Conventions are great for lead collection, networking, even closing sales; but they are often bad for your feet, your back, and your stress levels. Here are some tips for surviving and thriving at your next convention:
1. Wear Comfortable Shoes and Travel Smart
At conventions, salespeople are either walking the floor or at their booth, which can wreak havoc on the feet. Selecting comfortable shoes makes for happy feet and happy feet make for a happy spine. In the office, you can rely on ergonomic furniture to keep your body happy; at a convention, it is all about the shoes and smart carts with wheels to ease the awkward weight of hauling laptops, literature and show supplies.
2. Eat Well and Hydrate
Convention center food is often only marginally better than airport food and your body needs healthy nourishment. Start your day with a healthy breakfast and try to make healthful choices for lunch. Dinner is the perfect time to entertain prospects, but try to do it without neglecting your own well-being. That is, order a salad and protein instead of a cheeseburger and limit alcohol consumption. Most important of all, be sure to hydrate. Drink lots of water to stay energized under the harsh bright lights and poor airflow.
3. Sleep Deep
Travel, parties, events, and early morning meetings may come at the cost of a good night's sleep. But to be a sharp salesman, you must be in peak performance shape, so maximize sleep hours by doing what it takes to sleep well. Some salespeople travel with supplements that help them sleep, others know that a hot bath and cup of tea before bed does the trick. There are some greats sound-machine-like apps you can download on your phone that will help you get the rest you need. My personal favorite travel tool are silicone earplugs-they really do the trick.
4. Prepare and Welcome
If your convention plans are to walk the floor, prepare yourself with a list of the booths you want to visit. If you are staffing your company's booth, prepare by setting appointments with the prospects and clients you want to meet. When meeting with guests, a standing table will allow a more relaxed meeting environment and healthier ergonomic postures.. The secret to a welcoming booth is anti-fatigue mats for comfortable standing. No matter what size, you will experience more energy, increased circulation, and relief to aching feet, knees, and hips. Your guests will want to linger. Preparation and welcoming the attendees will ensure you have the opportunities you need to meet your sales goals. Also, prepare by having some of your company's giveaways (and business cards) on hand even when you walk the floor and always carry breath mints (not gum!). Your convention survival kit should include cash and any chargers you may need for your phone, and laptop.
5. Exercise and Relax
If you have time for a morning jog or an evening stroll, then by all means . . . but if you don't, you can still be kind to your body with some core strengthening exercises and stretches before and after a long day of selling. Wise salespeople soak their feet in an Epson salt bath to bring added relief. It's a nice way to relax in preparation for the next day. These five tips will keep you in top shape for your next convention. And when you are in top shape, you can do what you do best: sell, sell, and sell some more!