Travel And Hospitality
Planning a business trip is not like planning a regular vacation. There are goals and targets that need to be met to justify the expenditure and time away from regular working tasks. The following will explore a few things you can do to help plan a business trip. The focus will be on planning a trip to Europe, but many of these steps apply equally to business trips to other locations.
Brush Up On Local Etiquette
Nothing can bring a business deal to an end faster than offending potential clients or partners. Take the time to ensure that everyone on the trip has been briefed about local etiquette. It might also help if everyone learned a few polite phrases in the primary language of the location. Things like: thank you, and you live in a beautiful city can be wonderful additions to your business conversations. It’s also a good idea to grasp what level of humility is considered polite. It might not reflect well on you to list off your achievements or all the reasons why a company should partner with you. You might also find that the people you’re dealing with speak humbly about themselves and their accomplishments.
Do Your Research
No matter where you’re going or why you’re going, you want to do plenty of research ahead of time. This means looking into travel warnings and advisories as well as local politics, weather, and culture. If staff will have downtime, research local sites, and activities that might interest them and plan accordingly. You should read guides about visiting Moscow if you’re going to be working in Russia or Rome if you’re going to be working in Italy. Sometimes there are even group discounts for major attractions meaning you can provide tickets to your team for sites at a relatively low cost.
Remind Staff About Travel Insurance
Getting healthcare when it’s needed in a foreign country can be slightly complicated. Most banks offer a very inexpensive travel insurance that covers the cost of lost luggage, cancelled accommodations, and health-related expenses as well as expenses associated with emergencies that require immediate travel and, therefore, exorbitantly priced tickets.
Plan For Unexpected Delays
All too often, when you’re travelling, there are delays. Being late or missing meetings can leave your potential business partners with a poor impression of you. Give yourself time to reschedule travel arrangements should bad weather strike, and have a list of backup options ready should your first intentions fall through.
Take A Presentation Kit
You’re going to want to have the things you need to represent your company and the work you do. Your presentation materials might be one-sheets, physical pitch decks, a laptop with a presentation remote, cables, and adaptors for your devices. You might also want company cards (with long-distance extension numbers on them) and swag goodies for those who attend meetings with you. Speak to your marketing department if you need ideas in this regard, and make sure you have a polished elevator pitch that’s two to three sentences and easy to understand if you’re going to be speaking with anyone whose native language isn’t yours.
Business trips can end up costing a company a lot. Sometimes, they’re not worth it. Make sure to ask yourself how much money you expect to make by conducting the trip (including staff’s conversation rates) and then compare that to the cost of travel. Business travel might seem exciting, but it isn’t always what’s best for your business. Run the numbers to make sure you’re making a wise decision.
Staff Comfort Matters
If travel is a part of your job, you already know how taxing it can be. If you’ve only ever hopped on a plane as part of an exciting travel adventure, you probably aren’t aware of the exhausting monotony that is constant travel and living in hotels. One of the most common complaints from people who ravel frequently is the lack of support for their healthy habits. Make sure that a gym is available for your staff and that the food budget you’ve provided is big enough that they can afford healthier meals with fresh juices, kombucha, organic veggies, and whatever other dietary preferences they have. This can also help minimize the time lost to travelers’ sickness by keeping people’s nutrition levels optimal.
The above information should help you plan a business trip to Europe. Be sure that you are in direct communication with the people you expect to meet and that everyone is aware of meeting times and purposes. You don’t want to waste a trip due to miscommunication.