The TBEX conference taught me a lot about being a business traveler.
A business traveler – who, me? As it turns out, yes! For years, I’ve envisioned a business traveler as a suit and briefcase character, in and out of non-descript airports, bustling around the country to close the deal – imagine George Clooney from “Up In The Air” or Sarah Jessica Parker in “I Don’t Know How She Does It”.
Turns out, after spending over a week in Toronto for the TBEX (Travel Bloggers Exchange) conference, I’m a bit of a business traveler too!
Traveling to attend a conference, participate in a press trip, or do some on-ground investigation for an upcoming article makes me – and many of you – business travelers whether you like it or not. And it turns out that I rather do like it! It’s exciting to meet colleagues in person and discuss our mutual passions and learn from one another. TBEX taught me a lot of valuable lessons for the first time business traveler that I’ll be sure to put into practice next time to have a smoother and more successful trip.
Dress the Part:
Next time, I’ll take more travel-friendly clothing with me. My business-casual attire was appropriate but it was anything but comfortable. Moisture wicking and breathable it was not! The outside world was hot and humid, the inside conference was cool and clammy, and I felt sticky and wrinkled all the time. I’ll know for next time - Tilley makes great clothing that is both travel-friendly and appropriate for business and networking events.
Pack Like a Pro:
My most aggravating mistake? Not leaving extra room in my luggage to bring back conference materials. I assumed I didn’t need any extra room because I wasn’t going bring home souvenirs but the stacks of paper I acquired took up a lot of space, as did the free T-shirts, Frisbees, and tote bags. Next time, I’ll leave with a pack that’s only half full!
Meeting New Friends:
Oh, the endless business cards – some lunch tables looked like a high-stakes poker game with the amount of cards being dealt around the table. My best move would have been to bring along some Ziploc bags to organize the cards each night and keep things sorted. It was great making the new connections (and seeing so many funky designs!) but the cards had a way of taking over everything!
Back to School:
I’m a gal who loves learning and I enjoyed the keynote addresses and different sessions. Anytime I can learn more about improving my skills, driving more blog traffic, and working more efficiently, I feel so motivated and ready to take on anything! Lots of people tried to balance their laptops precariously on their lap, elbows sticking out, typing away, but I think old fashioned pen and paper would have worked best. Next time, I show up a few minutes early to the popular sessions – getting a seat was a challenge!
Life and Work Carry On:
Unfortunately, life and business don’t stop just because you’re on a business trip. It was a struggle to keep up with email and social media. Next time, I’ll make sure to block off at least half an hour a day to keep up. Keeping in touch with business and personal matters at home can also be a challenge, especially when you need to keep your phone turned off all day.
Loved Being a Business Beginner!