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