Regardless of the industry you are in there are bound to be a fair number of conferences and annual conventions that you get invited to or need to attend.
The key to a successful conference often revolves around careful planning, from making sure your travel arrangements are in order to decide how to use your time there in advance of attending.
Here are some pointers on how to keep travel costs down and stress to a minimum, including a tip for grabbing some of the best airfare and accommodation rates, a no-brainer backup clothing solution, and why it pays to think ahead.
You will see loads of different websites claiming to be able to find you the lowest rates for your airfare and hotel booking but although some of those claims might well be true, it isn’t always the case.
Some hotels like the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort try to offer the best rates if you book direct, so search engines are not always the best option.
If you do use a search engine, be mindful that cookies are a useful way of people knowing what you are trying to book and your browser could work against you in getting the lowest fare if you reveal your hand on your travel intentions.
A good way around that problem would be to try your search from a private browser and go incognito to prevent sharing your travel plans and possibly affecting the price you pay.
Many of us work to a tight schedule these days and might not have the luxury of staying the night before a conference begins.
If you are coming straight from the airport to the venue or suffer a delayed and suddenly find yourself struggling to make it on time, a good way of being prepared for that potential scenario would be to organize your packing to cater for this eventuality.
Consider packing a full change of clothes in your carry-on bag, so you have what you need to hand after a quick visit to the washroom. The other bonus to that strategy is that if your luggage gets lost or delayed you at least have the clothes you need to make it to the conference as though nothing has happened.
Get those reservations sorted
There are plenty of conferences that are very well attended and that means the local eateries and accommodation fills up pretty quickly, and prices might spike if you are scrambling for one of the last rooms available.
Get your hotel room sorted as early as possible and make dinner reservations a long way in advance too.
That way you might even be able to offer an important contact a seat at your table when others are struggling to make the same arrangements.
Work on your pitch
Take the time on the plane to hone your intro-pitch for the conference.
You will probably be doing a lot of networking at the event and having your pitch fine-tuned will allow you to make the most of the opportunities to develop new contacts and make the trip worthwhile.