Preparing for a Work Trip? Remember These 5 Tips
Work trips can be exciting. You have the opportunity to travel to a new location to demonstrate your knowledge or learn more about a topic that affects your field. Americans go on more than 405 million business trips each year.
You would be remiss if you didn’t take advantage of your time in a new area. Ensure that you prepare yourself thoroughly to make a splash in your field as your workplace representative.
1. Be on Your Best Behavior
Whenever you travel for work, you become a representative of your company. This fact is especially crucial to remember when you plan to meet with a potential client. You are the first face they’ll see related to your workplace, so you must make an excellent first impression.
When you reach out to other people, start with small talk, such as their interests or family, that gets them to feel warmth toward you rather than jumping straight into business talk. People may be more receptive to what you have to say and allow you to have the floor if they feel that they can connect with you. You should build these bonds to help you reflect positively on the company and field you’re representing.
2. Pick the Right Clothes
Three words: know your audience. The type of clothing you pack for your business trip should reflect your tasks’ overall feel and professionalism and the people you’re meeting. If you need to impress a client, you can expect to dress up more than you would if you’re just attending a conference for people in your field. Always dress to impress and dress for success.
Make sure to pack casual clothes that you can wear during any leisure days and business-casual garments with at least one pair of dress pants and shoes to help you make a good impression on anyone in your field. Depending on your itinerary, you should expect to pack more of a particular style than others.
3. Write Down Essential Information
You can’t always rely on your brain to remember everything you need it to. When you’re caught up in the whirlwind of a new place, you may forget how to get to certain places — especially if you’re walking or taking a taxi to get there. You should write down all the information you need to remember. Things like your hotel information or emergency contacts are great to keep somewhere, both physically and digitally.
Don’t keep the information in your wallet. Wallets are the second most lost object during travel, meaning that you should keep an eye on yours or have backup plans for your personal info. Consider carrying a folder with you everywhere, either in a regular bag or a backpack. That way, you can save all of your confirmation slips and itineraries with relative ease.
4. Have a Backup Plan
While traveling, you need to have a backup plan. These plans are great in all aspects. If you miss a train or can’t hail a cab, you need a backup plan if you end up being late somewhere. Sometimes, this plan can be leaving a bit earlier to ensure you get where you’re going on time. You can have your information written down in multiple places if you misplace it in one area. Take advantage of the lockbox in your hotel room, and if you don’t have one, request one. It could just help you save valuable items if you misplace stuff while out.
In some cases, you can’t make a contingency plan ahead of time. Consider contacting a travel health company ahead of your trip that can provide you with fast healthcare in case of an emergency could be the difference between getting treated quickly and waiting for quality care. Your health and safety during your trip matter most of all, so you should never count out the unthinkable.
5. Rehearse Any Presentations
If you’re presenting to anyone during your business trip, you can’t just hope for the best and wing it when it’s your time to shine. Make sure you have time set aside during the business trip that you can use to practice your pitch or presentation.
If someone is traveling with you, ask them to be a mock audience member for you to practice aloud to, thereby decreasing your anxiety regarding presenting. Practicing to a live audience can make you feel more confident in your content and ready to perform it in front of your actual audience when the time comes.
Set Yourself Up for the Best Work Trip
Counting your work trip as business alone won’t help you grow as a person. If you intend to show up and perform as usual, you won’t get much out of this trip. Think of it as an exciting opportunity to show off your best and explore a new place. As long as you have the business side accounted for, you can enjoy your leisure time in a new city doing things that make you happy.
Meet The Blogger
Martin Banks grew up outside of Chicago and covers all things small-business related, as well as the world’s best hockey team, the Chicago Blackhawks
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