Do You Connect or Disconnect in the Air?

Author: Barbara Palmer       

Love it or not, for many event professionals, being a road warrior is part of the job description. Convene launched a short survey this week about business travel, with questions about why and when you travel, how you feel about it, and more. If you regularly travel for business, we’d love to hear from you. The results will appear in a future issue of Convene. Meanwhile, we asked three PCMA staff members to share this one travel habit:

How do you spend your time on airplanes?

Michelle Crowley, senior director for global strategy.

“I rarely do Wi-Fi. It is my time to think. I spend a good portion (if awake) sketching and drawing ideas and plans on computer paper. I also attempt to clean out my inbox. I am about to board a flight to Dubai (13.5 hrs) and have scheduled my time: disconnect, relax, watch movies, and eat for three hours; sleep for six hours (hopefully); think and work for three hours; read magazines and prep for onsite for one hour. Since I am now in an MBA program, I usually spend a good portion reading/doing homework but I am on break!”

Chris Durso, executive editor, Convene:

“When in-flight Wi-Fi first became available, I logged on and worked, or tried to. But service was and is so spotty, and seat space on most flights has gotten so cramped, that I’ve mostly given up on that. So usually I read a book. I find that helps put me in a contemplative, relaxed state of mind — which turns out to be good preparation for whatever business awaits me in my destination.”

Sheila Mires, director, member services:

“It depends on the length of flight and time of day. On short flights, I disconnect and use the time to read a book or — I’m like a baby in a car — I fall asleep. Definitely no talking to seat mates, it’s my quiet time. On longer flights, I will connect to Wi-Fi, catch up on work, or watch TV and movies to pass the time. But I don’t spend a ton of time working on airplanes. And with the way airplanes are configured now, economy seats are so close that there’s not enough space to take your computer out — at least not my computer.”

Now it’s your turn. Please take a few minutes to answer our survey here. (Respondents will be eligible to win a $25 American Express gift card.)