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Getting Away From the Business While on Vacation

limo service LA, LA Limo, sedan serviceJust because you travel for business often doesn’t mean that every trip you take should involve business. Many frequent business travelers find that it’s very difficult to remove their personal life from their business life; after all, the office is already used to corresponding with them while they’re away. If you want to take some time for you and your family, you may want to follow these tips.

Get Your Emails and Voicemails Forwarded

What’s the best way to ignore communications from work? Make sure that they never get to you at all, of course! Before you even leave, make sure that your emails and voicemails are forwarded to someone else entirely. That squarely puts the burden on someone else in the company’s shoulders rather than yours while still ensuring that anything urgent gets tended to. Make sure that you also have an out of office reply that notes this, so that your clients don’t think they’re ignoring you.

Prepare Everyone Well in Advance

It’s often not enough to simply tell people once you’re going on vacation. Tell them when your vacation is scheduled, a couple of weeks before your vacation and directly before you leave. By giving them three warnings, you make sure that they can arrange their plans around your absence. This may seem like a polite thing to do, but it’s also beneficial to you as well; fewer emergencies means fewer people trying to get you on the phone.

Don’t Bring Your Business Computer

It is almost impossible to bring a business computer with you on vacation and not work. The second you open it up you will be reminded of all the things that you need to do, and the temptation may be too great. Bring the family iPad or tablet instead; besides that, you don’t want to be responsible for company data while you’re on a trip.

Don’t Tell Them Where You’re Going

Perhaps the best and easiest way to make sure work doesn’t follow you is to simply disappear. They don’t need to know where you’re going. If absolutely necessary, let a single person know where you will be and tell them to guard that secret with their life.

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The 411 on International Duty on Gifts and Souvenirs

sedan service, limo service LA, los angeles limoDid you forget to buy souvenirs for your friends and family on your last business trip and promised everyone you wouldn’t forget THIS time…only to forget again?  Well don’t worry.  As long as you haven’t boarded your aircraft, you can still keep your promise.  Airports all over the world have what are known as  duty free stores, which indicates that you do not pay sales tax on any of your purchases.   You can stock up on anything from specialty food items to liquor, high brand cosmetics, clothing, shoes, electronics and more.  However, before you go on a shopping spree, be advised of what items you can and cannot bring into the country.  The duty free shops will sell you whatever you want to buy.  After all, they are in the business of making money.  Therefore it is your responsibility to know what items will be barred entry into the United States by US Customs.

Meats of any kind and fresh fruits and vegetables are strictly prohibited, although canned fruits and veggies like those  bought from a grocery store may be allowed.  Cigarettes are allowed but one person cannot bring in more than 2 cartons.

Each person is allowed to bring in gifts, souvenirs, and other items totaling $800.  A family of 3 is allowed $2,400 worth of items purchased abroad.  Items that total more than $800 per individual will be subject to a small tax which must be paid before exiting customs.

Sometimes the airport agents will hand you a blue customs form along with your boarding pass at check-in.  They are also handed out by flight attendants about an hour prior to landing.  It is very important that you answer the questions on this form honestly and that you claim and put a dollar value on items purchased abroad that you are bringing into the US.  If for some reason you or your entire flight is randomly selected for  additional screening and customs officials find items (prohibited or not) that you did not claim on your form, the US government will kindly relieve you of $500, plus any additional taxes if they think your items are worth more than $800.  In addition, a red flag will pop up next to your name so that every time your passport is scanned upon your arrival into the US from abroad, you will automatically be the recipient of an invasive and closely scrutinized screening process.  You will also be disqualified from participating in any of the Trusted Traveler Programs.

The dogs you see sniffing around the luggage area  or being walked past passengers in line are not simply checking for illegal drugs or bomb making materials.  They are trained to sniff out food items and they are very good at it.  To avoid any hassles, just claim everything.  If you have claimed something that turns out to be a prohibited item, the only thing the officials can do is throw it away.  When dealing with governmental agencies, honesty is always the best policy.

For a complete list of prohibited items, visit www.cpb.gov

Exclusive Sedan Service provides worldwide limousine service in Los Angeles and  around the world in our global locations.  Call us or book online for airport transfers, sedan service and more at www.exclusivesedan.com

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Plane Panic? How to Beat Airport Anxiety

limo service LA, sedan service, LA LimoAre you afraid of flying? According to ABC News, 6.5 percent of the population experiences what is known as aviophobia. If you start feeling butterflies in your stomach the moment you imagine yourself taking off, you may want to take these steps to minimize your anxiety.

Prepare Everything in Advance

Are you packed? Do you have a ride? Where will you park? Is your passport correct? Did you lock your door? Is your stove on?

These are the worries that fly through almost everyone’s head when leaving for the airport, but you don’t want to worry about these things when you’re also afraid about the flight itself. Make sure that you prepare everything thoroughly in advance: check your packing list the night before, double check your appliances and arrange for a driver to pick you up and drop you off.

Bring Your Gear

There are many items that can help you relax on a plane. These items will help you ignore any unpleasant stimuli, such as turbulence or the sounds of taking off and landing. Here is a short packing list:

  • Noise isolating headphones.
  • Tablet or laptop with videos, books or games.
  • Sleeping masks.

Focus on music, movies and other pleasant stimuli the second you begin feeling nervous.

Take a “Crash” Course

Many people find that they are more comfortable flying once they understand exactly how the plane works. Take some time to read about planes, their safety mechanisms and their track record. Listen to the flight attendant when he or she walks you through the safety protocols. The more you know, the better you’ll feel; anxiety is often brought about through uncertainty.

Let the Flight Attendant Know

Don’t be afraid to tell the flight attendants that you have a fear of flying. They see it every day and they would rather know that you are anxious rather than ill! Most flight attendants will be able to check on you to ensure that you’re still doing well and that you don’t have any additional concerns.

Keep on Flying

As with most types of phobia, a fear of flying can be neatly countered by flying–and flying a lot. If you really want to get over your fear of flights, you might want to take more trips. The more successful flights you have, the less you’ll worry.

If you are still extremely anxious about flying, you may want to consult with your doctor. Some gentle medications can be used to reduce your feelings of anxiousness while not significantly affecting you in other ways.

One way to reduce your travel anxiety is to always use Exclusive Sedan Service for all your ground transportation/ limo service LA needs.  Call us or book online today at www.exclusivesedan.com

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Ways to De-Stress On Your Next Business Trip

limo service los angeles. los angeles limo, LA limo, limo service LAStress is one of the major issues many people have during business trips, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are a few things you can do to de-stress during your next business trip while still remaining productive and efficient.

Take Advantage of the Hotel’s Amenities

Call room service, get a massage or even go to the gym. Most hotels will have a convenient set of relaxation services on-site. With these amenities, you won’t have to worry about leaving the hotel but you’ll still be able to take some time to cool down.

Use Your Recreational Time

Don’t spend your personal time on the trip planning your business activities. When the evening hits, put the work away and relax. If you can, turn off your phone. You’ll be able to get more work done if you aren’t feeling stressed out and worried. Don’t let yourself be on call the entire trip; that’s a sure recipe for stress.

Let Someone Else Handle Transportation

Forget about trying to navigate an unknown city. Use a chauffeured service to get to your next meeting so that you don’t need to worry about traffic or getting lost. This will give you some time to relax while you’re in transit; use the time to review your work documents or to simply unwind with a book.

Make Sure You Have a Buffer

One of the biggest mistakes many people make during their business trips is scheduling themselves too tight. If you start feeling the pressure, you might want to reschedule a non-essential meeting or event. You don’t have to do everything at once.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Being unable to sleep can be problematic in itself; even if you’re at home, being exhausted can lead to stress. If you have issues sleeping when you’re on a business trip you may want to consult with your physician for a sleep aid. When traveling outside of your time zone for shorter periods of time, it’s often best to remain on your own personal sleep schedule rather than disrupting it.

Remember that travel can be inherently stressful; you’re in an unfamiliar location attempting to work with a tight schedule. If it gets to be too much, take a little time for yourself.

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Get the Most From Conference Attendance

conference, attendance, businessAttending a conference is an expensive undertaking – not only must you factor in the cost of attendance and travel but also the cost of your time out of the office. On the other hand, conferences often mean new business opportunities and allow you to stay in touch with your industry. Often, from this perspective you cannot afford not to miss them. So just like any other investment, you need to know how to maximize the return on your investment. This post gives you a few tips to do exactly that.

Set conditions for success

If you know that you’re going to attend a conference booking early will reap many rewards. Firstly, you’re likely going to save a bit of cash. Next, you’ll get to pick you choice of hotels and flights. Lastly, by making the early commitment – and following the next bits of advice – you’re setting the conditions for success.

Alongside the decision to attend, you need to come to a firm conclusion about what exactly you’re trying achieve by attending. It’s likely going to be more than one thing – so make a list of your top 3 or 5. Frequently people look to accomplish the following: network, gain insights, learn new and useful skills, find new clients and opportunities and interact with the market leaders.

Now you know what you want and have a plan to get there and about, but you need the actual plan. Working through the program and vendor list – with you list of goals close at hand – we suggest you sketch out a draft custom program for you and you team. This does not need to take more than a few minutes but could save countless missed opportunities.

Seize success

With your plan and a clear idea of what you want, the actual conference will be like ‘drinking from a fire hose’. You can’t take in everything, so make notes about interesting concepts with contacts that you intend to follow up on later. While you have your plan, don’t be afraid to deviate from it if you sense something hot and new is afoot. Innovation should be particularly important to witness. This is what drives an industry forwards and what kills the competitors that don’t stay ahead. Lastly: network and then network some more.

Once the show is over ensure that you follow up on key leads promptly and maybe schedule some time with your team to digest what you’ve seen and cross-pollinate new ideas.

Exclusive Sedan is a company that has an immensely high regard for conference attendees. We hope that this short summary has proved useful and would offer you the suggestion that the next time you need quality ground transportation in the L.A. area you consider a company that understands that long term success is built on working with partners in the travel industry to build fruitful and enduring relationships. Call our team today to see what we can offer.

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Business Travel Spending Set to Rebound

business travel, A new report released by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) predicts rising corporate profits and steady job growth should lead to a greater to increase in spending on business trips than was previously thought.

Earlier this year a rise of 6.6 percentage points was predicted by the GBTA. They have upgraded that figure by 0.5%, to 7.1% or $293.3 billion.

“The outlook for businesses is really strong, and the job numbers keep getting stronger,” says Mike McCormick, GBTA’s executive director and COO, who added that both factors are boosting the confidence of corporate managers. “Business travel drives business growth. If you see strong numbers here, that likely means good things for the U.S. economy for the rest of the year.”

Stormy Start

The storms and cold that we all experienced at the start of the year led to tens of thousands of flights being cancelled. This naturally had a direct effect on business travel, but the overall view is now better McCormack predicts: “It certainly has some impact,” he says, “but on the whole, those kinds of impacts are relatively minor. … Companies still need to accomplish their objectives. They tend to reschedule those trips quickly and get people back on the road. I think we’ll have a very busy spring in terms of business travel in the U.S.”

Once of the most lucrative areas of business travel, the overseas long haul market should see a particular surge: “It makes sense because companies are looking for business opportunities anywhere they can in a global economy … and that’s been a big driver in overall business travel growth,” McCormick says. While domestic business travel has also rebounded, “everybody is competing in a global marketplace, so they put people on the road.”

Possible threats

All that being said, the GBTA identified the effects on the European economy by further destabilization in Ukraine as a possible factor that could threaten the predicted growth.

Exclusive Sedan is a company that has an immensely high regard for conference organizers; we know you perform multiple tasks with dedication and commitment. We’re proud of our relationships with you, not just here in L.A. but throughout the world. We hope that this short summary has proved useful and would offer you the suggestion that the next time you need quality ground transportation in the L.A. area you consider a company that understands that long term success is built on working with partners in the travel industry to build fruitful and enduring relationships. Call our team today to see what we can offer.

 

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How To Ruin a Corporate Event

business, conference There are many pitfalls that the unsuspecting event organizer could discover. In fact much of the job can be ensuring that these are avoided with careful planning. This week’s post gives you an insight into the most common mistakes that will ruin your event.

Getting the dates wrong

No one turns up because something else is going on. One of the simplest aspects, getting the date right, can be one an area most likely to fail. Good scheduling with all stake holders and an awareness of what other things are going on around this time, should see you avoiding making this simple but disastrous mistake.

Inconvenient venue

Attendees find it very taxing to get to your venue because it’s in the wrong place, or perhaps it’s just difficult to get to at that time of day. Choosing a convenient venue may not be exciting but it is critical to success. Try and factor in all your attendees needs and then narrow the possible locations down accordingly.

Event poorly marketed

No one turns up because either they have not realized it’s going on, or they did not realize the benefit it offered them. Either way, you’ve got to get promotion and marketing right to get people through the door. This is a complex subject with many possible solutions but try and make the best use of your existing customers who’re already convinced of your value.

Too little direction and micromanagement

When it comes to actually staging the event, it’s likely that you’ve  hired an experienced team. Make the most of them. If you give them clear direction about what your goals are but allow them to use their expertise in executing them, you’ll find you get so much more out of them. If you don’t tell them what you really need but micromanage every aspect, odds are they won’t be able to perform to the right level and will be and look disinterested.

Have a backup plan

There are certain elements of your event plan that are critical; without which the event will not be a success. Examples include keynote speakers and getting people from the airport. If you don’t have at least the start point for failure in one of these critical areas, you’re leaving yourself open to failure.

Exclusive Sedan is a company that has an immensely high regard for conference organizers; we know you perform multiple tasks with dedication and commitment. We’re proud of our relationships with you, not just here in L.A. but throughout the world. We hope that this short summary has proved useful and would offer you the suggestion that the next time you need quality ground transportation in the L.A. area you consider a company that understands that long term success is built on working with partners in the travel industry to build fruitful and enduring relationships. Call our team today to see what we can offer.

 

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How to Survive LAX

survive, business travel, business, travelThere’s no getting away from the fact that LAX is both one of the busiest airports in the world and one with the worst reputation for a pleasant travel experience. This short post give you some tips about how to make your time at LAX as bearable as possible.

Transit terrors:

As LAX is a hub airport, many people find themselves at LAX as a transfer passenger. They get out of a plane in a busy terminal and are faced with the unpleasant prospect of fighting their way across the airport to another terminal. If the terminal you’re at is close to your departure terminal, it may be quickest and least hassle to simply walk. If not, one of the many transit buses will be the best bet. There are maps to help out and all airport employees should be able to point you in the right direction.

Tranquility

For those who have to spend any amount of time at LAX, the best and most quiet place to be is an airport lounge. This is straight forward for members or people with corporate or credit card benefits but for others it may make sense to buy a single access pass. You’ll get drinks and snacks, a great Wi-Fi connection and, most importantly of all, a bit of peace.

Onward transportation

One of the most daunting prospects for those arriving at LAX is getting away from it. The city is huge and most of the transport options have distinct disadvantages. The traffic and navigation prohibits hire cars for all but the most daring; and these will struggle to park. Taxis are sometimes fine but you never really know. Public transportation is hard work and not pleasant

Play it safe

The best bet will almost certainly be the use of a quality ground transportation company and here we can help: Exclusive Sedan is a ground transportation company that has been supporting events in Los Angeles for over 30 years. We offer excellent chauffeured transport land are proud of the relationships we’ve built with many private and corporate clients. For your ground transportation needs, not just in LA but worldwide, Exclusive Sedan should be your choice for peace of mind, quality and above all excellent service.

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4 Steps To Build Your Personal Brand Online

Marketing Strategy typographyIt’s difficult to separate personal and company brands when it comes to online reputation. Previously, this had made life hard for anybody changing profession – they wanted to be known as ‘x with the y skills and ability’ but they were ‘x that works for z‘. If you take time to build an online brand, you can avoid this issue and this blog post gives you some idea about getting started.

Step 1: Complete your social media profiles

This may sound too obvious to be worthy of a start but what is meant is: from the perspective of your personal brand, complete your profile. To get you started, look at someone’s profile who has a very professional looking presence and then base your format on theirs.

This will probably include getting a quality professionally taken photo, with a complete profile and a link to their LinkedIn profile, their blog and their website.

Step 2: Select a suitable name for your presence

If you tweet under a pseudonym, odds are no one will connect it with you, unless you’re really big. Similarly, if you have a very common name and you add some numbers after it – @jsmith2332, for example – it’ll not be linked to you very easily. So pick a suitable name like JohnSmithSays and use this on all social media.

You may also want to purchase the domain with your name, as someone else may do this and it could cost you a lot later to purchase it, or undo the damage they’ve done.

Step 3: Be active

People will be discussing your area of expertise across a massive variety of sources from formal online journals to Twitter chats. You should engage in these on a regular basis in a neutral (don’t make enemies or shoot others down) and informed way. This will help to make connections and establish the credibility behind the profile and photo for those that don’t know you.

Step 4: Create regular quality content

The best way for people to find and develop respect for your online profile is by creating the most useful possible content for those in your industry on the web. This may sound like a tall order but it’s not impossible if you double up with work you’re already doing. Let’s say you’re asked to speak at a conference. So long as you’re not a professional speaker and you won’t hurt your future income, you could take you key ideas and turn it into a blog or article with very little effort. People will find this and come back to you.

Now monitor

Once you’ve started, you need to know how your efforts are going. You can check up this by googling yourself or your industry with your name. If you really are adding value in your online presence, you’ll very quickly find that you start showing up in search engine results and, because this all links back to your stellar profile, people will know it’s you.

Exclusive Sedan has been providing outstanding ground transportation in the L.A area for over 30 years. We have a vast number of repeat corporate clients because we are always looking to build long term relationships that are founded upon delivering consistently outstanding service.

We can provide chauffeured and bespoke travel solutions for all occasions and would be delighted to explain exactly what we can do to make your own unique situation better. Call us today to find out just how.

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Posted in Getting Around L.A., Holidays in Los Angeles, L.A. Traffic, leadership tips, limo service, limousine service, los angeles limo service, Los Angeles transporatation, management, meeting planners, meeting tips, self improvement, small meetings, travel tips | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Create the Definitive Event App

apps, app store, phone, iPhone, Android, businessThere’s an app for pretty much everything these days, but sadly the create event apps app is not yet to be found. In the meantime, for those creating apps to support, enhance and complement events there are many things to consider. This short post lets you know what the most important things are to ensure you have the definitive event app next time around.

Target Audience

An app can’t and shouldn’t be intended for everyone. Take a little bit of time to work out exactly who the intended audience is. It is clearly for your attendees but not all will likely download it. Perhaps find out what type of people downloaded your last event app, define their needs and go from there.

With an idea of the target audience, try and narrow down what sort of people they are. How old, how tech and app savvy are they and do they need to network at the event? These answers will steer you in the right direction to getting the app sorted.

Without overly stereotyping, the younger more tech savvy will appreciate a more detailed app, while the older and less tech aware may well get more from something more straight-forward. This does not mean that you should not aim for an easy to use app that a child can find their way round; because you should.

Focus

The aspect that will bring your app together in a successful format is focus. It will keep the quantity of information under control and the quality high. Focus should also allow you to keep the content that you provide small enough that it works on a small smartphone screen.

While focus is a must, it can be a good idea to give your attendees the start point to find out more about the area that they are in.  For Example, you could give a link to a useful information page with key numbers, respectable hotels and transportation options.

Get your app out there

The last aspect to consider is how you’ll get your app to the people that need it. It is going to need to be highly publicized; include links in emails, within your social media presence and of course on your website.

We hope this short post contributes in some small way to making your event app awesome. As a Los Angeles based ground transportation company, Exclusive Sedan can offer more than just advice for getting your event right – we provide the full spectrum of business and leisure chauffeured transportation and have a long history of working with event organizers and delivering outstanding levels of service, planning advice and support. Operating in the Los Angeles area and with affiliates throughout the world, we’d love to hear from you, so call us today to ensure one aspect of your event planning is not a concern.

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