How to prepare for an out-of-town business meeting

When you’re preparing for a major business meeting out-of-town, the last thing you want is to worry about is whether you’ve packed everything you need.

Being well-prepared in advance is vital in terms of enjoying a stress-free experience. You need to arrive at the venue feeling refreshed, calm and raring to go.

If you’re a frequent traveller to meetings up and down the country and go by air, it pays to have top-quality luggage. It’s a false economy to buy cheap luggage, as it can take a battering in transit.

Make sure your bags can be securely locked if they’re being checked in and consider the benefits of a wheeled suitcase. Years of carrying heavy luggage can damage your neck and shoulders and it’s always better to roll, rather than lift, your case.

Regardless of whether you’re travelling by air or rail, it may be another false economy if you book through little-known discount websites. Although it may prove to be a trouble-free experience, reviews by seasoned travellers have reported instances of being denied boarding, or not having the seats they anticipated.

In addition, if your flight is changed or cancelled altogether, you may find it more difficult to change carrier. When you’re going to an important meeting, don’t take the chance that you’ll arrive late, or even worse, not at all. It often pays to spend a little bit extra and book directly with a travel agent, or via the airline.

If you’re flying on a smaller plane or commuter aircraft, always find out the rules on carrying hand-luggage onboard. This can help you to decide what to pack.

On the subject of packing for a business trip, everyone will have their own idea of what they may need. You may need to limit what you take with you – and remember, you’re not going for a holiday!

When it comes to items to pack, it’s handy to have a checklist, so you can tick things off as you put them in your suitcase.

One secret is to literally think from head to toe in terms of personal care – for example, shampoo, shower gel, other toiletries, deodorant, underwear and additional footwear if required. It’s useful to pack a couple of extra items in case there’s any problem with your travel plans that necessitates staying an extra night at your destination.

Important items
As well as packing the obvious items, such as work clothing and toiletries, of course it’s vital that you pack those important items that will enable you to function at your business meeting. This includes things like your laptop or other portable devices, your mobile phone and of course, the relevant chargers.

It’s so frustrating to arrive at your destination, only to realise your mobile device is down to one bar and you didn’t pack your charger. Also, take a pen and pad with you to jot down notes during the meeting. Never rely wholly on technology.

If you require any medication, remember to pack this too. The last thing you want is a last-minute dash around local pharmacies when you should be setting off for your meeting.

If you wear spectacles or contact lenses, always pack a spare pair in case you break your glasses or lose a lens, as this could be the difference between being able to participate in the meeting or having to sit on the side-lines.

Pack some business cards if you’re going to a national meeting where you’re likely to meet delegates with whom you wish to network.

In conclusion, it really is all about the pre-planning when you’re going to an out-of-town meeting. Arriving feeling refreshed, with everything you need, is 99% of the battle!

Posted by Alex Abdelaziz

Images courtesy of Press Association