Traveling for work is one of my favorite things. I know someday it may become a hassle, but while I have no obligations at home it is the best.
I have been on a few business trips, but last week was my first one alone.
I embarked on a 3-day trip to a conference in Montana, and I was so nervous. I took steps before hand, as well as at the conference, to make sure I was a competent representative of my company. While I was there, I made sure to work hard and network with the 75-80 people in attendance.
At the Family Travel Association Summit, I represented my company through small talks and networking. I challenged myself to step outside of my comfort zone and meet everyone at the conference, and I did!
The summit took place at Mountain Sky Guest Ranch in Emirate, Montana. It was a beautiful setting to gather as representatives of the travel industry. We all bunked in our own mini cabins, enjoyed 5-star meals and experienced Mountain Sky’s activities. I enjoyed hiking, yoga, horseback riding and learning how to herd cattle… yeehaw!
It was awesome!!
I know each industry is different and business trip requirements can be unique based on an individual’s career. However, I learned some valuable lessons that could be helpful for any young professionals.
Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. Research the conference or event. It will be easier to mentally and physically prepare. If you’ll be networking don’t forget to bring business cards! I always make a travel document with flight information, reservation codes, addresses and emergency phone numbers. It is the best way to stay organized while on the road.
Invest in a good carry-on
Its time to grow up! A good carry-on is essential. Looking professional while traveling for work is important. No more pink polka dotted roller bags - purchase a professional-looking bag. It is a good investment.
Know the dress code
You’d think this one would be obvious, but my recent conference was “cowboy casual.” Make sure you know what to pack. If you’ll be walking a lot, wear comfy shoes! I’ve made that mistake.
Don’t drink too much
Work trips usually entail socializing and booze. If you’re comfortable, make sure to stay and meet people during social hours. It is the time where connections grow the strongest because business relationships can turn into friendships. Just don’t drink too much! You don’t want to be “that girl” (yes, "that girl" still exists in the adult world).
Don’t be afraid to have fun
At conferences, and events there are always “fun” aspects. Don’t miss out just because it’s a work trip. Some of my best connections were made during happy hour and conference activities so technically it's still working.
Always, Maddi B.