So, you have your trade shows lined up. You’ve booked the space, made travel arrangements, updated your displays, emailed your prospects and clients to visit the booth… But what are you forgetting in your trade show preparation? YOU!
Trade shows are hard work, requiring a lot of energy, and dependent on everyone operating at peak performance. Not only do you have to be “on” all day, but you must stand (sitting is a no-no!) on a concrete floor, have limited healthy food choices, and are exposed to innumerable new germs. Then, you retire to a strange hotel room, or you have to entertain clients in the evening. This sinister combination has made many an exhibitor ill, literally!
The solution is to make taking care of yourself and the booth staff part of the trade show regimen. It’s simple and will make a big difference. Give each person a checklist.
A Good Night’s Sleeps
Sleep can be elusive in a strange place and different time zone, but it’s more valuable than gold. Sleep well! When you’re rested, nothing is too overwhelming to tackle. Do whatever normally helps you feel rested. A quick nap, going to bed early, a cup of herbal tea, exercise, etc. Bring a travel alarm and arrange a wake-up call so you can surrender to the sandman without worry.
Keep Plenty of Water on Hand
Most Americans don’t drink enough water as it is. It’s known that some people suffer from dehydration brought on by air travel. Don’t use a hectic schedule or being “stuck at the booth” as an excuse to skip the H2O. Bottled water is readily available all over as an alternative to sugary drinks. Consume as much water as you can. Stash a bottle or two under the counter in the booth and take a quick drink between prospects to keep hydrated all day. Drink it with meals. (And schedule bathroom breaks!)
If you go full steam ahead all day, you’re going to burn out. Create a schedule for you and your booth-mates wherein each person has a set time to go for a walk, use the restroom, grab a bite to eat (eating at the booth is a no-no!), or just sit with their feet up. It’s a simple, and indispensable, way to recharge the proverbial batteries in the middle of the day.
Pack Your Medicine
Naturally, if you normally take medications or supplements, you should maintain your regimen. Also, you should keep a few things handy in a Trade Show Preparedness Kit at the booth or in your personal belongings, such as ibuprofen / acetaminophen, antacid, blister patches, band-aids, and sports cream.
Lots of Hand Washing
You hear it all winter: Wash your hands frequently to prevent the spread of germs. It goes double for trade shows. You’re shaking hands with and talking to people from all over, and they’re introducing you to new germs that your body has not yet been exposed to. It’s important to wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer in between trips to the sink. (Keep some in your Preparedness Kit!) Also, use sanitizing wipes on surfaces between prospect visits.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
One pair of shoes can make or break you at a trade show – not because of how you look, but how they make you feel. Wear shoes that are already broken in to reduce the chance of fatigue and blisters. Bring at least one extra pair so you can switch them if needed. Fashion is a secondary concern, but you should look professional. Pack band-aids in your Trade Show Preparedness Kit in case of blisters.
The message here is that you and the rest of the booth staff are a critical element to the success of the expo for your company. You need to take care of yourselves as much as any other component of your show presence.