I recently went to Paris on my very first business trip and it wasn’t until I got home and started assessing how it went, that I had the chance to work out what I would do differently next time around. From a business perspective, the trip went just as planned, I wasn’t late for any meetings and I closed the deals that I was looking to close. With that being said, there was many areas of the trip that I could have made better and I wanted to share them with you so that if you are planning a business trip, you can learn from my mistakes.
I wish I had booked an airport transfer in Paris because although the flight wasn’t a long one, I was nervous about the meeting the next day and I could have done without trying to negotiate the public transport system upon arrival. Getting straight to the hotel, getting some food and prepping is all I wanted to do so I would recommend that wherever you are heading to, make sure that someone is waiting for you at the airport.
I had no idea how much down time that I would have as I was waiting for meetings or even in my hotel room alone at night and I wish I had planned some entertainment a little better. If you are heading away, take the time to download some movies or games to your electronic devices, it is a great way to switch off and after a day of meetings, you will need it.
One near-fatal error that I made was not realizing that my phone couldn’t accept foreign SIM cards and so I was forced to duck into cafes for their wi-fi whenever I needed to make a call. You should check before you go that your phone is able to accept the local SIM or buy a cheap phone which can, being out of touch when you are in the midst of a business trip is most definitely not recommended.
I flew the day before my first business meeting and whilst it worked out alright, I was quickly reminded how fine I had cut it. The flight that went to Paris from London just after mine, was delayed by 9 hours due to mechanical break down, had this been mine, I would have missed my first meeting, not the impression which you want to give prospective clients. If you are booking your flights then I advise you do it 2 days before your first meeting, just to be sure.
If you are taking important information with you, make sure that you do so in both paper and digital form. Shortly before one of my meetings, my tablet suddenly died and I was forced to ask the receptionist to charge it up for me. I managed to get my information in time but I won’t be running that risk again, print off your info before you go and take it should anything go wrong.
What business trip tips do you have? Feel free to share it with us in the comments section below.