How to Plan an Overseas Business Trip
Meeting clients, customers, or business partners face to face is often an essential part of business, but when those people are based overseas, it becomes a little more complex.
However, from time to time, it’s definitely worth the trip to strengthen those relationships and finalize arrangements. It’s important that when you do manage to arrange the trip that not only does the meeting goes well, but that the trip does not cost the business unnecessary time and money. You will need to arrange the basics, including passports, visa documentation, travel insurance, and any necessary vaccinations, but there are other steps you can take to ensure your trip is as efficient as possible.
Plan your itinerary carefully
Your itinerary is not just a schedule of what you will do and when, but also what you hope to accomplish during the trip. What is the goal of your meeting and what would be a successful outcome for the business? If you have multiple meetings to attend, it’s best to try and space them out to avoid having to rush between them. This will give you time to get the most from each meeting allowing for unforeseen complications such as traffic or having difficulty locating the venue. Rather than relying on unpredictable public transport and to give a more professional first impression, you may want to hire a car at the airport with Advantage Rental Car as well.
Research the culture and traditions
It’s important to remember that the country you are visiting may have different customs and traditions when it comes to business and you should do as much research as you can before you arrive. There may be expectations about punctuality, gift-giving, how to greet people and how to dress. In some countries, you may be expected to make small talk while in others it may be perceived as unprofessional. Do you know what the typical working days/ hours are there or the dates of important holidays or festivals? Even the slightest gesture or incorrect body language could cause offense so research is essential.
Learn the language
In all likelihood, you will not be expected to be fluent in the native language, but making the effort to converse with them in their language will be very much appreciated. In some cases, you may even want to hire a translator to facilitate communication and act as a backup should you need it. There are plenty of online platforms and software which enable you to learn a new language or at least the business essentials.
Check up to date travel advice
The government regularly issue advisories that advise travelers of relevant incidents or issues to be aware of before they travel. This could include terrorism, political conflict, war, natural disasters or health concerns. Make sure you are informed about all the risks relevant to your destination so you can make an informed decision and take steps to improve your safety. You should also familiarize yourself with the location of your country’s embassy in the destination country so you can contact them in an emergency.
Take steps to ensure that you stay connected to your business and family while you are away. Give people a copy of your meeting itinerary and locations of each venue. You should also ensure that you have cell phone service while abroad and that you pack all of your chargers.