Conferences can offer so much: face-to-face networking all in a one-stop shop, brain food in the shape of new insights from expert speakers and the all-important opportunity to mix in great, new environments.
The reality, though, can involve lengthy travel, long days and an enormous effort to stay on your game amid endless sessions in conference rooms and late nights at events and bars.
The daily demands, lack of sleep and change in eating and drinking habits can take their toll. But careful planning helps to keep everything on track.
Firstly, get a schedule together and stick to it. Outline all the important sessions and events that are must-dos, and establish a hit list of people you want to target. A clear plan helps keep a clear mind.
It’s also important to allow realistic breaks for impromptu meetings or essential time-out with a chill-out in the hotel room to help you feel grounded.
Taking advantage of the hotel’s gym or pool facilities are excellent refreshers and a way of recharging during the schedule, or even try to just have a brief walk around the venue during breaks.
It’s vital to make sure there’s some healthy eating in the mix – for example, bring high protein snacks with you – to counter any rich meals that can leave you feeling sluggish.
Make sure you get enough sleep and remain hydrated – and avoid drinking too much so that the day after isn’t a battle with exhaustion and all the other ailments that come with a late night.
Balance is key and going in with a battle plan can help to stay match-fit and combat all those niggling symptoms of conference fatigue.