

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Barbara Scofidio is editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In 25 years of covering the industry, her articles have spanned topics ranging from social media to strategic meetings management. She is currently the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee and was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of Site, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. A familiar face at industry events, Barbara often leads panel discussions or speaks on topics close to her heart, such as green meetings or how the industry can help combat human trafficking. She is also on the board of ECPAT USA, the human trafficking organization. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Barbara:
    thank you for this excellent overview on Travel Managers/Directors. For 12 years I was a co-instructor for the Hospitality Certificate program at Kennesaw State University. A good friend, and successful transportation management/DMC owner and I instructed the class. Sadly, the program was dissolved this past year. At any rate, one of the topics I spoke about was explaining the role of a TD, how to hire one, the importance of choosing a TD on their experience, strong suits, whether they spoke another language in an overseas arena, etc. Your commentary hit upon many of the same highlights, but added more to the overall discussion. I have been fortunate to have a variety of options here and there, but TD work has been on the top of the list after a successful career as a business owner. Your message was inspiring! Thank You

  2. Great Article
    Can you possibly add an email link so that you can send the article via email to others.
    Thanks
    Diane

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