Over the past 20 years or so, I have attended and exhibited at more trade shows than I care to remember. From industry to public events, showcasing everything from small start-ups to massive companies, I’ve lugged banners and brochures from continent to continent on countless occasions.
Those who travel for trade shows know that trade show travel is not your average trip. Personal items are reduced to a small handful of clothes strategically packed into carry-on while checked item allowance is reserved for business signage and swag (and there can be a lot of signage and swag).
The one thing that never changes when it comes to trade show travel is that I tend to put the business or brand before myself. I’m not just referring to the packing strategy; I’m talking eating, sleeping, and self-care, too. Forgetting to take self-care off the back burner has resulted in everything from a broken thumb to a lost voice to some rather embarrassing gastro issues on trade show day. Paired with the jet lag and the general fatigue of traveling, setting up, and socializing, trade shows can get the best of us – unless we’re prepared, that is.
After giving the matter some much-needed thought and attention, I’ve figured out ways to manage the weight of trade show travel (and much of this has applied to when I’m attending as a visitor too!). So here it is – here are a few simple but powerful ways to help you avoid trade show burn out.
Pack a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated.
Water, water, water. I cannot stress it enough. Trade shows often entail increased caffeine intake and reduced opportunity to properly hydrate, which is not a great mix for our energy stores or our sense of wellbeing. Bring a reusable water bottle so you’re never having to search for a place to rehydrate.
Prioritize comfortable clothing and footwear.
There’s not a whole lot you can do to reduce whatever goods you’ll need to bring to showcase your company effectively, but you can certainly focus on maximizing the space that you do have for your own personal items. With self-care in mind, choose clothing and footwear that is both professional, comfortable, and practical, opting for pieces that are versatile and have some stretch in them.
Scope out healthy food vendors – and bring snacks!
Let’s face it. Healthy food options at tradeshows are often dismal (unless the show is wellness-related), but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to eat well. Scope out healthy food outlets near your hotel or the conference center and stock up on healthy snacks like almonds, walnuts, chopped veggies, and hummus. Eating well will help to stabilize blood sugar (and subsequent moods and energy levels) and will reduce the fatigue that comes from eating heavily processed meals.
Reduce your stress levels.
It’s no secret these days that stress weakens the immune system. Keep stress at bay by taking time out to stretch the body and to breathe mindfully. You might choose to set ten minutes aside at either the beginning or end of your day (or both) to meditate, stretch, rest, and reset. You can also boost the immune system with GlowJetter’s Fortify Formula, reducing the effects of stress if it does creep up on you.
Make sleep a priority.
Sleep is one of those things that we know has a huge impact on how we feel, but often, it is still left unprioritized. If you’re travelling across time zones, try to sync up to your destination the moment you board the plane (if not earlier). Pack all of your sweet sleep essentials, from a velvety sleep mask, to soothing lavender oil, to GlowJetter’s herbal Sleep Formula. Reducing caffeine and alcohol consumption as much as possible will also help you to sleep more soundly.
Keep self-care in mind.
Lastly but perhaps most importantly, try to simply remain mindful of the needs of your body, mind, and spirit. It’s easy to become caught up in the chaos and excitement of trade show days, but your own being is just as worthy of your time and attention.
Be kind towards yourself, always, and in all ways.