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Going onsite? Be Prepared!


The famous motto of the Scout Movement is “Be prepared”. Great advice that’s not for the exclusive use of a paramilitary youth organisation!

Vicki Giordano of MCI UK takes us through her nightly guide to being prepared for survival onsite –

Forget it. Not going to happen. You saw the lovely gym and pool on the hotel website? I’m afraid that’s the closest you’re going to get to them. Don’t pack anything you’re not going to have time to use or wear.

Take your shower just before going to bed.  Douse your feet and lower legs in ibuprofen gel – an effective anti-inflammatory – and keep your toe nails trimmed.

Look after your feet. Seriously. If my feet are burning at the sole or throbbing from shoes not allowing for that inevitable foot swell that creeps in around day three, I’m irritated.  I’m distracted.  Common onsite challenges become heightened and my patience – to answer the hostess that asks me what time her break is for the third time before lunch – wears pretty thin!

Lay everything out – onsite files and uniform.  It’s never happened to me but, the fear of oversleeping ensures that should I only have four minutes to be ready and out of my room, I know it’s doable as I can jump into my clothes in the style of a firefighter!
Note: I’m not actually wearing a fireman’s outfit but I’m ready for action like .. oh, you get the idea.

Aside from seeing off the odd bus transfer, you’ve probably not been outside for 18 hours.  The venue’s air con has taken it’s toll on your skin and eyes so now is the time to moisturise and add excessive eye drops.  Force yourself to drink half a litre of water before bed.

Add a bit of fake tan before bed.  Face and arms is sufficient.  Comedy colour stipes when you get home are difficult to explain but, worth it.  It’s a mystery where makeup disappears to in the working day onsite and sleep deprivation makes for a paler shade than usual.

What’s going to stop you sleeping?  Is it that tiny gap in the curtains, the red dot from the TV, the fact you’ve not double checked the door is locked?  Stalk the room for irritants.

To ensure ‘casual’ conversation is flowing between you and the client over breakfast before you settle, you need to brush up on current affairs and check who’s won the tennis. Stick BBC World News on whilst you set the alarm on your phone (don’t get tempted with an hour of social media – it’s bedtime remember!).

Slept well? Good.
Now pad around in the hotel slippers – don’t put shoes on until you are leaving the room.  Spray dry shampoo into roots of the hair – there’s no time for daily hair-washing and it is possible to train your hair not to produce so many oils if you get into the habit of washing it less overall – this pays off onsite.

Take a preventative Paracetemol in case that glass of wine you had with the team prior to bed leads to a hangover that sneaks in just after lunch.

So, grab your onsite file, phone and bag and get out the door – all prepared for the day ahead.  Don’t leave anything in your room under the impression you’ll have time to pop back later. We all know the next time you see that room it will be after dinner and you’ll be ready to start the nightly routine all over again.

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