Sunday, June 16, 2013
Silver Linings: Flowing through Conference Travel
After preparing months for a conference, you shouldn't just shoo away from the place of action because you feel that it becomes taxing and overwhelming. Instead, try to support yourself as much as possible through these extra-busy days, so that you can benefit from it as much as possible.
Instead of wearing yourself out by placing extra stress on your body, make a few conscious choices that make you go those few extra miles before your gas tank runs dry:
1. Go well-prepared
Don't arrive to a foreign airport in a frenzy, trying to remember your hotel name and trying to figure out how to reach the hotel. Avoid late nights in your hotel room to finish up your presentation. Instead, just make sure you have all prep-work out of the way so that you can focus your concentration and energy on learning and networking.
Make a realistic schedule - you can't be sitting in lecture sessions from 8 am to 10 pm, meet people AND visit the exhibition. Before the start of the conference, take a few moments to list your priorities: Who do you want to meet? Which company should you visit on the exhibition? Which sessions should you attend? When should you hang out in the hotel lobby and catch up with your acquaintances.
3. Make a few conscious food choices
If possible, try to select a few extra nutritious meals from the buffet. Replace a coffee by a green juice or smoothie. Try to stock up on nutrients in a healthy way before you load up your plate at the dessert buffet. And then indulge in your favorite foods - a conference is not the place to put yourself on a strict diet. Just make sure you get what you need before you start with coffee, alcohol and sugar.
Bring your sports clothes, and exercise! After sitting an entire day, the best treat you can give yourself is exercise: running in the city you are visiting, trying out the hotel gym or pool or practicing a yoga sequence in your room - just try to make time for movement, at least 15 minutes every day.
5. Find some quiet time to read or relax
If you feel that fatigue and overwhelm are starting to creep up, then try to withdraw from the noise and business for half an hour to read, sit in the sun, take a nap or whatever feels right for you at that moment. Taking this one small action might be just what you need to keep going again, and might work better than a double espresso.
What do you do to avoid crashing down with exhaustion by the end of a conference? Please share your tips in the comments below!