As we say goodbye to summer, we say hello to the season of business events. Whether it’s meetings, conferences, trade shows or exhibitions – staying happy, healthy and motivated at such events can prove challenging!
Read on to discover how to not just survive a conference, but how to keep your healthy lifestyle habits when you’re on a busy schedule.
Thrive in the world of business networking, staying nourished and alert to make the most of every opportunity that comes your way!
1. Get off to a Good Start
You can only make the most of the event if you feel at your best. Preparation is key, so if you need to travel out of town, make sure your bag is packed a couple of days before you set off and aim to arrive early to avoid unnecessary stresses and last-minute panic! Double-check you itinerary and get to know the venue so you don’t get lost.
Event essentials to pack include healthy snacks, a decent sized water bottle and some more casual clothing for getting out and about between events. Ladies, don’t forget your flats – at the end of the day, your feet will thank you!
Also, don’t resign yourself to thinking it’s all business and no pleasure – pack a book, your swimming costume, yoga mat – or make plans to explore the local area before you set off.
2. Resist the Urge for Constant Caffeine!
Most business events offer a constant flow of filter coffee. Designed to cater to the masses, conference coffee tends to be stale, tepid and not tasting too great by the time it reaches you! Still, the mental strain of events on our concentration and focus drives us towards cup after cup of coffee, hoping for a caffeine fix to ward-off that inevitable brain fog for a couple more hours.
Instead of falling victim to the bottomless flask, why not start off your day with a quality, freshly brewed coffee from your favourite barista on your way to the event? Once there, you can usually benefit from a selection of teas that most venues offer. This will help to cap your caffeine intake. Thus, you can avoid the jitters, palpitations and post-coffee energy slump. Hydration is key when you need to stay alert, so make sure you also take your own water bottle with you and don’t be afraid to ask staff to top it up. Remember, coffee can dehydrate the body, so be extra careful to get enough fluids if you are somewhere warmer.
3. Eat Well
If possible, have a good breakfast before any event. It’s your opportunity to provide your body with the fuel it needs to get off to a good start. A nutritious and filling breakfast will also help you to avoid temptation from not so healthy offerings you’ll find at business breakfasts – I’m looking at you, croissants and biscuits!
As the day goes on, the food provided at business events tends to be geared towards quantity, not quality. Regular event catering includes biscuits, white bread sandwiches, crisps, cake and not-so-
healthy finger foods. Whilst these may be enjoyable to eat, they are heavily processed. Indeed, they often come with a high dose of salt, sugar and trans-fats. They may provide an instant energy hit but that won’t last long at all. Ultimately, they will leave you feeling more sluggish and tired. This is not beneficial if you’re trying to keep up your concentration and listen to speakers or have a meaningful conversation with other attendees, or even with a potential client.
Not many caterers offer gluten-free options. So, if you suffer from certain allergies or intolerances, don’t rely on that and bring your own food with you. Remember, eating at events is limited by practicality too – it’s not as though you can buy your fresh ingredients and cook up a healthy storm back at the room.
So, take some nourishing and filling snacks with you. For example, pack some nuts, energy balls or fresh fruit. These are small, bite-sized and easy to eat even when standing up – so you can easily graze between conversations and networking!
Eating right throughout the day is especially important if you are a speaker at the event. You’ll be excited and talking to many people, which will possibly make you feel even more exhausted than the average attendee! Drinking enough water will help you beat the tiredness. Have some light snacks regularly to keep your energy levels up and perform at your best.
4. Get a Change of Scenery and Some Fresh Air
With constant reminders to “meet back here” in one hour, fifteen minutes, tomorrow morning – it can seem as though you are spending most of your day in one conference room. With lots of people and not much natural daylight or fresh air, such rooms can leave you feeling tired and demotivated.
During breaks and intervals make sure you do more than visit the loo and check your emails! Going for a short walk can give you the change of scenery and fresh air you need to fight fatigue and stay engaged. It’s also a good opportunity to stretch your legs. It will avoid stiffening up if you’ve been sat down for a while. If you’re afraid you might miss on the networking, take some fellow attendees with you to continue your chat with them outside in the fresh air.
If you’re staying in a hotel, make the most of the gym, spa or pool facilities to wind-down and burn off excess energy at the end of the day – or begin your day with a workout to get off to an energising start.
5. Rest, Recuperate and Rejuvenate!
The secret to not needing a constant stream of caffeine or sugar to keep you going lies in getting some quality rest. Sleep is Mother Nature’s stimulant and getting enough leaves you waking energised, motivated and raring to go. This is particularly important if you are an exhibitor at a trade show. You have an especially hard job because you’re spending a lot of time on your feet and constantly speaking to new people, which can be very exhausting.
Often evenings at business events are spent conversing with colleagues or clients. Clearly, going to bed early is not top of your list! However, it’s important to make sure that you are well-rested. It will improve mental clarity and focus for the following day.
To encourage sleep, try to have a light evening meal with lots of veggies that are easy to digest. Aim to switch off from electronic devices for at least a couple of hours before you plan on going to bed. We’d also recommend finishing the day with a hot bath or shower. This mimics your body’s natural drop in temperature before sleeping. So, it helps you to drift off into a deep sleep.
Snacks ideas for your next event that you can easily keep in a (hand)bag:
- Nuts – Great source of energy and full of nutrients. But be aware that too many of them can make you feel bloated and uncomfortable if they aren’t activated. A handful of nuts daily is the recommended dose for a healthy diet. The small snacking portion bags from the Nutmad Taster Box contains exactly that amount and taste delicious. The pouch has a zip, which helps to keep them handbag and pocket ready without spilling.
- Dried Fruit – Dates, raisins or apricots are great to satisfy your sweet cravings. Thus, they will stop you from reaching for the biscuits too often. Just keep in mind, too much of them can cause a bloated stomach.
- Fresh Fruit – Bananas are a healthy option that will keep you feeling fuller for longer. In fact, all fruit is full of natural sugars that will keep you energised and satisfied.
- Energy Balls – If you don’t feel like making your own, there are many that you can buy. Just make sure you check the ingredients for allergens. In fact, it’s always best to choose those made of natural ingredients only.
- Multi-seed Crackers – Again, check the ingredients list first, some are healthier than others. These crackers are full of fibre that will encourage a steady energy release and keep you going between meals.
- Vegetable Sticks and Crudités – A low sugar alternative to fresh and dried fruit, veggie sticks such as carrot batons and celery sticks are low calorie and low fat. They even help to hydrate you through their natural water content.
Go Get It!
Business events are amazing opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals. You can learn from those who inspire you, as well as sharing your own vision and expertise with others. By giving your body the nourishment it needs, you can make the most out of every business meeting. You’ll be staying awake, alert, attentive and as productive as possible from registration to check out!