Whether you are planning to attend a Convention for business or for personal, a little pre-planning before you leave will help you manage your time so you can get the most out of your event.
Ten Convention Travel and Attendance Tips:
Before you leave for your Convention, there are some fundamental basics you should consider.
1. Are you flying to your Convention? If so, have you looked into the rules and regulations about the amount of luggage you are allowed to travel with. If you plan to shop while at your Convention, remember to consider duty, taxes and how your shopping items will contribute to increased luggage on your way home.
2. Do you need a passport to travel to your Convention? There are new rules these days about travelling to other countries. As an example, effective January 23, 2007, Canadians will need a passport to travel to the US. At the moment the date for needing a passport to drive into the the US from Canada is January 1st, 2008. As well, US citizens travelling outside the US may need a passport to get back into US. So whatever your situation is, ensure you’ve examined your passport requirements. Getting a passport can be a lengthy procedure, so plan ahead and allow the time you need to acquire your passport before your scheduled trip.
3. Are you traveling outside your own country with health coverage protection? Ensure you have purchased any additional health travel insurance you may need. Understand exactly what you have purchased, and what you are obliged to do should you have to use this insurance. As an example, you may be required to contact you health insurance provider within a 24 hour period of an incident occurring. Know the details ahead of time.
4. Have you thought about your need to get office work done while you’re attending your Convention? Although we don’t pre-plan to sit in our hotel room doing office work, there may be an instance (or two) when the office wants or needs you to resolve a matter (or two). Technology today allows you to remotely access your PC from anywhere in the world. Although your work or home PC won’t physically be with you, you can still access your PC files, databases, networks and emails from your convention, either from your own laptop or other PC. Remote PC is a service offering you a free trial to judge whether it’s a tool suitable for your needs. Just don’t forget to have it in place before you leave.
5. Have you Pre-registered for your Convention and Convention Classes? Some conventions allow you to do this. By pre-registering for your convention classes you not only save time, but you also ensure yourself a spot in classes that most interest you. The intangible element to this little tip, is the time you save by knowing your schedule.
6. Do you have Maps of where Events, Classes, and the Hotel are? Yes, I know this sounds so “basic”. But how many people actually think ahead to how their time will flow from the point their alarm clock goes off in their hotel room to the next event, and the next event, and so on. One of the biggest wastes of time is trying to depend on someone else for directions, times, or even “what’s next”. Don’t let this convention be a convention controlled by someone else’s knowledge of “what’s going on”. If the convention you plan to attend has a website, visit that site and map out your event BEFORE you leave. Yes if you have your laptop with you, you can do it while you’re there, however how much time will you take to “get organized” while at your event if you actually didn’t do it before you left? Sorry, chances are you’ll continue with the last minute mentality while there as well. So, take control of your time and map-out your event schedule.
7. If your Convention Classes are not being held in the same hotel you’re staying in, do you know how you’re getting there? Will you be renting a car, taking a cab, bus or car pooling with friends? Know this before you leave. Have a map of direction to these classes, in your hands, before you leave for this trip. By pre-planning your convention schedule, you have essentially respected your own time. Also, get ready, others at the convention may get wind of your efficient pre-planning, and ask you “what’s going on”.
8. Do you know where you will be eating while at the Convention? You may not want to eat in the hotel the entire time, so have a map of restaurants that are close by your hotel, as well as restaurants close to your convention classes. Again, don’t count on the knowledge of other people to steer to you to places to eat. Planning your eating locations not only provides you with the convenience of knowing ahead of time where you could eat your meals, but it also gives you a measure of control over your food budget.
9. Alrighty then, what supplies are you taking to attend these Classes? You may require books, writing tools, markers and of course your maps. Consider using a small briefcase that pulls on wheels. There’s nothing worse than hauling heavy supplies around all day. Also remember you may purchase items while there, so having a slightly larger briefcase on wheels is an even better idea.
10. Are you planning to immediately review new ideas with your work team back home? If so, Online Meetings may be a useful service for you. Often times the excitement of something new is better expressed at the time your feeling it’s impact. You can pre-schedule online meetings, or run them “spur-of-the-moment”. They are easy as pie as to hold, and this service is very affordable. Use the free trial to determine if it’s a tool you need.
In summary, being organized ahead of time is your top Convention travel tip. Yes, it’s work to pre-plan, but it can be a lot more work if you don’t.