Business trips are essential to keeping a business thriving. Traveling to different locations to attend meeting conferences or even just to meet old and new clients are just some of the reasons why people embark on business trips. To have a successful business trip it is important to plan wisely.
Plan ahead. Once you have determined the dates of your business trip, it is necessary to plan ahead. Often, a business trip is done in a location farther than your local hub. Reserve your travel accommodations which can include air travel, hotel, and car reservations way in advanced. If you are planning on attending big conferences that will surely be attended by a lot of people from different parts of the globe, ensure that you do this months in advance so that you can still get a confirmation for the travel accommodations as well as the conference itself.
Set goals before you leave for your business trip. What would you like to accomplish when you arrive at your destination? You want to be as productive as possible for a very short amount of time. Time management is the key to making sure that you meet your goals.
Set up appointments. Business trips cost companies money to pay for the travel accommodations as well as food. Make it worthwhile by hitting more than one bird with one stone. Try to schedule some appointments to meet with your clients, vendors and other key business contacts. If you have staff members that report to you in the same location you are attending a conference, try to meet with them personally.
Set up tasks and deliverables before you travel. For example, if you are running a conference yourself, ensure that the equipment you will be using such as projection screen, projectors and microphones have been reserved together with the meeting room. Contact the local admin in the branch you are visiting or the technical support personnel to ensure that you have a spot to do your work with proper network and phone connections. If there are certain tasks to be completed before your arrival by some people who are attending your meeting, set them up weeks in advanced to allow them enough time to prepare or complete such tasks.
Send information ahead. If you have agenda or power-point presentations for the meetings, send them via email ahead of time. Preparing your attendees on what needs to be discussed will allow them enough time to review the materials as well as prepare questions for you to answer. Doing this gives you also an opportunity to review your own materials and make necessary corrections prior to the meeting if needed.
Get ready for your business trip by packing your luggage with essential items. Do not forget to bring enough outfits to use, especially if you anticipate attending formal dinners; bring an outfit that fits the occasion. Bring your personal effects and toiletries that you can use while away from home.
Bring tools: Don't forget to bring your laptop, PDA, address books, journals, cell phones, flash drives, disks, or anything that you would anticipate needing for you to be able to work. Be prepared by bringing files saved in a flash drive, CD or floppy disks. This way even if your laptop gets damaged or lost, you still have your documents safe to use on other people's computers.
Update contacts. Business trips is also an opportunity to update your contact lists. Add new contacts of people you meet while traveling and attending conferences. The person seated next to you on the plane may have something in common with you. Build your networking list for more future opportunities for your business and for you.
Bring enough business cards that you can give to people you will meet. Touch base with people you meet to keep connected.
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