I have a love-hate relationship with business trips. Working at a PR agency means always having to travel to and from conferences, media events, and new business pitches in different parts of the country. In fact, my colleagues are flying out to San Francisco next week to attend the Game Developers Conference (GDC). Even though I’m not attending, I almost wish I was (or do I?).
Why would I want to go to a busy conference next week when there are so many negatives to business travel? For example:
1) Time out of the office sucks because you have to work even harder before you leave and after you get back to finish other projects.
2) You are never really in your destination location long enough to enjoy the local attractions.
3) Jet lag – need I say more.
4) Yes, you get to expense food and spirits, but often times you end up staying out later than you probably should and, with the jet lag factor, this results in a less than wonderful feeling the next morning.
5) In PR, conferences and media events often mean scrambling to pull everything together at the last minute, running errands and tying up loose ends. No matter what your executive level is sometimes you have to walk 4 or 5 blocks to pick up lunch for the rest of the staff – go team!
With the negatives, comes the positives:
1) There is nothing like staring out the window of a plane looking down on the Grand Canyon. It gives you perspective.
2) Seeing new places, people, sights and sounds (and on the company’s dime) is so valuable. If business travel is not part of your job, you would normally have to pay for these experiences yourself.
3) Those nights where you stay out later than you should – they usually are a blast, especially when you enjoy the people you work with, which I do.
4) Despite all the hustle and bustle (and stress of events and conferences), the adrenaline keeps you going and when you do a good job there is a HUGE sense of accomplishment.
5) The flight home is always longer than the flight out (or so it seems), but the feeling you get when you drop your bags on your doorstep and hug your husband reminds you of all the reasons why you work so hard in the first place.
For those who are travelling to GDC next week – enjoy and maybe I’ll see you next time!