Why Face-to-Face Business Meetings Are Crucial to Your Business

There is no doubt that technology has solved a myriad of communication problems in businesses, and can make us feel more connected to our clients. But when it comes to building rapport and trust with our significant clients and business partners, nothing is more effective than meeting face-to-face.

Through your travels, you’ve likely found that in other countries, trying to communicate solely through language does not always work, so being able to communicate ideas, needs, etc. clearly, depends on a variety of body language skills that technology lacks. Meeting face-to-face gives you a whole host of other ways to get your point across, including hand signals, facial expressions, eye contact and you’ll have more opportunities to clarify key points of discussion.

But other than that, why is meeting face-to-face more effective than merely joining a video call? Here’s our input to why that is:

Minimizes Distractions

Let’s face it, we are bombarded with distractions through the day. Whether that be an incoming call, e-mail, text, knock at your office door, meeting virtually leaves a lot of space to lose the attention of whom you are speaking. If you are present, sitting face-to-face, your meeting is likely to remain focused and uninterrupted. 

Minimizes Rejection

In today’s digital world, rejection is much easier to do with a quick e-mail or even a text. If you’re meeting with a prospective client, but you have not built a face-to-face relationship, they may feel it is easier to say “no” or brush you off. Face-to-face meetings are so important to build that relationship and make it a whole lot more difficult for the client to reject your proposal quickly.

Eye Contact

When you’re looking at a screen, you’re not looking at the person. Your eyes may jump to yourself, objects around the room, or away from the screen, which disconnects you from your client. In person, you will be more likely to capture your client’s attention through eye contact. This shows you are paying attention, focused on the discussion, and you take this professional relationship seriously. 

Information Gathering

Meeting in person allows you to gather valuable information about your client or business partner. You will better understand their body language, mannerisms, tone of voice, and the way they prefer to conduct business. You can also gather information about their interests based on the location you meet, your surroundings, and more, which can be useful down the road. This also enables your client to gather information about you, and the more they know about you, the more they understand how to communicate with you moving forward.

Once you’ve built this critical face-to-face connection, you’ll be able to continue with your business relationship using all of the very convenient modes of communication that technology provides. For a client, knowing that you’re willing to meet them in person or travel to keep their business, this can lead to a long and prosperous business partnership.

The Business Traveler’s Holiday Gift List

The holidays are right around the corner, and you might be looking for the perfect gift for your friend, coworker, employee, or other business travelers in your life. Feeling stuck on ideas? Not sure what to get for someone who is always on the road? We’ve got a few ideas! We’ve compiled a list of a few things that can make their upcoming trips a little more comfortable, and you might find a few things to add to your wish list, too!

Here are our picks for the best gifts for business travelers:

Subscription Services

Sign the recipient up for a subscription for a year! The best part of this gift is that it may be something they’ve never thought of for themselves. We have a few ideas that are perfect:

  • Priority Pass – Give them the gift of lounge access at more than 1200 airport lounges worldwide. Having access to a lounge on long business trips makes all the difference!
  • Audible – For those who need to travel light and can’t carry books, this is the best subscription! There are more than 425,000 titles to offer, making this the largest selection of audible books online.
  • Class Pass – The gift of good health while travelling is a wonderful idea! Class Pass offers a variety of classes at more than 15,000 studios around the world, getting travelers out of hotel fitness rooms!

Kindle / E-Reader

Travelling light is so much easier without having to lug around books! Gift your friend or colleague a Kindle or similar e-reader which will undoubtedly change the way they travel, and give them a chance to disconnect during downtime. With options that eliminate blue light, your friend will be able to gain a more restful sleep without having to squint at a bright mobile phone screen.

Battery Case for Cell Phone

Having an external battery pack is great for during travel when access to a plug is not possible. During the day or when travelling between meetings, it can be cumbersome to carry it around. There’s a great solution – a case with a built-in battery!

Packing Cubes

Give the gift of organization and ease of packing for business trips! Having good organization makes all the difference when travelling for work and keeps everything one needs right where they need it!

Minimergency Kits

Apart from bringing everything and the kitchen sink along on a business trip, these little kits are a life-saver. Choose from kits for Him or Her, and a variety of needs from travel to tech. The kits take up minimal space in a bag and can save the day in a pinch.

Whatever you choose to gift, whether you’re planning ahead or thinking of something last minute, we hope you’ve found a few great options. Giving the gift of simpler travel is as thoughtful as it is practical! Happy Holidays from all of us at Worldgo Travel Management!

How to Turn Your Business Trip into a Mini Vacation

Business trips are often a big perk for someone entering a new position, but they can be tiring for someone who frequently travels for work. We usually have to cram a number of meetings into a short time, and depending on your company’s travel program, you may be left with little time for yourself.

There are, however, many ways you can turn your business trip into a small vacation, or at the very least enjoy some leisure time.

Research Your Destination
Reading up on where you’re heading for business is a great way to get an idea for interesting sites, museums, restaurants, or parks you may want to visit. Have a look at Instagram or Pinterest for inspiration and discover the best spots to explore. Getting excited about your destination is a wonderful way to feel more like you’re taking some vacation time.

Find Downtime (Work Smarter)
We’ve all heard the phrase “Work Smarter, Not Harder,” and this applies equally as well to business trips. For anyone who has spent time on the road, you can often find you spend more time working than you would when you are home. Travelling between meetings, catching up on e-mails, submitting reports, it can all be a little overwhelming. Make sure to carve out some “you time” and maximize the time between tasks.

Add an Extra Day
If your company allows it, try to plan your meetings for the beginning or end of a week. You can then often plan your flights over a weekend, allowing for an additional day or two for leisure. Keep in mind you may have to cover your expenses over these days if this is not included in your travel program.

Treat Yourself to a Nice Meal
Enjoy the little things and allow some time to sit down at one of the city’s best restaurants. Make a reservation ahead of time, or find a cozy spot where you can enjoy the ambiance, food, music, and explore different neighbourhoods. By giving yourself some time to free your mind, you’ll feel less like you’re travelling purely for business.

Seek Out a Hotel in a Desireable Location
Do your research ahead of time and discover a convenient location where you can have access to great amenities, but also be within a short travel distance from your meetings. With less travel time in between, you can free up more time in your day to explore the city. If you choose a hotel in a desirable location, you’ll have opportunities to explore the city’s arts & culture scenes, and much more!

Wake Up Early
Waking up an hour or two earlier than usual will give you some free time to explore and may even make you feel more refreshed for your meetings ahead in the day. Maximize the time you have in the mornings to get some fresh air and collect yourself or enjoy a leisurely breakfast before starting your busy day.

Planning for an International Business Trip – When to Do What

Business Trip Planning

When we travel for business, we can often leave things until the last minute. While that may be okay for national travel, travelling internationally for business comes with a whole different set of preparations.

Your travel manager can take care of a lot of the pre-planning, but there are a few things they can’t do for you, such as vaccinations, passport renewals, visa applications, and more. Those preparations can seem overwhelming, but if you follow a simple timeline, you’ll have things organized well before your departure.

Four to Eight Weeks Before Departure

Travel Visas

Depending on where you live, and the processing times of your documents, you’ll want to check the entry requirements of the country you’re visiting as soon as you know you’re going! As Canadians, we have the luxury of Visa-free travel to many countries, but several countries require a Visa, Electronic Visa, or Waiver form completion before arrival. Some countries will issue a Visa on arrival, but it’s important to know what the requirements are well before you travel.

We recommend checking www.travel.gc.ca and selecting your destination to find out the entry/exit requirements. If you are travelling with a Passport from a country other than Canada, please ensure you check the specific requirements and restrictions relating to your passport.

Passport Renewal

Travelling internationally with a passport that is set to expire within six months AFTER your return date, will very likely cause problems either before you depart or on your arrival. Check your passport at least four weeks before your scheduled departure, and if the timeline is tight, it is best to renew your passport.

Vaccinations

Obtaining vaccinations before travelling in some countries is highly recommended, and in some countries is required. It’s important to note that some vaccines are only effective after a certain period, so you’ll want to visit a travel medicine clinic to receive up-to-date information for the country you’re visiting.

Two to Four Weeks Before Departure

Notify Your Credit Card Company of Travel Plans

When you’re leaving the country, especially if you’re travelling a great distance, it is important to notify your credit card company of your travel plans. They’ll make a note of your destination and the dates of travel, so they can keep an eye on your purchases while you’re travelling. This will also make sure you don’t have any issues using your credit card in the destination.

What to Wear

Depending on your destination, there may be cultural differences in appropriate dress for business meetings, social gatherings, etc. To make your best impression and put your best foot forward, you’ll want to have done your research and collected any pieces you may need.

Check Your Cell Phone Plan

Many mobile providers now offer travel packages that you can utilize for a daily fee rather than racking up an enormous cell phone bill. Make sure you check with your provider to see what offers they have that will enable you to be available while you’re travelling.

Loyalty Programs

Now is a great time to check in and see what loyalty programs you’re eligible for that will maximize your benefit at different hotels, car rental companies, etc.

One to Two Weeks Before Departure

Travel Advisories

If you’re travelling to a country that experiences hurricane seasons, monsoon seasons, or other adverse weather, or has experienced political unrest, etc., you’ll want to make sure these occurrences will not impact your trip. Have a look at Travel Advisories in the weeks before your trip so you can feel prepared, and of course, contact your Travel Manager if you have any concerns.

If you plan accordingly, you will have prepared for your business trip to come. Not having to worry about last-minute documents, expensive cell phone bills, or finding appropriate business attire in the destination, will make your trip much smoother and leave you feeling relaxed, calm, and collected for your meetings. Happy Travels!