Balancing Work & Play at Conferences
Before you know it the preparation is done, and finally, you’ve arrived at the conference location. Adrenaline will be pumping as you jet from one place to another, run to meetings, attend sessions and parties – all while trying to stay up to date on any unforeseen events that crop up in the last minute. The non-stop activity may keep you going during the day, but the minute you walk through your hotel door at night the exhaustion will set in. After you begrudgingly set your alarm for an ungodly hour, in the blink of an eye, it seems like you’re back at it the next morning.
Now, before you feel compelled to cancel your hotel reservation and throw in the towel, let me remind you why it’s so important to attend conferences: the networking. Like the industry of Affiliate Marketing itself, conferences are all about networking and simply by attending you have access to new potential business contacts at all hours of the day and night. Conferences in Vegas are notorious for fun, but also effective, late night networking sessions so get ready to harness your inner night owl.
Learning to balance those late nights and early mornings is crucial – not only for the success of the conference – but also to maintain your sanity!
Here are some important tips to help you balance “work and play”:
This is, without a doubt, is my absolute number one conference survival tactic. Drink water. You will feel naturally energized, recover faster from the effects of any late night cocktails you may have had and can stay ahead of the dry mouth that comes from back-to-back conversations. We all know how important it is to stay hydrated, so do it!
Overloading on energy drinks and caffeine is not the healthiest choice, but we can’t deny that it’s effective for some people. Just don’t have too many or you will be crashing pretty hard later! “Heavy use” is equivalent to 500-600 mg a day – which translates into 5 or more cups of coffee or 2 energy shots. Anything beyond that has been proven to cause unpleasant side effects.
Let’s be honest. You aren’t going to get that recommended 7-9 hours of sleep. Realistically, you are going to get minimal sleep, but the important thing is to know how little is too little. Make sure you are getting enough sleep so that you are functional the next day. Especially if you require 8+ hours, try to go to sleep a bit later or wake up 15-30 minutes earlier for a few days leading up to the conference to get adjusted in a gradual way.
Vitamin C – Before, During & After
It is all about that Vitamin C! A combination of minimal sleep, shaking hands and lots of people in a confined space means you are going to need some kind of protection against illness. Start taking Emergen-C a couple days before the conference, during and continue for a few days after just to make sure you don’t catch any bugs going around. Keep a mini hand sanitizer in your bag and remember to spritz in between conversations!
It’s OK to Say YES!
Conferences are for networking, right? So, that means you should doing exactly that – network! Be a YES person. Put yourself out there and challenge yourself to go to as many events as you can and initiate conversations. Say yes even if you don’t know anyone else going…meet someone new! Chances are, many other people will be in the same position. They wouldn’t be there otherwise.
Fake it till you make it!
One of ShareASale’s conference mantras is “Look Sharp, Feel Sharp, Be Sharp”. What you choose to wear plays a role in your mindset. If you are wearing something that makes you feel good, you are going to be more confident, more effective and more likely to network. Even on days when you might not feel the best, put on that outfit you love and you’ll be in the right conference mindset – plus, no one will know that are you feeling crappy because you’ll look like a million bucks! Make sure to try on your attire before you pack it so you’re guaranteed to feel sharp on the conference floor.
Above All, Know Yourself
Honestly, this is what it all comes down to – knowing yourself. Know what you need to do and not do in order to get work done and have a successful conference! Take some time to reflect upon the last conference you attended or chat with friends or colleagues about their experiences.
Come visit the ShareASale team January 9-13 at ASW 2016 – Las Vegas Booth #6001 – Meet Market Table #114