Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My First Business Trip By WG2

Tomorrow morning I am taking the 9 a.m. flight from Newark airport to Colorado for my first ever business trip. 

I'm shaking in my boots nervous, butterflies nervous, all sorts of nervous. Not because I'm scared of flying or taking a commercial airline flight with my bosses. I'm more nervous about performing my best (I'm going to have to be on top of my game 24-7), all the work I'm going to have to complete (this is a four day, all day event where I will have to perform lots of manual labor), and my first business dinner. 

In a meeting last week, The Boss announced that since we had a smaller staff going to our annual Colorado event this year that I was going to have to take clients out to dinner. I had a minor heart attack. 

I mean, I don't mind sitting in on meetings, taking notes, or talking in front of clients. But a whole dinner to entertain them? And to top it all off, since we're so short-staffed I will be heading this dinner alone. Which makes me shake with nervousness. What if I don't know the answer to one of their questions? What if I go over the budget for my dinner expenses? What if we run out of stuff to talk about? I mean, I'm only 23. I feel like I'm too young to be taking very important clients out for dinner at a posh restaurant. 

I guess the main reason I'm taking these clients out are because they are young so The Boss wants to show these clients a good time. Which leads me to my next big question: by a good time do we mean taking shots of tequila and dancing on tables while singing "Pour Some Sugar On Me"? Or do we mean sipping white wine and talking politics? It all makes me a little weary. So much room for error, but also a lot of room for success.  

So wish me luck readers. This is make or break time and I'm hoping I'm one tequila shot away from making it. 

44 comments:

Reckless Sarcasm said...

You will be fabulous. Just be prepared for anything with the dinner. I have been at some pretty wild "client dinners."

Alexandreena said...

You'll do great, I'm sure. I remember my first solo business dinner, although I don't think there were tequila shots. I was to shy to suggest them. Nowadays I take staff, and occasionally clients to liquid lunches and everyone has a great time. But, yes, it took me a while to get here.

I'm sure you'll be wonderful.Just don't drink out of nervousness, not that I've ever done that or anything.

Lauren said...

Good luck! I'm sure you'll do great

Melania said...

I have to go to these things all the time. (I'm only 27 and often the youngest female at these thing.) You'll be fine. You'll start off by talking business, then ease into "did you go on vacation" and see where the conversation goes from there. You'll be surprised how much fun you can have.

Downbeat said...

Best of luck! You'll do great. And the more tequila shots you ply the clients with, the less you have to worry about screwing anything up.

Not that you would... just giving you a safety net.

Nicole said...

This means they really have confidence that you can handle the job and do it well or they wouldn't leave you with the responsibilty. That's great. You should really be proud of yourself!

Nicole said...

This shows that they are confident that you can handle the job and do it well or they wouldn't have given you the responsibility. You should be proud of yourself. If you are nervous it will show and you don't want that! Be confident like your boss!

Maki said...

I say bunch of tequila shots! It's so much better than sipping wines and having politics discussion. And! politics, sports and religion are three big no no's at social dinner table, that's what I've heard growing up. Good luck with your buisness trip! I'm sure you'll have a stellar performance!!!

April's Fitness Journey said...

That sounds like SO much fun!! I wish I could go on a trip instead of just being stuck in the office all the time! I am sure that everything will go FANTASTIC and you will impress both your boss and your clients. Have a great time! Good LUCK!!

M said...

I'll step out of the shadows to wish you lots of luck on your trip. I just went on my first business trip a few months ago and was absolutely terrified. It didn't help that my boss wasn't there for the first two days, leaving the wining, dining, and schmoozing to me. Luckily, all went well -- and I'm sure it will for you, too.

kk said...

have fun and don't drink TOO much!

and when deciding what sort of "good time" should be had, let the clients take the lead. and just follow suit.

(maybe have the name of some nice bars/clubs in your back pocket, though!)

J-Diggety said...

You will do great... just be yourself, and things will fall into place.

And welcome to Colorado, my beautiful, sunny homestate. Which city will you be in? I hope you enjoy your time here!!

Rachel Eden said...

Where are you going to be in Colorado? Good luck! I'm sure you'll do fine, most Coloradans are pretty laid back and easy to get along with. :)

Melanie Busbee said...

I say be assertive and fun at the same time by starting out with some research. Come prepared, know which appetizers are the best and order them for the whole table, all while announcing, "these are supposed to be fabulous." Then order everyone a specialty shot as a warm-up, nothing too strong, but still fun. It will set the mood. Then they'll know they can relax. Usually with these dinner meetings, talking more casually as opposed to work talk signifies success.

stormiekim said...

You'll be fine. It's great they trust you to take them out!
Here are a few tips I've picked up over the past few years:
1. Feel them out. (not literally!) How do they react around others? If they seem to have a good sense of humor it will be a piece o' cake.
2. Start off the conversation that is neutral(i.e. Married, children, vacation...) It will slide from there and eventually land in a convo that everyone is comfortable with.
3. All else fails, offer the shots and a mechanical bullride. Hehe.

Ken said...

It's in the bag!
Just remember two things, don't sweat the small stuff.
And, There's nothing but small stuff!
Nock'em dead,

Jessie said...

good luck working girl, you're a rock star!

Constructive Attitude said...

You'll be fine!Just keep looking forward to the end of the four days and enjoy your first business trip :)

Mis Personality said...

haha that does sound scary but also amazing!! Try a little bit of both - the sugar and tequila thing and talk some politics... haha

everyone is only human,

Ginger said...

Have no fear, just play it by ear!

The clients are probably just as nervous as you are. Your dinner can be as pleasant or awful as you all make it.

Start out formal, and then gauge how everyone is feeling, and what their personalities are like. Also, ask them what they would like to do.

Once the alcohol starts flowing (be it wine or tequila) things will start to loosen up a little. Relax and have a good time!

That is your entertaining goal, after all!

(I'm 23 too and do this stuff for my clients. I also get taken out as a client, so I can tell you both sides of the story!)

Good luck!

Sara McGinness said...

You will do great, thats awesome and it shows that they have a lot of confidence in you.

I just have one piece of advice; DONT be the drunkest person at the table, if the night does turn to shots...partake but DONT BE THE DRUNKEST person. You don't want them telling your boss the next morning "guess what WG2 did last night"

Francophile said...

Drinks are fine, but watch what you drink. You do not want make a bad impression by being tipsy. Non? Bonne chance

Katelin said...

aw good luck! you'll do fabulously :)

Kristin Zuvich said...

Better to make your mistakes now while you're young than when you're 45. I'm confident you'll do fine, though.

Anna Routh said...

Aaah! I can't wait to hear how this goes. I would be so nervous too, but I'm sure you'll do fine. Just be confident and make sure if you don't know the answer to a question you don't fake it. Say that its an excellent question and you're not sure of the answer at the time but you will find out as soon as possible. And, yes, tequila shots and table dancing are an obvious solution to entertaining your clients. Duh.

A Dilettante's Perspective said...

I guess 23 is a little young for such a big deal, but your boss probably wouldn't send you if she didn't know you'd be great. And it is time to grow up a little, wine is the preferred drink, but remember that everyone wants to do shots, but they're at work also. Don't worry about the budget, these things can be adjusted. Order first, and order something inexpensive or close enough to it to set the tone for what the others order.

Anonymous said...

Just letting you know that I am living in Colorado and we are very down to earth and casual. I don't think that you will have a "bad" time. You will do fine. Just be confident without being arrogant and you are on your way. Good luck and welcome to Colorado!

hautepocket said...

I LOVE your blog design! Good luck with your business trip. :)

Maxie said...

good luck! it sounds like my first business dinner-- my boss told me he was inviting me so people would "feel comfortable drinking." No one even got one alcoholic drink, but I still had fun. You will be fine!

Caz said...

Wow! I'd be scared shitless too. But don't worry I think you'll do fabulous!

Paige said...

You're a total star, and it's your time to shine WG2!! Don't worry about the small stuff this weekend and let loose in the times that you can. You'll look back on the trip and be glad you did :)

Sampada said...

hey..all the best! dont be nervous, u'll do well. take my word, ur clients will be more nervous than you after seeing such a young confident woman incharge :)

ceemee said...

Good luck to you! You'd do wonderful, I'm sure! Just have fun and empathize with your clients' needs or wants. God bless!

fari said...

This is great! Be confidence! If anything were a mess the first person to laugh shall be you and just announce, "oh, this and this happened that should not happened in front of you in this dinner, hahahha..." This is the trick I always use and it always works.
So you have the weapon, go to the mattresses…
Cheers! :)

anna said...

good luck. you'll be great.:)

damayna said...

there's always a first time, but once you get over the 'first time syndrome', the next one will be a piece of cake. you'll be fine, i'm sure.i have no solo business dinner yet, most of the time, it's with my bosses.
good luck, and have fun.
love your blog.

The Rambling Redhead said...

First off, try not to worry.

I’ve been to a few business dinners, flying solo from my regular work group, and I know how intimidating it can be when you’re out of your usual element. However, chances are that some of the dinner guests may feel a little shy or apprehensive themselves. Don’t worry about entertaining too much, just pick a nice restaurant and start the wine flowing. People tend to unwind after a few drinks and then you can take your cues from there…maybe hit up a sophisticated martini place, a coffee shop or pub afterwards.

The last business trip I was on, I actually ended up singing bad karaoke in the hotel lounge with a colleague that I had never met before. There’s nothing like singing “My Endless Love” with a drunk middle-aged Frenchman. To be honest though, it was all in good fun and it was a fun icebreaker for everyone. I didn’t plan on going out after dinner, other people simply suggested it and I just followed their cue. Makes for a great business trip story though and I know that there are pictures floating around out there - lol

Just A Spoonful of Sarcasm said...

Good luck w/the business trip.
Just try not to get drunk or sleep with the client. Bosses usually don't like that sort of thing.

seaweed said...

Good luck! you'll do great! don't worry! : )

Robin L Greenslade said...

You will have the best time and do it all with style and grace. At 23 you already sound more mature and capable than I feel at 41.

Bush said...

Follow the lead of politicians for centuries. Ride the fence (or pole in this case). Take shots of white wine while dancing on the table and singing about humanitarian aide. That way, everyone can relate..ish.

Monster Librarian said...

It will be great! You will be AWESOME! Just let your fun sense of humor that exudes this blog seep out a little. And get a feel for them. If they seem cool enough to night cap it with at a fun nearby bar...try it out. They chose you for a reson--just rememeber that!

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