Despite the surging conference travel numbers, not everyone who attends is a seasoned pro, and making common mistakes can hurt you and your business. For those new to the world of corporate conferences or just anyone who wants to up your game, we’ve compiled our top 12 conference travel tips to and make the most out of every trip.
1. Research attendees and prioritize who you should try to meet. If you’re able to connect and engage with them via social media beforehand then you’re even more likely to make a lasting impression.
2. And while you’re doing your homework, gather information about some of the other companies attending and get a decent understanding of their business. Think of conferences like a series of miniature job interviews; it never hurts to be more prepared and informed.
3. Have a few elevator pitches loosely prepared. Find a way to explain what you do (and why they should care) in 15, 30, and 90 second increments. Bonus points if you can loop in any details that you’ve learned in your research about them or their companies.
4. Write notes about your connections on the back of their business cards for later reference. We like to keep track of details like their business ‘pain points’, what’s valuable to their organization, and when their contract is up.
Get in the mix and find a positive way to stand out
5. Pack and dress in layers. Conferences are often in warm weather climates, the sometimes sweltering Las Vegas is especially popular, but they also tend to be brutally air conditioned. Be prepared for both ends of the temperature spectrum.
6. Bring snacks and a water bottle in your daytime bag. The last thing you want is an energy crash when you need to make a good impression and it’s pretty much impossible to be too hydrated at these long events, especially once the bar opens up.
7. While you’re packing up your bag, throw in helpful items with the intention of sharing like aspirin and hand sanitizer. Being the person who ‘saves the day’ is an excellent way to make a positive impact.
8. Figure out what transportation is available to you in the host city and download any apps you might need in advance. Check out our breakdown of Uber, Lyft, and conventional taxis here for more info on choosing your best option.
9. Book early. The popular conferences fill up fast, often taking the best rooms and deals quickly and you don’t want to be left trekking from a distant hotel.
Conferences might seem overwhelming, but don’t forget to enjoy yourself
10. Confirm any food and entertainment reservations in advance too. Remember, you’ll be competing with hundreds or even thousands of other attendees for just a few spots at the prime destinations.
11. Use a Travel Management Company to plan your trip from start to finish. This is an especially great option when dealing with large groups of employees or needing to stay under budget.
12. Try to find time to get out and explore the city you’re staying in. Not only will this provide valuable conversation topics to touch on with the other attendees, but it’s a great way to de-stress and simply bring back some of the joy of traveling that’s easy to forget when you’re away on business.
What other tips and tricks would you recommend? Let us know in the comments!
For more travel tips or to arrange your corporate conference travel, contact our travel experts at 614-237-4488 or firstname.lastname@example.org today.