Business trips – we love ’em! Myself and Heidi can be spotted at nerdy events all over Ireland. In this industry it’s important to keep up to date with new technologies and advances in software, so we’re always on the lookout for good and interesting conferences. Plus we love to get away from the office every now and then, meet up with some of our peers and take a break from all our hard work (seriously, we’ve been working very hard this year – check out our portfolio).
Some events last for a day, others can span over a few days abroad: so a little bit of pre-planning on our part is essential. Here’s a couple of online tools we use organise our biz trips.
1. Information Store
Travel itineraries, addresses, phone numbers, maps, event schedules, accommodation, flight numbers… wouldn’t it be great to have everything in the one place? We are big fans of Google Sites because they enable us to do just that. When we’re planning a big trip, Cookie Web create a small, private website using Google Sites where we can store information about our trip. We can display our calendars, documents and other information related to the event. The location of the conference can be marked on a Google Map which is fed into the site. And we can even leave comments for each other with reminders and notes. Google sites are brilliant because they’re a doddle to set up and they’re free and you can choose who you share it with. We’ve used Google Sites for trips away with family and friends too because everyone can login and add their bit and see what’s happening – it really takes the pain out of organisation.
If the event is held over a number of days we need to organise somewhere to stay. The first port of call is the Tripadvisor website. I’m a big fan of this site and use it prior to booking accommodation for all personal and business trips. I love reading the reviews from other travellers and getting to see the ‘insider’ photos of the place. Don’t forget to check out the Things to Do section and the forum – lots of great tips and advice before you go. I recently looked up one of our clients – Marlinstown Court B&B and was impressed to see the great reviews they are getting. Well done Barbara and Larry!
And last but not least… bring the laptop, plenty of business cards and your best networking attitude!