A bi-monthly newsletter for event organizers in the tech industry.
November 27, 2018
This week I find myself traveling once again and am typing this at Charles De Gualle airport in Paris waiting to board my flight to Barcelona for yet another conference. This time, however, I’m an attendee, rather than the organizer. Just as busy, but way less stress as there is usually no hard and fast schedule to adhere to as an attendee. There is always way more flexibility than being in charge of everything.
Tomorrow begins three full days of the IBTM World conference in Barcelona, a place to meet event suppliers and other organizers who converge on this beautiful city from all over the world. I’m excited to see peers that I already know from places like San Francisco, Hawaii and Ireland, and equally excited to make some new connections.
So this weeks travel theme is a natural choice considering I am once again jetting off to another city headed to an event. So please enjoy the thoughts of how we, as event organizers, can make that travel a bit easier and fun, along with tips to keep us grounded.
Warm Wishes & Happy Planning!
THIS WEEK: LET US TRAVEL!
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10 TIPS TO KEEP YOU CONNECTED
At the peak of my travel season, I would often find myself gone three weeks out of every month. I recall working for a company that had a corporate account with a certain hotel chain which resulted in all the rooms having a near identical layout. Waking one morning during a roadshow tour, I sat up and realized that I had no idea what city I was in. The room looked the same as the room I had just checked out of a few days ago. It wasn’t until I opened the drapes and looked out the window that I knew where I was. “Oh Hey Chicago!” As much as our friends and family would like to think that our travel is all glamour and exotic locations, often we don’t get to see the sites in the cities we venture out to. Sometimes, it’s an Uber from the airport to the venue, a night out for dinner perhaps with our team, and then back to the airport immediately after the event. When that happens, we begin to dread travel. We miss so much while we are gone, don’t we? I got to thinking about ways to make those trips a bit more enjoyable, as well as keeping us connected, so please enjoy 10 tips that I’ve found make my journey a bit easier.
Familiar scents. I found when I first started to travel for work that I had a hard time sleeping a full night. By the time you actually get to lie down in bed, you've most likely had a hectic day of travel, checking in with the venue, making sure your team has arrived and most likely assembling goody bags, folding t-shirts, or some other event related task. If you’re lucky, you’ve had a decent dinner and maybe a hot bath or shower. But let’s face it…you’re in a new place and nothing is familiar. Sleep does not come easy when a mental checklist is floating around in your mind and you’re very aware of the alarm that is set for the early hours. I had expressed this challenge to a seasoned event manager and her idea was brilliant and oh so simple: find a powder or scent that is familiar to home. If you don’t have one, find a new one. When you arrive to your hotel, pull back the bedspread and sheets and sprinkle or spray a bit of that scent on the bed and then return the covers. When you crawl into bed later that night, you’ll return to a scent that is familiar to you and believe it or not, it really does work. My personal favorite is a jasmine dusting powder by Lush. I started using it at home and now I carry it wherever I go. The power of scent is amazing! If you try this, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
A touch of home. An extension of that is to carry things from home that add a personal touch to your room. Photos of your significant other and/or children, a special pillow or pillow case, a small blanket, slippers or anything that makes you comfortable. Being surrounded by those things keeps you connected while you're away.
Snacks on the go. Carry your favourite snacks. We don't eat very well when on the road, so having a few of the snacks we normally eat, and possibly healthy ones is important. We'll also have something on hand to keep us from getting "hangry" (read: hungry + angry) when we are not able to immediately eat.
You time. This is probably one of the more difficult things to do. Make time to to pamper yourself a bit in the evening with a hot bath and relaxing scented bath salts or a bath bomb. Make it the calm before the storm. If you don’t have a bathtub, look for shower tablets that work equally as well.
See the sights. Have a chat with your manager and arrange to have a day or two on either end of your trip to enjoy the city you’re visiting. You might not have a ton of time to see the sites, but you’ll leave having experienced a bit of the city. The next time you’re back (and you most likely will be) you can choose another activity. I found having just one extra day made all the difference in the world with how I perceived my travel.
Stay healthy. Be sure to stay healthy and bring items that keep you in a healthy mindset. Some items I like to carry: melatonin, apple cider vinegar tabs, a sleep mask, ionised water spray to rehydrate my skin, healthy snacks, vitamins, a lavender infused satchel for beneath my pillow.
If you’re anything like me, you hate to check in luggage. Sometimes that can’t be avoided, especially when carrying supplies and swag to an event. However, when I do travel without these items, I always go the carry-on route. I found a great video from Exploring Alternatives on YouTube, with some great tips for packing light, what you can and can’t take on a flight, and some regulations for minimalist packing. What are your best packing tips?
Photo courtesy of Kosan
Have you seen this new Kickstarter backed travel dress? The Kosan Go Travel Dress is wrinkle resistant, odor blocking, and adjustable, just to mention a few features. And pockets! In a dress! Yes! Dresses typically aren’t made with the smart traveler in mind, so I’m excited to see one that is functional and still stylish.
EVENT TECH: TripIt
One of my checklist items for every trip is gathering travel documents, taking screenshots, double checking I have the confirmations, looking up directions, and so on. I like to triple check everything, especially if I’m going to another country or a city I’m not familiar with. But I found a handy app to help with all of that - TripIt - to keep all my travel plans in one place. I handle my own bookings, then forward the confirmation emails, get my master itinerary and then access my information from anywhere…even offline! There are quite a few other features that make traveling just a bit easier, like real-time flight updates.
Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter! If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to reach out to us. We are so happy to have you as part of our growing community! Please feel free to share our newsletter with other event professionals. Until next time...Happy Planning!
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