Itching to become a Female Road Warrior? 5 Benefits of business travel

Business Travel — By on November 30, 2011 at 1:10 pm

By Alexa Brooks
Special to the Lost Girls

Business travel certainly is not as glam as movies like George Clooney’s “Up in the Air” illustrates. How many people fly enough to get that many miles or status, honestly? If you are a women business traveler you aren’t alone; latest stats say that 50% of business travelers are women. In the recent years the costs of business travel has been on the rise and is expected to still climb well into 2012 as hotels and airlines are being taxed by their increased costs. It is expected that North American short haul trip costs will be up 3%-5% in 2012. Most companies understand the importance of business travel as a competitive advantage and the benefits to build client relationships as well as employee professional growth.  So if you are itching to go on a business trip, have one planned, or trying to convince your boss that you need to go to an upcoming conference below are some tips that can show business travel value.

Increase in business

In an Amex study recently completed shows that companies that send their employees on the road were 50% more likely to win business deals than companies that didn’t hit the road.  Companies that relied only on conference calls and non-face to face interactions had only a 31% chance of scoring that deal. Conferences also are a great way to increase business for your company too. Search the web for your industry and most likely you will come across a conference in your given field. Conferences allow you to rub elbows with your industries best and brightest in person. Show your boss your dedication to making the most out of the conference by tweeting and contacting directly speakers and attendees before the conference to set up personal face to face time. Also highlight for your boss the specific seminars you want to attend that will show a direct correlation to your daily business output. Maybe there is a new software program you can learn while you are there that would help decrease your business’s costs.

Create and strengthen new relationships

In this age of Skype, conference calls, and emails nothing takes the place of face to face interactions. Have you tuned out someone on a conference call going over a presentation? This may be happening to your co-workers or partners plus wouldn’t you like to know what they actually look like in person rather than stocking them on Facebook? Bonding over dinner and drinks can not only help your business; you might even create a new friendship. A recent Amex study on business travel also noted that those companies that continued to keep employees on the road to strengthen person to person interaction realized stronger and more profitable growth than companies that cut their business travel budget.

As a business traveler there are some great benefits in store for you as well…

Miles and rewards

Join the club! In The US there are approximately 120 million frequent flyer members and about 82% of traveler awards are redeemed for personal trips. The more often you travel the more points and miles you can receive. I once had to travel to Los Angeles for an entire month by the end of the project I had a free round trip flight on Southwest Airlines to use anywhere Southwest flies.

Opportunity to explore on someone else’s dime

Depending on where you travel for business you might want to come back for pleasure (especially if you have made a new friend I that city) if you have already experienced a great hotel and dinner spot you can easily go when you return for pleasure and you’ll already know places to avoid!  The great news here is if you have a bad experience you have not spent any of your valuable finances. You also might have a great chance at dining at a great restaurant that normally might be out of your price range especially if you are on the road to impress and bond with business partners!

Professional growth

Business travel can give you skills that someone stuck in the home office might not be able to receive. Cornering a business leader at a busy cocktail hour at an industry leading conference or developing a relationship with a business partner that blooms into a great deal are great examples of the hands on business skills you can develop on the road.

Stay tuned here as this is the first article in a series about women business travelers. Do you you’re your first business trip booked soon? Our next article will look at tips to make your first business trip a success!

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