Technology has transformed the way that we do business, as almost all interactions can be completed using telephones and/or the many forms of internet communications we have at our disposal. This means that individuals can work with clients and partners from all over the world. However, when it comes to establishing a strong relationship or negotiating an important business deal, face-to-face meetings are still essential.
If you have an important business meeting coming up and you will need to travel a significant distance to attend, it is important that you begin preparations as soon as possible. Whether you are traveling to a new city, state, or country, here are four tips to help you prepare for your business trip.
- Make travel plans ASAP
It is important to make your travel plans as soon as possible so that you will arrive in time for your meeting in plenty of time. This may mean that you need to have a backup travel plan, or you might choose to arrive a day earlier to avoid last-minute complications. If you are flying from Seattle, make sure you book Sea Tac airport parking, which will be as straightforward and efficient as possible, as you do not want to be wasting time searching for a space at the last minute.
If you are going to be relying on multiple forms of transport, take care to double-check arrival and departure times. You will also need to confirm details like how much luggage you are allowed, whether Wi-Fi is provided on the train or plane, and, if you are hiring a car, any IDs or paperwork you might need. Many companies have a corporate travel policy which you may have to adhere to such as budget limitations, so make sure you are familiar with its terms.
- Book your accommodation
Of course, you will need to book accommodation which is conveniently located for your meeting or meetings. If you only have one meeting, this will be simple to do, but if you are meeting in multiple locations, you should choose a hotel that is close to relevant transport networks such as highways and train stations. Again, your company may have a policy on which hotels you are able to book and how much you can spend on accommodation, food, and drink. If possible, look for a hotel deal that offers free Wi-Fi, charging points, and 24-hour room service so you can be sure of a meal no matter when your meeting starts or finishes.
- Do your research
If you are visiting a place that you have not been to before, you should do your research. This is particularly important if you are traveling to a different country where you will encounter a new language, currency, and possibly custom and etiquette. For example, business customs are different in China than they are in the US, and you may end up causing offense accidentally. It is also wise to look into any dangers to be aware of, such as political unrest, crime issues, or areas of the city to avoid.
- Pack your equipment and documents
If traveling abroad, you will need a valid passport and possibly also a visa. When traveling a significant distance for a meeting, you do not want to arrive only to find that you have forgotten your hotel booking information, laptop/phone charger, or key documents needed for the meeting itself. Make a list of all the items that you will need, and triple check the list before you leave home or the office.