Tips For a Happy Conference Experience
Event professionals are a different breed of people; they never stop moving, are constantly on the go and love the excitement that their travels bring. Some people hear the word “conference” and cringe, while the event professional feels their heart start to race and their toes tingle. This is their time to shine in the world of corporate event management!
But with all the travel, constantly in and out of airports, cab rides in close quarters, long days on their feet and quick grab and go meals; it’s easy to see how quickly event professionals can start to feel sluggish and not at their best. This can hinder their ability to get the most out of their conference experience and perhaps miss the opportunity to land the next big client or pitch the idea of the century.
So, how can attendees make sure that they walk out with some sweet swag and great contacts and not feeling burned out, sluggish and emotionally drained? We have compiled a few event travel tips on how conference attendees can get the most out of their experience while keeping energized, healthy and focused.
Tip #1 : Keep moving.
Long hours of sitting, listening to speakers, attending panels, participating in workshops and enjoying working meals. Your brain is actively engaged, but your body is going into hibernation. You will start to feel tired, sluggish and haggard. You will reach for “quick fixes” (double shot mocha frappuccino STAT) to give you that alert feeling, but you will crash quickly. Your better bet is to start your day breaking a sweat before breakfast. If your hotel has a gym or a pool, jump on one of the cardio machine or get in the water and swim some laps. If the weather is in your favor, take advantage of a new location and soak in the sights while you jog through the city. Be sure to attach your tracking device for miles and step counts.
Tip #2 : Set yourself up for sleep success.
Sleep is important all the time, especially when you are clocking in full days of networking and workshops, dinners and socializing. There are a few ways to make sure you are waking up rested and ready to greet the day. First, The American Academy of Sleep Medicine encourages business travelers to stay on their home time zones on trips lasting less than two days. They say that the number of days it takes for your body to adjust to the time change is usually longer than the length of your trip. Another way to make sure you are getting enough shut-eye at your conference is to transform your hotel into a sleep cave; dark, quiet and cool. Use the hotel blackout curtains to darken the room, turn the thermostat to 64 and 66 degrees Fahrenheit and bring ear plugs or a sound machine to block out the noise. Lastly, make sure you leave your smartphone or tablet on the desk or dresser and not by your bedside table; studies have proven that having devices in arms reach can keep you from having your best sleep. With a busy schedule, trying to catch up on sleep isn’t on an event professional’s to-do list.
Tip #3: Find your happy place.
Event professionals love routines and sometimes traveling to conferences where they are on the schedules of others, can throw their routines out the window. Find your happy place and make it a priority. Maybe your happy place is talking an evening stroll, maybe it’s a warm bubble bath to end the day or maybe you like to enjoy a proper cup of tea. If you are away from home, practice doing at least one thing for yourself each day that makes you happy. Pack your favorite tea or your delicious bubble bath and set some time to do some self-care.
Tip #4 :Water, water everywhere.
Every event professional that has boarded an aircraft has experienced feeling parched after a flight, and it’s a fact that flying has a dehydrating effect on the body. Cabin air is 12% drier than the air you breathe on an everyday basis. Make sure you drink water before, during and after your flight to fight off dehydration. Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages as well. A dehydrated event professional is a cranky one; it’s best to be in tip-top shape to get everything out of your conference experience.
Tip #5 : Eat smart.
Starting your day with a sugary donut or a carb-filled bagel will have you dragging and hungry, not to mention a lack of focus. You need to fuel your body with brain food to guarantee success during your conference experience. Chose a lean protein like eggs and salmon to give you a great start. Add some fruits to complete your meal; berries, especially blueberries are your best choice. Take a cue from the scouts and be prepared. Pack your own trail mix to snack on between sessions. When it comes to lunch and dinner, steer clear of fried foods and that greasy cheeseburger; they will make you feel bloated and will weigh you down. Instead chose a lean chicken breast and some steamed veggies, or a nice piece of fish and a salad (dressing on the side). Keep drinking your water and avoid overindulging in alcoholic drinks which can interrupt your good night’s sleep.
Tip #6 : Practice proper hand hygiene!
With all the water you are going to be drinking, you will definitely be visiting the restrooms; a lot. We all know the importance of hand washing; but with the sheer number of attendees, you should bring out the big guns when it comes to fighting the “con crud.” Germs are an uninvited conference attendee, but will show up in full force. From friendly handshakes, to every single surface that you will touch, that hundreds of other conference attendees have also touched. Yuck!! Bring a pocket sized hand sanitizer with at least 50 percent alcohol content to use whenever you think about it. This might be the difference between you leaving the conference with a pocket full of business cards or with an unwanted stomach bug.
Tip #7 : Be social!
The great thing about attending a conference for event professionals is that you are surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of your next best friends. This is your environment! These are the people that get you! It is easy to stick close to your colleagues that are attending with you, but several conference veterans encourage attendees to branch out and meet new people. Make new connections. Once you return home, make sure you reach out to them via social media and keep the brainstorming fires burning.
At Omnience™, our focus is to work with our clients to ALIGN your event strategy, DESIGN a complete program agenda with engaging content, EXECUTE a flawless event and to ANALYZE the attendee experience with measurable metrics and meaningful ROI analysis. Our Event Optimization Roadmap™ will get you ready for a successful year.
Contact Omnience™ and let’s build a happy and healthy conference experience for all event professionals.