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Tips for staying safe when traveling on business

There’s a lot to keep top of mind when you’re traveling for business—coordinating with teammates, answering emails and texts, calling into meetings, and making it to the keynote on time. You’ve packed your conference clothes and studied some tips for making lasting professional connections, but there’s just one more thing to do: Keep your wits about you with these quick tips for staying safe and aware as you travel for work.

Safety first:

Here’s a few tips from Zendesk’s Global Security Manager Christopher Boughton.

Don’t make yourself a target

  • Nothing says tourist like a conference lanyard. Tuck your badge in your jacket or take it off when you leave the conference walls.
  • Even though that’s a pretty deluxe swag bag, carry it in the open with caution.

Pay attention to your surroundings

  • Big cities often have pickpockets, and pickpockets love an open bag—make sure yours is zipped or otherwise securely closed, especially on public transportation, or in a crowded bar, restaurant, or tourist destination.
  • Keep your eyes up and phone down. Try pulling up directions to your destination while you’re still at the hotel, and, if not, tuck yourself into a well-lit corner while you orient yourself on your smartphone map. Pro tip: Plug in your headphones and let the audio directions guide you along so you don’t fall victim to tunnel vision with your phone.

Safeguard you and your things

  • Make a note of your hotel address and store it separately from other items, such as your phone. Never write your hotel room number on your room key.
  • Make a note of the serial codes of any electronic devices by finding and logging each device’s unique IMEI number. Your items can be traced and shut down more quickly and easily with this key information at hand.
  • Carry details of any medications and allergies with you.

Check your vehicle
In most major cities, you won’t need to drive, as rideshares, public transportation, and your own two feet will carry you far, especially around a conference venue or an area dense with hotels. But, if you do have a car:

  • Take a photo, or note down, where you’ve parked your rental car.
  • Pay attention to parking areas that require permits, or that become tow-away zones during commute hours or for street cleaning. If your vehicle is towed, make sure you have a copy of your auto insurance card, registration, or rental agreement. (Pro tip: don’t leave these in the glove compartment.)
  • Lock your vehicle and never leave valuables or personal items on display. Even the most innocuous items (such as shoes or pens) make your car a target, not to mention suitcases in parking garages.

Report stolen items

  • If something happens, don’t panic. It’s important to report the theft as soon as possible to the police, as well as to your employer if a theft involves a company-issued device.
  • If you lose property such as a purse or wallet containing credit cards, driver license, Social Security card, or a passport, file a report immediately by calling 3-1-1 and then cancel your credit cards.

San Francisco, open your Golden Gate

If you’re joining Zendesk for Relate this November, you’re in for a fun-filled, action-packed event in one of the best cities in the world. At least, we think so—Zendesk has made San Francisco its home since 2007 and we love the city for its diverse cast of characters. Our weather can be unpredictable; Karl the Fog (yeah, we named it) has a way of sneaking up on everyone, even the locals, so plan on layering everywhere you go. And like our weather, prone to microclimates and serving up all four seasons in one day, the sights around our hilly city streets can be just as unpredictable—

From the venue, you’ll be a stone’s throw from cable cars, renowned cuisine, and some of the best views in town. The Fairmont Hotel is located at the top of Nob Hill, so be sure to bring walking shoes, or else plan to Uber or Lyft offsite. One thing we don’t want you to stress about is safety, which is why the Zendesk Security team is coordinating with Fairmont Hotel to provide you around-the-clock protection. Look for clearly marked help stations throughout the venue and ask us for directions or recommendations. We’re here to help.

Emergency and Non-Emergency Contact Information

  • For all emergencies, contact San Francisco Police, Fire, and EMS by dialing 9-1-1.
  • For non-emergencies, dial 3-1-1 or contact the SFPD Tenderloin Station directly at 415-345-7300. SF311.org is the city’s website for obtaining information or reporting problems to local officials.
  • The Fairmont Hotel: 415-772-5000