IS ALL THAT TRAVEL WORTH IT?????
October 26, 2012
One of the things we do at RTRP is spend a lot of time marketing the Research Triangle Region globally to recruit business and industry. In other words I travel....a lot! It's my job and I really enjoy it. I have the privilege of traveling to places all over the world where I get to meet with a lot of interesting people. It is my responsibility to meet with companies, site selection consultants and various organizations to educate them about our region and what a great business decision it would be for a company to expand or relocate their operations to the region.
But let's face it, business travel is not always what it's cracked up to be as some of you surely know!
One of my colleagues and I recently went on a recruitment trip to Europe. Our outbound flight was delayed leaving, so seven long hours on a plane turned into nine hours. When we finally got to Denmark our hotel rooms weren't ready so we decided to take a short walk to grab something to eat and relax while we waited to check into our rooms. Keep in mind we had traveled all night, in coach, on a packed flight. Seems that we turned the wrong way when we left the hotel, the short walk turned into hours, we were exhausted and lost in a residential neighborhood on the opposite side of Copenhagen. We couldn't find a taxi, the buses and water taxis only accepted Danish money, which we had not thought to get before we set out. Eventually we came across a taxi that accepted credit cards...what a relief! Finally, we were able to get something to eat, rest our feet and make it back to our hotel! Unfortunately, this was just the start of a long week of travel mishaps! I won't get into all the details, but over that week, we rode trains that unexpectedly stopped in the middle of nowhere where we had to get off and get on other trains (we had reservations on trains that were supposed to have been non-stop), we got off at the wrong train station in Berlin at midnight where no one spoke any English, they almost kicked us off a train because to get from Germany to France the train went through Belgium and our rail passes didn't include Belgium! Then things went from bad to worse when our flight home was delayed by several hours while we waited in a terminal that had nothing but a coffee shop to keep us occupied and I don't even drink coffee. Needless to say, when we finally made it to Washington DC we had missed our connecting flight, ended up renting a car and driving back to Raleigh where we finally arrived at 3:00 in the morning!!!
Yes, undoubtedly our travel experiences were no fun to say the least, but it was all worth it! We came home with a couple of great prospects who are considering expanding their operations to the region, which means more jobs and investment for our communities and forming a working relationship with an organization like ours in Berlin who will help us market our region to German companies considering extending their market to the U.S.
So, even after all of those travel mishaps, yes the travel was well worth it!
Author: Debbie Lilly, Vice President, Business Development, Research Triangle Region