Are you the type of business professional who enjoys spending time at industry conferences and events?
If so, you may find yourself at several of these throughout the year. While each and every event can help push your business forward, there’s something else to think about: the travel associated with the conference.
At first, you may not enjoy anything about traveling to and from conferences. In fact, you may consider this both a waste of time and money. Of course, as time goes by, you’ll realize that nothing could be further from the truth. You’ll soon find that the benefits of the conference far outweigh the time and expense of traveling.
If you want to travel efficiently and within your budget, all the while getting the most value out of the event, here are seven tips to follow:
1. Plan in Advance
This is not always possible, but you should always strive to plan as far in advance as you can.
For example, if you know you want to attend a conference in November, try to book your trip by the early part of summer (at the latest). By taking this approach, you can secure the best deal on your flight, hotel, and other travel related bookings.
Tip: if you don’t have the ability to plan far in advance, make sure you’re flexible with your travel arrangements.
2. Find a Hotel Nearby
Your entire reason for taking the trip is to attend the conference. Do you really want to book a hotel that requires a long commute every day?
The best way around this is to contact the event’s organizers to ask for more information on recommended hotels. Not only can they point you toward hotels in the area, often within walking distance, but they may also have a deal for a group rate at each one.
Finding a hotel close to the venue allows you to save time and money.
3. Eat at the Event
Depending on the type of conference, you may have opportunities to eat throughout the day. While it may not be your preferred method of dining, it’s a great way to save money. This is particularly true if the food is included in the price of attending the conference.
If you don’t have the opportunity to eat every meal at the conference, grab a quick bite to eat at your hotel. For instance, your hotel may offer a free breakfast every morning. Why pass this by when it’s there for the taking?
4. Travel with Others
It doesn’t matter if you travel with people from your company or those you meet at the event, this can do wonders for your efficiency and travel budget.
For example, you may find that you need to take a cab from your hotel to the event venue. You could pay for this yourself, or you could find others who are leaving at the same time. With everyone chipping in, the cost of travel is quickly reduced.
In addition to the cost savings, traveling with others is a great way to network and make friends. It’s a true win-win.
5. Stay Another Day
While some people are in a hurry to leave a conference and return home, others realize that staying another day would be in their best interest.
For example, you may be able to setup meetings with other attendees who are also sticking around. Along with this, you can stick around the city to meet with any current clients or prospects.
Although it may be another day away from the office, it’s more efficient than going home and then returning in the future.
6. Be Flexible with Your Schedule
One of the biggest challenges of business travel is settling on a schedule that suits your every want and need. Unfortunately, this very rarely happens.
There are times when you need to jump on an earlier flight. There are times when you need to stick around for another day. There may even be times when you find that it’s easier to drive to your destination than to fly.
When you’re flexible with your schedule, it’s much easier to remove the stress that is often associated with business travel.
7. Save on Your Hotel Stay
When you attend any business conference, it’s safe to say that you spend the majority of your time at the event. In fact, the only time you’re at your hotel is when you’re sleeping.
With this in mind, you’ve found a great way to save money. Rather than pay for a room at a four or five star hotel, opt for something more modest. As long as it suits your personal and business needs, you can get everything you want while saving money.
Once you realize that traveling to conferences is a great way to grow your business and meet others, you may find yourself doing this on a regular basis.
With the seven tips above, you’ll find it much easier to book your trip, travel in an efficient manner, and save money along the way.
With each conference you attend, you’ll learn more about what you should and should not be doing in regards to your travel. Soon enough, you’ll know exactly how to book a trip that will meet your needs and keep you happy from arrival through departure.
What do you think of these seven conference travel tips? Have you relied on any of these in the past? Do you have others to add? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.