Being on a business trip means that you have a lot to do, often in a short amount of time. If you are an expert traveler, you probably have a routine down pat that allows you to spent the most time focusing on the work task at hand. If you are new to business travel though, there are a few things that you should keep in mind.
If you are traveling for a business trip the first thing that you will want to do is make sure you are prepared for it. If you are going to be giving a presentation, make sure that the presentation is complete and that you have practiced it to the point where you are comfortable conducting it. If you need to bring anything with you for the presentation (computer, flash drive, etc.) then you should pack it in advance of your trip. It may be a good idea to set up a backup file that you can access should you forget anything. The last thing that you want to do is arrive at your destination and realize that you forgot something in transit.
You will also want to make sure that you have the proper business attire packed with you. You are on a business trip, not a vacation, so having professional attire is a must. Chances are, you can wear the same attire that you do for a typical day in the office, but it never hurts to go above and beyond, especially if you will be in contact with management and other superiors. Dress for success and you will make a good impression on your colleagues and coworkers.
Finally, if you have some downtime on your trip, don’t waste it in a hotel or surfing eHarmony, use it to network with coworkers, clients and potential clients. See if you can set up a lunch or dinner and get to know a few people. Face to face interaction is always valuable, and the more of it that you can do, the better off you will be in the long run. Connections made outside of the office can go a long way towards paying off down the road. Get out of your hotel room and make connections. Networking does not have to a formal affair either. Simply meeting up with a few coworkers for after work drinks can take you a long way. You are there for work, but that doesn’t mean that you have to lock yourself in an office for the duration of the trip.
Traveling for business means that you have been afforded trust and all the opportunities that comes with it. Taking the time to prepare beforehand ensures that you impress from the start and spending some time outside of the office with coworkers can help you develop long lasting and beneficial relationships. Place yourself in a position to succeed and you may find yourself moving up the corporate ladder quicker than the rest of your peers. You may even have some fun doing it.