Has your corporate travel budget been cut AGAIN? If so, you are not alone. Often times the first thing to go in a budget is travel. While some trips could be seen as leisurely meetings, for many people they are a way to get valuable, required training hours, meet with client, get new business, and learn about new trends in the industry. If your travel is limited to one conference per year, check out the 5 smartest ways to make the most of your conference travel budget.
- Book an extra day before or after conference. Doing so allows you a full extra day to meet with new people you’ve met at the conference, schedule meetings with clients in the area, or make a face-to-face sales call to a potential client.
- Choose the best location. Try to narrow down your list of choices and then pick the conference located in the city that holds the most promise for you.
- Share expenses. While it may not be feasible to share a room with a colleague, it certainly would cut down on cost. However, if that’s not a good option, be sure to carpool and share the bill on the rental car.
- Take advantage of free meals. Sure we all like to enjoy a nice steak dinner on someone else’s bill. There is nothing wrong with treating yourself to a nice meal. However, to cut cost, enjoy the hot breakfasts provided by many hotels or, at the very least, participate in all of the free meals associated with your conference registration.
- Do your homework before and after. To maximize your investment, contact colleagues before you leave to make appointments, lunch meetings, and coffee breaks. In addition, follow up with all your new contacts after you arrive home. Don’t let the dollars you spent be in vain. Be sure to get the most you can from every dollar spent.