This article is Part 2 in a 3 part series.
Last weekend, Buick sent me and my husband to Big Sur, California to test out the new Audiobooks.com integration with their 2016 Regal as part of #ThatsABuick. It was wonderful weekend, but it was also my very first business trip that was paid for by someone other than myself and I learned a lot. If I’m being honest, I was surprised and honored to be invited along for such an event and am equally grateful for the experience as I am ready for the next one. As a first-time business trip traveler, here are a few important things I learned along the way and I hope they help you to prepare for your first trip!
Schedule Your Social Media In Advance
If your blog or business includes a daily social media strategy, then be sure to schedule your social out in advance. I mistakenly assumed that because I would be live tweeting the event that I would be able to easily keep up with my daily social media interactions and found myself too busy to do even the minimum. The little time I did have was devoted to tweeting along with the #ThatsABuick campaign that was used during the event and I found myself neglecting everything else – emails, notifications, messages, etc. As a result of my minimal engagement, I noticed a steep decline in traffic to my site from social channels. Had I scheduled out posts in advance this likely wouldn’t have been the case. After all, the appearance of being present is oftentimes more important than actually being present, and I’m disappointed that I skipped such an easy preparation.
Learn to Let Go
We had a 5 pm reception to attend, so when our flight was delayed for maintenance issues and the courtesy shuttle took longer to pick us up than we expected, I started to panic a little. I knew that, combined with the drive, there was no way we were going to make it in time. Thankfully, my husband reminded me (several times) that even though I want to, I can’t control everything. After all, the flights were booked for us so I couldn’t hold myself responsible for not taking an earlier one or, of course, for the maintenance issues that caused the delay. As someone who likes to be early to everything, accepting the fact that things were out of my control was extremely difficult, but once I did I was able to calm down and enjoy the gorgeous drive up the Pacific coast.Business trips can be scary, but here are 4 tips to make your first one easier. #business #travel Click To Tweet
Don’t Feel Guilty for Having Fun
Speaking of calming down, it’s also important to have fun on a business trip. Granted, my trip was a lot more fun than your average business trip, but the reason a company pays for people to test their products or services is the generate quality feedback. If you spend your time feeling guilty about test driving that great car or enjoying the gaming software they give you, then you won’t be able to give an honest review and will end up feeling guilty about that, too.
Accept That You Deserve to Be There
At the end of the day, remember that the company chose and wanted you. This was the biggest one for me because part of me was thinking, “Me? Me? Really? Me?” but when I arrived and met the small group that had been invited, I realized that I did deserve to be there because I work just as hard as everyone else at the event. That said, I still have the voice in the back of my head jumping up and down screaming, “Me! They really like me!” but I like to think that that’s healthy – deserving or not, it’s important to be grateful for new opportunities.