Vienna, Wien, Vídeň

How does an all expenses paid trip to Vienna for two nights and three days sound to you? Great, but what is the catch?

This past Wednesday, June 14, I left for Vienna, Austria with my supervisor for a business trip. I was excited and ready for an adventure and even more happy that I was going to see one of the top cities on my list to travel to for free. Forgotten within all of my excitement was the fact that I was going to Vienna on business which quickly changed when my supervisor, Venka, picked me up and opened the trunk full of HP products to fit my small carry-on among them.

HP has been a client of Bohemia Public Relations for about fifteen years now and it was an incredible experience to help Venka and her coworker from BPR’s Bratislava, Slovakia office, Lucia, run the show. The event BPR put on in Vienna was Retail Training for about forty people.  All of the clients were either from the Czech Republic or Slovakia so they all spoke in their respective languages together until they needed me to translate English for them with the German speaking Austrians. There were representatives from HP, Okay, AMD, Ryzen and more. The event was held on Thursday and started at 12:30pm that day. However we arrived to set up most of the room and make sure everything was how it was supposed to be the day earlier. Dinner on Wednesday for early arriving clients was set for 7:00 p.m. but none of them showed up until 7:30 p.m. and the very last at 9:00 p.m. that meant I was finally able to join Lucia for my very first authentic Wiener Schnitzel. The next day consisted of waking up before the clients and eating a hurried breakfast and setting up the rest of the conference room. After that I stood in the conference for five hours listening to a Czech presentation on HP products and taking pictures. After the conference we took the clients to a cafe with authentic Viennese coffee and visited the famous amusement park, Wurstelprater. I was expecting this trip to be extremely professional and even brought my nicer business casual for the conference, but I was surprised to see Lucia in jeans and a t-shirt the day of. Venka was dressed up a little more but even some of the clients were dressed down in jeans and t-shirts. It almost seemed as if the clients were less interested in the HP products and the training than they were in seeing each other and celebrating after. I have been surprised at how casual the work place has been for me in the office and now out of the office at an event.

Although I was waking up earlier than normal and unpacking boxes and setting up chairs with adult HP goody bags, this trip taught me a lot. I learned a lot about dealing with clients and how it doesn’t matter if they are late to everything. I learned about crisis control and how to avoid problems by going early to everything and triple checking it is how you ordered it/wanted it. I learned a lot about giving feedback and receiving it and most importantly I learned a lot about event marketing in a foreign country. This trip has me thinking about what I would like to do after graduation because never before did I think event marketing was something I would maybe like to pursue.