We made it through our first business trip!
Other than being an amazing event, Vegas Food Expo was a great learning experience for us (you can read all about it here). Being a new blog we wanted to make sure we represented ourselves in the best way, but we had no idea where to start. How were we supposed to dress? What was our main purpose for being there? Did we really know how to sell ourselves? And how could we possibly be taken serious, being such a small blog?
I did what any planner would do, I headed for the blogosphere. I scoured through Pinterest with every open opportunity. There had to be somebody out there talking about being new to business travel, right?
After much frustration and countless searches, I decided to give up and accept that the internet had no answers for me. I was stuck navigating treacherous waters without a compass, but I definitely learned a lot from the journey.
Invest in Networking
Conventions, expos, business trips in general are chock full of networking opportunities. No matter what the event, having some type of networking tool is important. Realizing that not everyone (or every company) has a social media presence, we decided to invest in business cards for ourselves. Done correctly, they are memorable and show that we are serious about our blog.
We decided to make our own cards using Canva, a user friendly graphic design website. There are tons of free designs to work with, and you can easily make your own complete design within minutes. After you have finished your design there are tons of online printers to choose from. We went with moo, because they are know to print high quality cards/
What’s With All These Layers?
While Pinterest has always been a valuable resource to us, it failed me in one aspect; suitable ideas for business casual outfits. While I like my style, I don’t really dress in “business attire” on a regular basis, so I needed some guidance. While Pinterest is great for some things, all it gave me with my search was to dress in layers.
Layers? Yes, Layers,
Collared shirt, layered under sweater, with a scarf and don’t forget the statement necklace and 4 inch heels. These women were definitely not on their way to a crowded exhibit hall with hundreds of other people. Not finding what I was looking for, I turned to my closet. I began to compile outfits that looked stylish and professional.
Like a cold-shoulder, print blouse or a well fitting dress with a pop of color. Trust your own personal style. It’s better to be comfortable and confident than to worry about what people think of your outfit.
Bring on the War Paint
I seriously love my makeup. At any given time you can always find at least two lipsticks and a tube of mascara in my purse. I wouldn’t even consider going on a trip without my trusty Urban Decay Naked palette. Especially for my first business trip, I thought I would need my entire arsenal. Imagine my horror when I get to our hotel room and realize that I had forgotten the bulk of my eye-shadow at home. What was I going to do?
Without my cosmetic security blanket, I felt like I was not going to “look the part”. I was so nervous about not making a good impression. I felt like make up would compensate for not being some big shot blogger with thousands of fans. Luckily for my own sanity, I was wrong.
For a business atmosphere all you really need is to look like you woke up that morning caring about your appearance. Some foundation, a swipe of mascara, a nice shade of lipstick is really all it takes to fit into the crowd. For business events later on in the evening, maybe add a smoky eye and a bit of highlight, less is more.
Business travel does not have to be intimidating. Be confident, be prepared, and if all else fails just fake it till you make it.