Are you prepared for travel changes to your next event?
Corporate event planners will be among the first to say that the best laid plans can go awry. From venue changes and vendor requests to airline and weather changes, it is often more overwhelming on event days than pre or post-event. Pre-event planning can help alleviate some of the stress of your trip.
- Charge and pack mobile devices and batteries.
- Check clothes for smudges and stains.
- Polish or clean your shoes.
- Print and review the itinerary.
- Learn how to fold clothes for the least wrinkles upon arrival.
- Register for loyalty programs of airlines and hotels to maximize the benefits.
What to Pack
The overriding tip for what to pack is to think about a variety of scenarios. What if the Wi-Fi isn’t as good as promised? What if your presentation isn’t available electronically? In addition to technical difficulties, pack for the different events happening over the course of the trade show or expo. Is there a formal event? Will you be doing walking or a lot of sitting in cold conference rooms? This will help you know what to pack to wear.
Here are the most common items for event planners to pack:
- Walking shoes and/or dress shoes that are comfortable to wear all day.
- Appropriate business and party attire per the itinerary. And then bring an extra. You don’t want to take out your favorite dress or dress shirt and have a stain on it and have nothing else to wear. We’re not saying you’re messy; we’re saying sometimes things don’t go as planned. We want you to have a plan b even if it’s just a pair of socks or a clean shirt.
- Chargers for mobile devices including cell phone, tablet, and laptop
- Presentation materials if you’re an emcee or presenter. Bring the electronic and paper versions in case of technical challenges at the event.
- Business cards. I can’t tell you the number of times I have almost forgotten to bring business cards to an event. Don’t be left without them! You want people to be able to reach you post-event.
- Update apps on your mobile devices so you can check flight status, confirm travel plans, and make changes as needed.
- Giveaways and trade show display for your business.
- Event itinerary and map of trade show floor. Don’t count on someone else to know this or bring this information or rely on Wi-Fi especially if you’re at a new venue.
Whether you’re shipping or packing the trade show display, confirm where you are setting up at the event before you get to the venue. As an event planner, you also want to be sure vendors know where they need to pick up and set up pre and post show. It will cut down on the chaos at the venue if people know where they need to go.
Charge mobile devices before you depart and have extra batteries in your carry-on bag. More than likely there isn’t going to be an available charging station at every airport especially if you aren’t the only one stranded. In the event of weather related delays, you will want to have your mobile device – cell phone or tablet – readily available to reschedule flights or find alternative transportation.
No one likes to be left out especially if you’re the event organizer. Stay in contact with your team for any event-specific changes as you’re traveling to the event location. There’s nothing worse than being the event planner who doesn’t have the full picture about their event when they arrive at the location.
In the event that you just can’t make it or will be late, you can reach your team and anyone you may have meetings with to let them know and to reschedule.
Opportunities to Connect
Business travelers often say they feel alone or disconnected from family and friends while they are away from home. Add a couple days onto your trip and connect with people you may not be able to see on a regular basis. There’s a lot to be said about the benefit of face-to-face meetings even in today’s digital age.
Make your next trip feel more like home when you take connect with friends and family in the event city. Go see a friend’s new baby or house in real life instead of on social media. You can also use this as an opportunity to connect with business contacts. Schedule appointments with key players or prospects while you’re both in the same city.
You might be tired after your event but the time spent connecting will prove to be refreshing. At EXHIB-IT! we love connecting businesses to their target market through trade shows and expos. We look forward to working with you. Be sure to contact us or check out our online catalogs for more info.