These days technology has a huge impact on the way we do business. It makes it easier than ever to connect with customers and clients all over the world thanks to social media, email marketing, and platforms like Zoom that allow us to connect one-on-one or in a group via video.
You can literally run your entire business from the comfort of your home! There’s still nothing like networking with like-minded individuals in person. Business events provide an opportunity to meet potential clients and collaborators, exchange ideas, and learn about the latest trends and technologies. They also offer a chance to step away from your day-to-day routine and get inspired.
That’s one of the things that Leslie, a successful life coach, loved when first starting her business after leaving her corporate job a few years ago. Not only was she able to easily connect with her clients and community on her own time, all the while tucked comfortably in her home office space, but she loved being able to attend virtual events as well as take online courses to continue learning new things… all because of technology.
I want to share with you why business travel can be important for you and your business growth as well as some tips for making the most of a business trip.
3 Reasons Travelling for Business is Important
1. Meet New People and Network
It doesn’t matter if you’re a service provider, coach, speaker, content creator, or author, traveling to business events is an excellent way to meet new people, learn about the latest trends, and find potential customers or partners.
It’s not enough to just show up, though. You need to be willing to take time to connect with other attendees as well. Don’t let this freak you out! Networking doesn’t have to be scary, awkward, or difficult! It can be as easy as simply striking up a conversation and exchanging business cards. You can also use social media to connect with people before, during, and after the event.
Keep in mind, you never know who you’ll meet by attending an event – you could meet people who might not be accessible to you otherwise! And some of those relationships could turn into valuable connections down the road.
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2. See Things from A New Perspective
When you’re immersed in the everyday doings of your business, it’s easy to get bogged down, lose sight of your goals, and wonder what’s next. But when you take a step back and attend a business event, it gives you the opportunity to gain a fresh new perspective on your business.
You’ll have the opportunity to hear from industry leaders, and other attendees, learn about new trends, and so much more! All of which can help you reevaluate your own business and find new ways to improve and grow.
So, if you’re looking for a way to gain a fresh perspective on your business, consider attending a business event!
3. Recharge and Rejuvenate Yourself
Let’s not sugarcoat things – running a business can be stressful. That’s why it’s so important to take time for yourself to make sure you’re recharging and rejuvenating! When you’re well-rested and feeling refreshed, you’ll be able to approach your work with renewed energy and enthusiasm.
Travelling for business can be a fun way to take some time for yourself. Especially if you find an event that adds some extra cushion into the schedule, so you have longer lunches and breaks, and it isn’t so jam-packed every hour of the event days.
A lot of event attendees will even come in a day or two early (or stay a day or two after) just for a few days of downtime.
Tips For Making the Most Out of Business Events
1. Plan Ahead
One of the most important things you can do in preparation for the time you’ll be away is to plan ahead as much as possible. This will help ensure your business runs smoothly and you can avoid any stressful situations while gone. This means prescheduling any emails you want to send when you’re away as well as assigning projects to your team, so they know what their responsibilities are during your absence.
2. Do Your Homework
Before the event, take some time to research those that will be attending and what their businesses are and interests too (if possible) as well as who the speakers are. This will help you decide who you want to talk to and what topics you want to discuss.
3. Set Goals
What do you hope to accomplish by attending the event? Whether it’s making new connections, learning something new, or getting inspired, setting some goals ahead of time will help you make the most of your experience.
4. Arrive Early
Don’t wait until the event is scheduled to start to show up. Arrive early as this will give you a chance to chat with people and get settled before the event starts. If you feel uncomfortable or nervous about attending the event, arriving early can be especially helpful to alleviate any anxiety you have about the setup of the room, etc.
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5. Bring Business Cards
Don’t forget these! Remember, you don’t know who you will meet so you’ll want a way for them to get in touch with you. It can be awkward when someone asks for a business card and you have to say “sorry, I don’t have any with me.”
6. Actively Participate
Take advantage of opportunities to engage and participate. If there’s a Q&A session going on, raise your hand and ask a question. Is there an opportunity to attend a breakout session or break into small groups to mastermind? Do it.
Most event hosts want attendees to participate and create an environment where it’s possible for them to do so. Make sure to take advantage of these opportunities and soak up the benefits of doing so.
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7. Take Action
Some people are notorious for taking pages and pages and pages of notes during an event. But can you guess what happens to those notes after the event? Nothing. They sit in those notebooks, usually thrown in a drawer or left to collect dust somewhere else.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take notes. But I’d recommend acting on something you learned instead. For example, let’s say you heard something new and cool you can do on Instagram. Instead of jotting down a bunch of notes about it, find time during a break or lunch or later that evening, to pull out your phone or laptop and do what you learned.
Heading Home After the Event – Now What?
You’ve just arrived home after travelling to a business event. You’re excited about the awesome connections you made, inspired by the speakers, but wondering ‘what now?’
One of the most important things you can do after getting home from a business event is follow up with any potential leads you met and connect with others you chatted with. Whether it’s sending a personal email, connecting on LinkedIn, or meeting for coffee if it’s someone local, staying in touch with the people you met at the event is essential for building long-term relationships.
When possible, reference something specific you discussed with the person. This helps the other person know you were listening when you were chatting with them. But it will also help keep the conversation going.
Another important thing to do after an event is to take some time to decompress. Oftentimes event attendees return home full of ideas and have so many things running through their heads it feels overwhelming. This is the perfect time to do a brain dump and get everything out on paper. Then you can decide if there are ideas you want to move forward with now, next, or maybe someday.
And lastly, if the event organizer sends out a survey asking for feedback about your experience be sure to take the time to fill it out sharing your honest thoughts. This will help them improve and make the next event even better.
As you can see, business travel can be incredibly rewarding. If you’re a solopreneur who wants to grow your business, then I highly recommend checking out some business events – both local and ones further away! Use these tips as a starting point, and don’t forget to have fun along the way!