It’s not rare when they learn about the trip and its destination less than 24 hours beforehand. They don’t choose where to go and may arrive there totally unprepared and with no ideas how to spend a couple of meetings free hours in the best way possible.
Basically, you need to get the best of an often unknown country and successfully manage your business affairs within an extremely limited time frame. It can be highly stressful. That’s why it’s highly beneficial to build and sustain a network that includes other business travellers. Connecting with like-minded business travellers can be beneficial on many levels for a regular business traveler.
Why connect with other business travellers
First of all, having a support system of fellow travellers who understand the unique challenges of business trips can make the experience less stressful and more enjoyable. You can always ask for a piece of advice, recommendations, or a company. Connections tend to form easier when you are in the same circumstances and share the same interests, and business travellers understand each other better than those who have no such experience.
Communication with other business travellers is not only about having brunches together and asking about the best restaurants – it opens up opportunities for networking and collaboration. It’s beneficial for your company and your career because you can find new clients or partnerships. Furthermore, these connections are able to provide valuable insights into different cultures and experiences that can help shape professional development. For instance, if your firm plans to open a branch office in a new land and you’re going there to lay the foundation of it.
Another advantage of having a network of business travellers like you is that you can share experiences and adventures. Business trips are often taken solo, so it may prevent you from joining group tours and other fun activities that require participation of more than one person. It reduces the amount of joy and the level of immersion into local culture. A pre-covid research showed that 90% of Millennials like combining business trips with leisure, and it’s very likely that the trend is going to stay in the post-pandemic times, now with Gen Zs doing the same thing.
How to find like-minded people
So, how can a business traveler find like-minded people for their network and build new connections? The easiest way is to use digital services, and mostly everybody who often has business trips is good with technology.
Use good old LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram to let everybody know about your next business trip and ask if anybody wants to meet. Also, through these social platforms you can find business events and meet-ups which are great for networking. Utilise a coworking space located at your destination, if there’s such an option, because it’s very likely that you can find there other business travellers alongside all sorts of interesting people from the business world – local startupers, digital nomads, expats with roots in your native country, etc
If you want something more exciting and fun, your go-to app is Teleporting, a centralised experience-seeking marketplace which connects travelers with local experience providers. It allows its users to find unique tours, non-mainstream events and exclusive venues worldwide. On the app there are group activities that you can join to meet new people or you can invite newly acquired acquaintances to share adventures with you. Living through the same experience is a powerful tool for connection.
Apart from digital tools, use your existing network. Ask friends and colleagues if they can connect you with somebody. This old-fashioned search engine is still working and sometimes generates awesome results. In general, be open and get ready to communicate with people you meet within the business lounge.
The mix of communication and technology can improve the business travel experience, making it less overwhelming than in the past. Back then looking for like-minded people and those who can share with you their experience was much harder. We had to rely on random strangers and articles we could find on the internet. Now the digital services market offers a lot of useful tools for all sorts of travellers.
Today one can book a place at a coworking space and find company for an adventure simply using the right app. You can access much more people than back in the day which makes it easier to find like-minded acquaintances who later may turn into friends. We, humans, still strive for connection because it’s in our nature. It brings benefits for both individuals and businesses.
Ilya Rouss is CEO of Teleporting.