Attending industry conferences, such as Sage Summit 2016, is as close as you can get to taking a business vacation.
(An oxymoron, I know!)
The wonderful vacation aspects include traveling to a different city, staying at a great hotel and eating luxurious food… and none of it is on your personal dime! Of course there are plenty of business benefits that make the trip worth it, (of course, or your company wouldn’t be footing the bill for you to go, right?) including great professional development and networking.
But let’s face it; just like you sometimes need a “vacation” to recover from your personal vacation, industry conferences can be equally draining. The promise of information overload you’ll get to indulge in is intoxicating. But while awesome conversations happen and great ideas are sparked, it is like trying to take a drink from a fire hose going full blast. Add to that, you are also off your normal routine. You are often waking up earlier and lasting later into the evening than you usually would, without breaks or change of scenery.
Basically, business conferences are simultaneously awesome and exhausting!
That’s why I assembled these handy-dandy tips to help you navigate Sage Summit 2016 like a pro (so you won’t need the paramedics standing by when you return home)!
#1 Minimize stress and get extra rest the day before you travel
It is always stressful to prepare to leave the office for a few days. You try to wrap up loose ends so nothing is hinging upon your participation for the next few days. You may also have items at home you’ll need to set in order before leaving. And then, there’s actually packing. Try to envision all the little tasks that must be completed before you leave. Start at least 3 days in advance of your travel and knock out a few to-do items each day. This will help you avoid burning out the day before you leave. Also, turn in a little early so that you can put a little energy in reserve before traveling.
(Forget about your usual late night work or Netflix binge-watching session!)
#2 Plan for comfort over style
When packing, be sure to include an extra blazer or sweater. While it may be the middle of summer, conference centers routinely keep temperatures very cool. You will be spending the majority of your time indoors. Also, while you should be professional in your attire, make sure the clothes you travel with are comfortable to be in all day. If you have to tug it, pull it, or fidget with your outfit all day long (or if you can only sit a “certain way” while wearing it), classify the ensemble as “uncomfortable” and leave it home. Ladies might want to consider keeping a pair of stylish flats on hand for networking sessions or walking the conference floor and visiting booths.
(Or keep your Dr. Scholl’s insoles handy for your heels if you wouldn’t be caught dead in flats!)
#3 Boost your immune system everyday
It is very easy for your immune system to break down once you’ve taken it out of its usual environment and routines. Plus, we have a tendency to get sick when we are extra tired. Pack your favorite Vitamin C supplements (bonus if it has additional antioxidants and B Vitamins for extra energy) to give your body a little extra natural defense. Airborne and Emergen-C, (found in most pharmacies) fit the bill nicely by coming in convenient, travel friendly packets. Simply pour the contents into a small glass of water or juice and chug before you leave your hotel room and once you return.
(Besides, you’ll be talking to so many people and shaking so many hands, you certainly don’t want to take home anyone else’s germs!)
#4 Schedule a little decompression time during the convention
Convention days are long, filled with an avalanche of information, inspiration, and conversations. Be sure to schedule time during the day where you can put conference-mode you on pause and indulge in your favorite relaxation technique for at least 20 minutes. It’s not a time to catch up on work email! Take a brief walk. Get a 20 minute chair massage. Dance around your hotel room. Meditate. Or break out your colored pencils and have fun with a page of your adult coloring book. Whatever you chose, create a period of time each day to collect your thoughts and put the day’s activities on pause and in perspective. It will do wonders for your mental and physical stamina throughout the show.
I hope you find these tips helpful as you prepare to have a productive time in Chicago. If you haven’t yet registered, there is still time! Just CLICK HERE. Be sure to visit us at Booth #1205 to say hello… and to get your shot at winning one of five $250 gift cards while at Sage Summit! See you soon!