Battling through language barriers and unreliable transport when travelling abroad to get to your holiday destination can be tricky enough, let alone if your journey doesn’t end with a relaxing week off but a working trade show instead. Justin Isles, director of The Event Structure talks us through how to keep your sanity when working overseas.
We take a look at exploring the key stages of your trip that can be planned ahead to save you time and stress on your international travels. From travel to preparing for a networking event, this handy guide can help those on their first business trip to the highly experienced.
Plan your route
When planning an international trip away – particularly one that involves transporting a group of people safely and efficiently between countries – it’s crucial to make the most of your budget. By using travel apps and websites such as Skyscanner, you’ll able to find the best available and most convenient flight and hotel deals for you and your entourage, and coordinate them with your work schedule accordingly.
Once you’ve landed and have made your way through check-in, having transport readily available to get you to your next destination is vital if you want to prevent delays in your trip. Planning a route either via public transport, car hire or taxi service in advance will rid you of worry as you land. Be sure, to plan in an alternative route or mode of transport if your first falls through on the day – so you’ll be safe in the knowledge that you and your colleagues will make it to your next stop whatever spontaneous changes may occur.
In the midst of your travel plans, it can be easy to forget the purpose of your trip. So, once the routes have been set and plane seats booked it’s time to start scheduling in appointments with other exhibition attendees and get networking.
With so many industry experts in one area, speaking with them on a more personal level is a business opportunity not to be missed! Find yourself a list of the exhibitors and attendees and begin your research exploring the most useful contacts for your business or potential proposal. Don’t be afraid to get in touch with them before the trade show to discuss opportunities or for a more informal chat prior to the event.
Know the floor plan
Before you go, make sure you know where you and your colleagues are going – it’s not as easy as you think! Irrespective of the exhibition’s location, knowing your way around the event itself prior to your visit will allow you to make the most of your trip and reduce the time you or your colleagues spend walking around aimlessly.
By pinpointing whos stand will be where and at what time, you’ll be able to navigate your way around naturally and purposefully. Not only will this give you a better understanding of how much time to spend with each person or business representative before you arrive, but will allow you to feel organised and more relaxed on the day.
Make the most it
Regardless of if you and your business are working a stand yourself or are there simply to network with fellow attendees, being prepared to meet a diverse range of people from a variety of businesses will bode well before your trip.
Armour yourself with business cards, your own up-to-date business statistics and fuel-up on knowledge of your competitors and those at the trade show itself. This is sure to impress those you speak with and will make you and your colleagues feel more confident going into the event.
Trade shows, regardless of their location, are a great opportunity to learn about your ever-changing field and boost your business profile. However, going to them unprepared and unnecessarily stressed can be a detrimental downfall that could’ve been so easily avoided. Plan ahead by minimising the risks of late arrivals and unplanned speeches and you’ll feel you and your colleagues comfortably sail through the event…until the next one.