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At some point in the Digital Marketer’s career, business trips will make an occasional appearance. Life would be much simpler maintaining the status quo of communicating through email, Skype, by phone or even video conferencing. But let’s face it – there really is no comparison for meeting your client in-person for the infrequent QBR or planning pow-wow. We’ll do our best to walk you through a few things to keep in mind to better prepare yourself!
Make Reservations Early
The earlier your flights and hotel accommodations are booked, the better chance you’ll pay less and have more to choose from. This is particularly true for peak travel seasons like Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday periods. It also never hurts to book hotels in close proximity of your client’s office as this reduces the time needed to travel and encounter possible delays.
Clear Your Calendar
Making the trip to your in-person meeting generally requires more time than your typical 10-minute email write-up. As a result, you’ll likely need to miss a meeting or five. Be sure to give your other clients enough time ahead to reschedule or cancel meetings. If deliverables are due while you’re en route, sending it earlier or delegating to a team member would work.
Be Super-Prepared For Your Meeting
In most cases, your in-person meeting will require some sort of material to review – PowerPoint is everyone’s favorite presentation application of choice. Give yourself as much time as possible reviewing the presentation – this leaves room for quality assurance checks, adding additional talking points, or a last-minute topic your client wants to discuss.
Assuming your flight is not of the red-eye variety, do your best to get ample rest prior to the meeting day and time. Regardless of whether you’re flying across the country or taking a quick one-hour flight – your body will thank you for a restful night of sleep.
Follow a Dress Code
While a power suit might be overkill, you’ll want to dress appropriately for your meeting. If you’re meeting your client in-person for the first time, this is especially important as first impressions are meaningful. A combination of dressing professionally with a dash of comfort should meet your needs. Don’t forget to check the weather forecast as the overcoat will likely be overkill in Hawaii.
Lastly, don’t forget to set your out-of-office reminder – particularly if you’re unable to respond in a timely fashion while traveling.