Artemis Berry, NRF Episode 11Artemis Berry is vice president of member engagement at the National Retail Federation. Berry heads up the year-round member experience and engagement strategy and oversees a team responsible for community and event management for digital retail, retail technology, loss prevention and marketing communities.

Before taking on the membership role, Berry managed the digital retail community (Shop.org) for NRF, responsible for community engagement, branding and thought leadership. She also managed the educational strategy for Shop.org and NRF events for years, including the annual Shop.org event.

Prior to joining NRF, Berry served as the marketing director for Vision Chain, a Washington, D.C.-based startup software company, where she developed all facets of the company’s marketing portfolio, including press releases, website content, print collateral, event management and case studies. Berry holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in corporate communications and public relations from Georgetown University.

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Business Travel Hacks Episode 11 show transcript:

[00:00:01] The best lesson for travel. I always want to mix a little bit of fun with business travel. I think you know I’m not someone that was used to doing a ton on my own. As far as that goes. And but I I think it’s a sad thing if you’re in some amazing cities and you can’t just take an hour to yourself and experience something in the city, go to a restaurant and get to know the people or the culture just like the best food there. So I think that’s really really important. I think that the the perk you get and so many people complain. I know I have at one point when there was you know 30 40 trips a year. And some of those were five to seven day trips or what I used to spend a week of my life in Northwest Arkansas every month that one of the startups I worked at if you like people tend to complain about travel. And you know when I talk to people that don’t get to do that they think I have to the best job ever. And why wouldn’t want to be a total road warrior out all that you know with an 80 percent kind of travel schedule. I think we need to remember how lucky we are and how easy it is now compared to what you know even 30, 40 years ago. What we didn’t have access to so all the tools all the technology that makes it just so fast to get somewhere.

[00:01:32] And and usually they get back in if there’s anything just all be a little bit nicer to the people that are in the industry serving all of us in hospitality and then airline flights. You know a lot of the things that happen are out of their control and I think if we were all just a little bit nicer in these high stress environments of travel it would make it better for everybody else. But just how lucky we were really lucky to be able to do this and see so many places. I’ll never forget that experience that this employer at the NRF, as well as some of the other companies I’ve been able to work with and can see the world because of it.

[00:02:47] I am Artemis Berry. I am a VP at the National Retail Federation and a mom and a daughter and a wife, sister. So a bunch of roles. Am I home for is Washington National DCA.

[00:03:04] I’m very lucky that I get to travel a lot. The reason I get to is my organization host conferences and dinners and member visits all over the US and just a little bit internationally I have the pleasure of either organizing a lot of that or just being a member of the team responsible for different programs and experiences for our members.

[00:03:31] What do you wish you knew when you first started traveling professionals that you now know?

[00:03:38] So my first business trip was I would think if I was 21 I may have been. I think I may have just turned 22 years old.

[00:03:48] I checked my luggage and did it a flight. It was a start up and I was trying to keep it cheap. Took A flight to Arkansas with multiple airlines and at least one stopped to try and save money for them. They sent them out and they locked my luggage from a first business trip. I lost my luggage and had to go to Gap and Belke in Northwest Arkansas to have clothing. I learned to always have on fast trips once and just try to avoid checking my luggage of not to fly two different airlines and with quick turnarounds and to kind of think about what I’m wearing to a on flight. So I’ve done a mix of yes sometimes I wear athletic clothes and sneakers to not have to have to pack my sneakers and really try to get the workout that I was in much better shape than that I really always prioritize that. But it does leave you in a situation if for any reason your luggage. So if you have to check and I try to think about what I’m wearing to make sure it could last me at least one business meeting or situation if I ever and not position again. That was my first thing would be. Please find luggage you don’t have to check in your bag. Whenever that is possible.

[00:05:26] Talking about your bags. You know it sounds like you preferably just bring stuff aboard. You don’t check anything in.

[00:05:35] When you hear do you have any special tips about how you are planning what you what you take with you this luggage that you were using or techniques that you use to make your roller board and carry on a little bit more functional?

[00:05:55] Yeah I have. So it’s actually I learned from a few of our our our little circuit from the Shop.org days. I know one of the founders of Ebags which is an awesome brand I really short shrift. I use the Professional Weekender. There’s a really nice version that actually looks really sleek it’s this gray material. I use for dinners I’m just hoping for a night or maybe having one meeting or visiting one, you know great retail office. I think that you could fit a ton in there has a great sections. I’m able to carry my work bag needs as well as my actual clothing plus if you want to take workout clothes on my end just because of heels plus workout shoes. But it was that’s. That’s a go to for me. I love it. I’ve shared it and even my husband borrows it from me when he goes on trips the other. You know I as far bags bags even when I have to check in I refuse to do anything without the spinning capability. I haven’t checked out the Away bag yet but I’m super curious about those. Based on what I see on social about them. So that’s kind of next on my list to look at or invest in or compare to other products. And in a word packing the bag goes the ebags cubes, there is different brands also what I should have found mine on eBags years ago. Being able to pack and store either.

[00:07:32] I’ve done it in different ways either by outfit by day just so there’s zero thinking for long. You know 16 hour event planning days or strategy meetings or whatever. And so I said I depend on those. I’ve also just organized stuff when I’m traveling. It’s not just business if I’m mixing business with a vacation at the end. And for any reason bringing family you’ve got to separate my belongings from anybody elses that I may be traveling with if it’s my husband or my daughter or both. So cubes are really key, the professional weekender is a life saver and then anything where I can spend I’m I’ve been loyal with Samsonite over the years but I’m loving to explore some other options for my next purchase.

[00:08:28] What is your favorite travel hack?

[00:08:34] Travel hack is, so my favorite travel hack is, my daughter gets when she was younger so I have after three and a half year old. And she would get upset especially when she was a year and a half. When I would travel. And I started when she was just about six months old. So my team members were able to take on the first few months So I didn’t have to travel and then I was gone for five days. And she was very different with me and when I came back a year and a half two year they got a lot worse. With her understanding and so gifts, so bribe, well I bribe my child so I, I would get gifts.

[00:09:21] And when you go to some of these resorts like Terranea in L.A. and you’re different very nice resorts especially in the West Coast you’re paying two times the price for some of the you know in resort shops to get something and the airport stuff. Yes sometimes you will find. But I wanted something that she would actually appreciate not just throw around. So my hack is whenever I travel for business. I have ordered whatever toy, book, item that I she I know she would want anyway. So I ordered it. And sometimes it’s already arrived before I got on the trip and I hide it in my home office and when I get back I give it to her like that was the gift that I have I purchased there. But I either saving a bunch of money because of that. It’s just cheaper to do it that way. Or I’m actually I should say I’m able to get her the product that she may be more into at the moment and that was a huge hit for books because when that was the board books were her favorite thing for a while I was able to just keep a pile and for a while I had a bunch of back to back trips and I was able to do this you know for those that are bribing or spoiling in that way. Not if it’s for you but for us it was perfect. And I stopped spending you know seventy dollars on a crazy pair of shoes. I bought her for no reason at a resort. So that’s my hack. That’s my hack. It ties parenting for early parenting and business. And it kept me from taking too many tchotchkes from some of our awesome sponsors at events for my child.

[00:11:08] So that was my my be you having dream destination you haven’t quite gotten to yet but you can’t wait to go to just this and I really want to go to Greece. As far as personal travel professional travel. I, We’ve looked to doing some things in Vancouver and I’ve I’ve wanted to just close enough and a lot of great retail brands right in that area for a short drive away though so Vancouver is one of the cities I have not made it to that I would love to visit for business.

[00:11:49] What is your biggest travel pet peeve?

[00:11:56] Middle seats. I mean can that be a pet peeve? I cannot handle being in the middle seat. The, I would say my biggest is probably I’m traveling with people and they are early birds of airport so I am an early bird. I’ve never missed a flight. I can’t imagine that feeling of missing a flight, I have way too much anxiety for that. So I think if the if people are not where if I’m traveling with someone for work and that we’re not on the same wavelength about how last minute you should be for airport travel and maybe if they don’t have TSA Pre and you feel like you hang around with them. Those are separate pet peeves, middle seat would take it though. Middle seats.