If your dogs are barking and you feel like you’ve lost your marbles after walking or working a trade show you’re not alone. Trade shows are famous for providing the ultimate professional payoff thanks to endless networking, educational and deal-making opportunities. But they can also introduce a high level of stress, physical demands and commitments.
Whether you’re an exhibitor sharing your brand for eight hours a day or an attendee who is walking and absorbing industry information, persistent show expectations can be exhausting. And, if you’re not prepared, the challenges can send your mind, body and emotions into major overdrive.
The challenge to stay upright is especially difficult at some of the huge, multi-day trade shows such as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and International Builders Show® (IBS) held in January. These shows add further wellness challenges because they fall right after the holiday crunch and during the winter cold and flu season.
Avoid the Walk, Talk, Drop Trade Show Trap
So how do you stay strong, focused and healthy at your next trade show? The best way is to make yourself a priority through self-care practices. Self-care is part of an integrative health approach that focuses on your mental, emotional and physical well-being. It’s about being kind to yourself, giving yourself sacred space, and being mindful of your environment. It’s also about listening to your mind and body when they dictate your needs.
Practice Your Self-Care Routine
Check out these holistic-based, preventative health tips designed to help ensure your next trade show experience is a great one. Once you take an active role in refueling your health and happiness, you may find that you’re more centered, productive and less anxious while participating in the trade show circuit.
1. Focus on Nutrition – “Let food be thine medicine…,” said Hippocrates. Even if it comes from a vending machine? Yes, just choose the nuts. Whole foods are essential for nourishing your body and feeding your gut microbe population in the intestines. It strengthens the immune system, keeps energy levels up, the mind focused, and digestive troubles away. Create a diverse snack plan packed with natural food so you can refuel as needed at the show. High-fiber, easy-to-carry choices include cut vegetables, peanut butter packs, hummus, oatmeal packs, fruits, nuts, and whole food snack bars. When you eat out with colleagues, make the best choices possible but don’t beat yourself up when you can’t.
2. Drink Up– If you’re thirsty, it means you’ve gone way too long without water. Hydrate continually with water and some herbal teas. You might want to ditch the diet soda and keep alcohol consumption in check at show-based events so you stay fresh and focused. Keep dehydration away by drinking one glass of water for each alcoholic drink. Also, carry a refillable water bottle or keep one in your booth to flush toxins and give yourself an energy boost while talking, walking and standing for hours at a time. Kudos to the exhibitors who share their brand with refillable, recyclable water bottles.
3. Get Your Zzzz’s– This is one practice you don’t want to sacrifice. When you sleep your body is hard at work repairing and replenishing. It supports your tissues, immune system, breathing and cardiovascular health. Lack of sleep impairs your problem-solving, reasoning, mood and productivity – not good when you have to be alert and social. If you struggle with getting enough slumber when traveling you may want to talk to your doctor about alternative support.
4. Soothe YourMind – One word: meditation. It’s no longer a hippie ritual. It’s commonplace nowadays because it works, according to studies outlined by the U.S. Department of Health. Meditation raises consciousness by training the brain to support self-control, generates self-awareness by redirecting thoughts from those of helplessness, and teaches us to clear our minds. It also helps us stay present and mindful of our surroundings. Headspace and Calm are meditation apps that offer dozens of short (3-5 minutes), free sessions. Once you get used to meditating, you’ll find you can take deep breaths and refocus without the app even when you’re on a crowded trade show floor.
5. Move YourBody – Exercise is another way to keep the immune system strong and help ensure you maintain your trade show stamina. It raises serotonin levels, and improves circulation, muscle strength and endurance. It also helps reduce fatigue and clear the mind of repetitive thoughts and stresses. Try to choose a hotel that has an indoor gym or practice yoga moves and stretches in your room. Remember to breathe deeply to feed your cells with oxygen.
6. Feed Your Soul – After a long day on the trade show floor, try to practice self-care healing methods to help you disconnect, provide solitude, and raise your spirit. Find what resonates with you best: Walk between the trade show and your hotel by yourself, read a book, take a magnesium bath, write in a journal, listen to music or calming podcast, nap, recite gratitude thoughts, pray, go sightseeing, or watch sports or a Hallmark movie. Feeding your soul will replace negative with positive energy to reduce stress and fatigue, while providing strength in response to outside stimuli.
7. Comfort is King– Keep it light, loose and simple. Comfortable knit clothes and flat shoes are always the best bet while working or walking the show. Tight shoes or heels only lead to sore backs and feet, which will compromise your self-care efforts. It’s best to keep them for after-hour events when you want to dress up.
8. Keep Germs at Bay – Did you know that flu and cold viruses can spread to and from others up to 6 feet away? This means trade shows are jam-packed with contagious critters. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC),viruses mainly spread from droplets spewed by coughing, sneezing and talking, but can also remain on surfaces. Keeping your immune system in tip-top shape through self-care strategies is your first line of defense. Also, avoid touching your face, wash hands frequently, and disinfect doorknobs and the remote control in your hotel room.
From all of us to all of you, we hope your next trade show experience is healthy and prosperous. Happy holidays and have a happy New Year!
For all of your trade show and branding environment needs, please contact the K2 Design and Fabrication team today to talk about how we can help.