There is a window of time, around a month prior to travelling, where you can lay the ground work, connect with potential partners or customers, arrange meetings and get introductions.
So if you want to make the most of your time in Australia, follow this advice and work through each step to ensure your visit is successful.
Firstly, update your social media channels, especially LinkedIn, ensuring you have an up to date photo and your profile is as complete as possible. Ideally you will have a LinkedIn profile, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as these are the most popular social media channels in Australia.
Connect with those people who are hosting your delegation and those who’ll you’ll see during the program in Australia with a note saying who you are, why you are reaching out and include something to value add the connection.
Twitter is fairly popular in Australia so even though you might not use it day to day, get an account, start sharing content, follow and tag those people that you’d like to meet. When in Australia, we often give support back to those you meet and places you visit via Twitter and might even run a Twitter hustle to get maximum attention in a short space of time.
Always use the delegation hash tag # on your social media posts so people can follow, tag and share your posts. Follow others in the delegation group on social media and discuss with them opportunities for you to meet people together with the same interests.
Research the locations you are visiting, who is in a similar area to you, events and meetups that are on, as well as associations to network into.
Identify those people who are ‘must connects’ and those that would be nice to connect, focus on your priorities and working your way into their extended networks. As you ‘reach out’ cc in the delegation and program leaders to add credibility and keep track of the responses, or lack thereof as you can usually ask these leaders for help.
Where your hosts are arranging networking events for you to participate in, share the links to events via your social media or email with those people you’d like to meet encouraging them to come along.
Discuss opportunities with delegation and program leaders for one on one meetings and see how this fits with your schedule and travelling between locations.
Check that your business and personal websites translate well to English, with posts in your own language and English, so your new friends can appreciate your communication.
Join the ‘delegation’ social media groups and keep on top of any changes, notifications and posts.
On a practical note, if you are flying interstate or regionally, ensure you give yourself enough time to get to the airport, check in and go through security, say around 1.5 hours prior to departing.
Be on time for all sessions, especially if you are going via bus or another transport method, and take lots of business cards.
Finally, don’t over pack, leave room for shopping and souvenirs, enjoy the social program and leisure time, take lots of photos having fun (with Australian animals :)) and post this on your personal social media channels.
PS. Australians love Australia and I’m sure you will too!