I am getting ready for a corporate trip and as I prepare I wanted to do some research on what’s expected and how people take to presentations. We all know the basics, pack some work clothes, pack some fine dining clothes and something more casual for bonding time. We all also know not to have too much fun and act professionally.
Beth McHugh, VP of Policy Development for Fidelity Investments offers the following 5 tips, “…these events [are] an opportunity to educate [your]self on what is happening in the industry and to reconnect with former colleagues.”
1. “Approach groups of people you do not know and avoid just hanging out with coworkers,” McHugh advises.
2. “Show up prepared to talk business. Prior to attending, read the industry headlines, review your department’s financials, and know what your goals are. During the meetings, speak up. It’s not okay to hang back at the coffee bar and just listen. Participate, but don’t hog the meeting. There is a common saying at off-sites, ‘You have two ears and one mouth. Use them accordingly.’ Remember you are there to learn as well as shine; and you won’t learn if you don’t listen.”
3. “When there is free time scheduled, is it better to hit the golf course or the spa? The answer depends on your personal preferences. Diane Mullen, a former Mercer management consultant, says ‘It’s still all about the golf. That’s table stakes for professional services.’…McHugh prefers the spa. ‘I usually sign up for an activity that I enjoy…versus the one that provides the best networking opportunity.’”
4.”Perhaps the most daunting part of the executive retreat can be the dress code. Many businesses reward their employees by allowing business casual, or even full casual, dress at offsite events. For professional women, packing can be like navigating a landmine.
Most executive women caution against dressing too casual. For example, if the events call for shorts, opt for capris instead. After all, the main focus is work, regardless of the setting.
Mullen’s wardrobe rules are even stricter. ‘Do not go anywhere near the pool in a swimsuit in front of your colleagues,’ she says. For evening events, Mullen opts for dressy clothes similar to what she would wear to an office holiday party. ‘The safe bet, is to stick with dark colors. You are not trying to seduce anyone at these events.’”
5. “Finally, McHugh advises that women also pack water, caffeine and layers.”
This advice offers up some interesting things I hadn’t taken into account and hope it will help you as well.
What did you do today?
Read more about surviving an off-site meeting.