Five ways to ace your first business trip

If you’re heading to a business trip, you don’t want to come back empty handed. Whether you’re attending a business conference or travelling to a make-or-break meeting, it pays to have a good strategy to maximise your time. Follow these five travel tips for pros and you’ll be patting yourself on the back all the way home.

  1. Pack everything you need, but stop there. You don’t want to be delayed by heavy (or lost) baggage when you’re pressed for time. It’s best to stick to one cabin piece that’s packed with all the essentials: clothes that make you look the part, adapters and chargers for all your gadgets, a toiletries kit that includes a mini-toothbrush for between meetings, and all the business cards you might need. It helps to call your hotel beforehand to make sure you don’t pack anything they can stock for you: shoe polish, umbrellas, towels or gym gear.
  2. Schedule other meetings that fit your itinerary. Don’t travel without a plan. Draw up an itine-rary that gives you plenty of time to prepare for the events to which you’re already committed. Make sure the itinerary includes all the important addresses and numbers which you might ne-ed. Don’t cram too many things into the day because you’ll tire out. But leave some gaps for unplanned meetings and make the most of your meal times by never eating alone.
  3. Take initiative with a networking app like Scheduit. One of the best things about living in the 21st Century is that there’s an app for everything, including making the most of your time during a business trip! Download a networking app like Scheduit ( to schedule mee-tings with compatible business matches in the area. With Scheduit you can announce your pre-sence before you get there to facilitate planning. These meet-ups could have you flying back with an unexpected result that will impress your colleagues and earn you the first place on the next trip.
  4. Rehearse your elevator pitch. Craft an eloquent and compelling statement that captures the essence of what you do. This should be a memorable phrase that shows you to be interesting and confident without being pretentious. The key is to think about how your company stands out from the rest and find a way to say it in seven seconds. Everyone you meet should go home with this phrase in mind… and a copy of your business card!
  5. Stay connected. In a fast-paced business world, it’s no excuse to say you can’t take calls or answer emails because you’re travelling. Before you leave, call your mobile provider to sort you out with the most cost-effective roaming package. If necessary, buy a SIM card from a local pro-vider as soon as you arrive. In either case, save money by immediately connecting to Wi-Fi spots in your hotel or event venues. Schedule all your meetings at business centres with good connectivity so that you don’t look like a fool when trying to recall an email or link that’s crucial to your conversation. A good internet connection also means that you don’t have to run around with USB sticks or printed documents because you can save anything important on the cloud in-stead.

Once you’ve got a sleek suitcase in hand, an exciting itinerary to follow, a well-rehearsed elevator pitch and a good internet connection, the sky’s the limit. Go get ‘em!

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