Travel Archives - Dr. Ivan Misner®
Business Trip

My Must-Remember Items When Packing for a Business Trip

I travel several months a year, speaking to business professionals about networking. When traveling, especially internationally, I try very hard not to forget important items I need for meetings or speaking to groups of people. . . but I admit it’s hard to remember everything all the time. An international magazine interviewed me recently on this topic. The reporter asked me, “What should business people think about taking with them on a business trip that they might not normally think about?” This list would benefit anyone taking a trip, so I’m sharing it here.

First, a few somewhat obvious things that can certainly come in handy on a business trip:

  1. Plenty of business cards: It is never a good idea to run out of business cards while traveling. Tuck extras in your suit pockets, wallet/purse, briefcase, and luggage. I put stacks in many places to ensure I always have extra.
  2. Name badge: If you do any networking while traveling on business, have your own professional name badge. Don’t rely on the hosting organization to do your name badge and do it right.
  3. Extra pens: Make sure you have a pen with you while you are doing meetings. I always find that I need to write some reminders down while I’m talking to people. It’s troublesome to track down a pen while you are busy networking.

Somewhat less obvious things:

  1. The contact information (or business cards) of all your referral partners. I sometimes find that having that information at my fingertips allows me to give referrals to people while I’m out networking.
  2. Hand sanitizer: I know this may sound a little bit like “Mr. Monk,” the germaphobe title character of a television series. However, I have found that since I’ve started using hand sanitizer after shaking many, many hands, that I have been getting far fewer colds than I used to get. Just be tactful about the way you use it. Don’t desperately and obviously spray your hands every time you shake someone’s hand.
  3. Breath mints: As obvious as it may sound, I can assure you from experience that many people have no idea they need them.
  4. Memory stick: Many times I have either needed to get a copy of something or give a copy of a file or presentation to people while out networking. Having a memory stick handy has been very helpful on several occasions.
  5. Camera: A camera is great if you want to memorialize some occasion or a meeting with someone important to you. A video camera can be important for anyone that blogs. It gives you a chance to interview someone during your travels. I do this almost every time I travel.
  6. Tools for your business: For me, that includes many copies of my bio for introductions whenever I speak. Despite that my team sends the bio in advance, there are many times when I arrive and they don’t have the bio handy. Another tool for me is a PowerPoint remote clicker. This is really important for me. I don’t want to rely on someone else to move the slides forward as I present. Also, you know that memory stick I mentioned earlier? I have copies of my talks on there just in case the group I’m speaking to has misplaced my presentation material.

When I asked some colleagues and other business travelers what they would add to the list, they added some that I hadn’t thought of. Here are some of their suggestions:

  1. A phone charger. I agree heartily, especially seeing how much these items cost in an airport, or in another country. And you certainly won’t want to forget your laptop power cord. Besides being expensive, it’s often impossible to be able to get the right one easily, if at all. Also, you should write a “note to self” to fully charge all of your electronic devices the night before you leave.
  2. Power adapter/converter. Though it’s usually easy to pick up a “universal” adapter at airports or stores in heavily populated areas, in this electronic age you would hate to need one and not be able to find one. It is best to have one (or two) packed and ready when you need it!
  3. The right clothes. Most of you have experienced differences in temperature or weather from one town to another, so you can imagine how different the conditions could be across the country or around the world. It’s never been easier to plan what clothes to bring, thanks to online weather forecasts for every region of the earth. Of course, there are no guarantees where the weather is concerned.
  4. A good book. Hear, hear! Those airport layovers, delays, and long flights can seem even longer without something interesting to read.

I’m extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel extensively for both business and pleasure. Over the years, Bob and I have accumulated numerous tips to help aid overseas business travel. It is also important to know the role that cultural differences play into global networking and how understanding those differences becomes very important as we do business around the world. If you are preparing to network in Asia?–Consider These Valuable Tips

There are certainly more items to include, but the above can certainly make or break an important business trip. So you definitely do not want to forget them.

What Marketing Genius Thought of This?

 

It was 11:30 AM in Paris last Wednesday and Beth (my wife) and I had a lunch meeting that was set for 12 noon with a couple business associates. As we headed out to the curb to get into a taxi in order to drive to the restaurant, we noticed something odd. There were no taxis in the taxi stand in front of our building!

Unbeknown to us, the taxi drivers in Paris, were all on a two-day work stoppage (yes, a strike) in protest of the “Uber” App, (a personal sedan service that can be requested via an app) which has been cutting into their profits, according to the taxi drivers.  Apparently, they are hoping that the French government will ban the use of Uber in France!

We have used Uber with great success in the United States, and had not thought about using the app while here in Paris. It has been so easy, frankly, to just step outside and into one of any number of waiting taxis, that we didn’t need Uber.

But standing on the curb in the quickly intensifying sunshine with little time to spare to get to our appointment, we wondered if there was any chance of using the app now to book a car for our lunch. Beth tapped the app on her iPhone and within seconds we received confirmation that our Uber sedan would be with us in 15 minutes. After only six minutes, the car pulled up on the curb in front of our building.

Anyone who knows me at all, knows that I put a high premium on a company’s ability to under promise and over deliver. They definitely did just that in the humid Paris heat!

As we headed to our lunch meeting, we began talking about the irony of the taxi drivers’ strike actually driving us (pun intended!) into the waiting arms of the very competitor they were protesting! What marketing genius thought of this blunder-head idea!? To me this is the perfect example of something I call the “unintended consequences of a ‘seemingly’ good idea.” Did no one have a conversation about how this would actually play out? Maybe something like – “let’s see, why don’t we go on strike to protest an online application that will – oh, actually force people to use that online application while we’re all sitting at the brasserie enjoying croissants.” Yea, really smart.

Because of their actions, we have now been reminded of how easy and pleasant using Uber is. There is no money to change hands – all payment arrangements are done through the app. We can enter the request for a car while finishing up whatever it is we are doing and then head straight out into the car once we receive the text notification that it has arrived. We can actually watch the progress of the car as a GPS tracker shows an icon for it en route on our Uber app’s map. Even better – the vehicle is very clean and professional (we drove in a Peugeot to the restaurant and in a Mercedes on the way back – AND it was less than a taxi ride!).

I really like the emailed receipt after being dropped off at our destination. It shows what the average speed of the drive was, the duration of the drive and the final amount. Even better is that Uber ROUNDS DOWN to the nearest dollar! I mean, who actually does THAT?

So, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the taxi drivers who held this work stoppage for reminding me how amazing their competitor really is. Talk about the law of unintended consequences! I wonder how many other people took advantage of this strike to become new Uber customers. I can tell you that I will be requesting an Uber car more frequently on this trip now as a result of the strike.

Epilogue – Note to the Paris Taxi Driver’s Association:

Dear Paris Taxi Driver’s Association, the year is 2014. The internet actually exists and will most likely not disappear no matter how often you go on strike. The Genie cannot be put back into the bottle. Rather than try to “ban” a competitor who actually had a good idea – why not create your own app (as some taxi companies around the world have!) and join the rest of us in the 21st century.

Just a thought.

 

 

No Faux Pas in India!

I’m headed to India this week to speak for BNI in Mumbai and Bangalore.  I look forward to meeting many people and having the chance to help them increase their business through referrals.

I’ve traveled to dozens of countries to speak and teach my philosophy of Givers Gain® in business. However, this is my first time to visit this exotic country. I’ve discovered that it is very important to get “briefed” by others before speaking around the world. I learned the hard way in one country during a public presentation that mentioning a woman’s “pants” actually indicates that you are speaking about her “underwear.” A story that talks about a woman’s pants, no matter how funny it is, doesn’t quite achieve the effect it’s supposed to when it’s told by a man and “pants”  means “underwear.”

Another thing I’ve learned is that using a specific phrase about tree roots in Australia or New Zealand can actually mean that you are talking about having sex. Who would have thought?! When I unknowingly used the phrase (in reference to tree roots–not sex) in the title of an article I wrote, folks in New Zealand and Australia began calling and e-mailing in handfuls to let me know of my blunder. On behalf of Americans everywhere who’ve used this phrase when speaking or writing to Australians and New Zealanders, I’d like to apologize.

In Sweden, there’s no expression for “word of mouth.” There, it is translated as “mouth to mouth.” Takes your mind in a whole different direction, doesn’t it?

And then there are hand gestures . . . don’t even get me started on talking about hand gestures! Suffice it to say, I’ve almost caused several international incidents by accidentally making the “wrong” hand gesture in some countries.

I’ll post a blog or two about my visit to India soon. But, before I go, help me out here would you please? Is there anything I should know about speaking in India? I’d really like to head back to the U.S. knowing for sure that the citizens of India are talking about something positive in regard to me . . . something other than me causing a public scene for saying or doing the wrong thing. 🙂

Wish me luck and, please, drop me a note here if you have any helpful information. Thanks!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
   Follow Me

Get every new post delivered to your inbox