How to Stay Wise and Well during Conference Season

Posted on August 8, 2019

By Reagan McAfee and Samantha Carlson-DuBois

The end of summer signals the start of a new season, back to school, and the deluge of technology conferences. Across our agency, we actively support our clients and our team members in attending events, networking and continuing to expand industry knowledge. So each year, it’s important to remember to take care of yourself as the conference season ramps up.

As we head into one of the busiest times of year, our Wise & Well team asked our colleagues at Offleash the following question: “What are you doing to stay ‘Wise & Well’ before conference season?”

In advance of the conference season, I’ve been taking time to get outside, disconnect, and do some of the things I love like rock climbing and fishing. It’s important to unplug, and studies have shown that spending just two hours in nature per week can reduce depression and anxiety, lower blood pressure, cut the risk of other diseases, and boost creativity and cognitive abilities. It doesn’t have to be all at once or require a journey deep into the wilderness, but we should all strive to spend a little more time outside. 
-Peter Zibinski, Assistant Account Executive

Work/life balance can be especially tricky during conference season. In order to stay “Wise & Well,” I make a point to leave weekends open during this time to allow myself adequate rest. I also schedule reminders in my calendar for small things that can go ignored, including staying hydrated, stretching or talking small walks, and going to the gym at the end of the day. Additionally, maximizing time outdoors can help draw the line between work and personal time – even if it’s just a quick trip to the park to walk my dog. Having this to look forward to helps to keep me focused and motivated during busy work days.
-Eileen Drury, Assistant Account Executive

Conference season means a LOT of networking. While this can result in meeting interesting people on expo floors or attending fun after-hour events, it takes up a ton of energy for textbook introverts like me. To mentally prepare the weekend before a big conference, I make sure I have plenty of down time alone to catch up on sleep, read, listen to music or binge watch my favorite TV show. This leads me into the week feeling refreshed and ready to put my best foot forward.
-Shannon Campbell, Senior Account Executive

SLEEP! It’s so important to be well rested before any big event for mental clarity and tranquility. Oh – and a good, comfortable pair of shoes 🙂
-Marta Debski, Account Manager

Conference season can be synonymous with late hours, multiple deadlines and exhaustion – but it doesn’t have to be. You can’t control all the variables – but there are things you can do to keep yourself healthy (and sane) as you prepare! First, adopt a morning ritual (if you don’t already have one) that will get your day off to an energized start. Maybe it’s a 15-minute meditation session, prayer or a short walk to Starbucks for your favorite coffee. Second, prioritize and make a short list of the must-do tasks and deadlines you must meet. Third, keep your calendar up to date and block off time for completing those “must” tasks. This will also prevent you from being pulled into meetings or other tasks that are lower priority. Fourth, take quick mini-breaks to stretch, read the latest headlines or watch a funny YouTube video. Fifth, commit to spending at least 20-30 minutes each day outside – maybe it’s a walk around your neighborhood or sitting in your backyard and watching the sunset. Nature has a restorative effect – and this will help you recharge for the next day. And remember, when you are at the conference – wear comfortable shoes. Happy conferencing!
-Becky Quinlan, Content and Media Strategist

As the busy technology conference season approaches us, to stay wise, well and a bit more sane, I plan to double down on my new hobby of yoga and also make even more time for meditation. I’ve found both to be incredible stress relievers and things that give me a much clearer mind, enabling me to better take on the work and life situations that are ahead of me. I’m incredibly grateful for Offleash’s wellness benefit, which helped me to pick up these two very important new aspects of my life.
-Cathy Wright, Director

While fun and energizing, conference season can also lead to exhaustion and burn-out if we’re not careful, so self-care is more important than ever! For me this means 1. Staying hydrated—I carry my Hydroflask with me everywhere I go and sip on it throughout the day. 2. Eating clean foods that fuel your body and keep your energy up. 3. Doing things for “you,” whether that means getting a massage, going for a walk, meditation, etc.
-Georgia Kulesa, Social Media Specialist

Conference season feels like it’s all year long, but fall and winter are especially busy! Travel can take a toll on the body and mind, but there are things I do to maintain good health. My top three are plenty of water, exercise and sleep (I struggle with this one most!) I really only enjoy exercising outdoors, and I’ll try to mix that up, even if I’m on the road. Not to mention, hiking, biking and walking are some of the best ways to see a new city.
-Robin Bulanti, President

Preparing for conference season is like preparing for cold and flu season, minus the sensible shoes. As the season draws closer, I like to practice a healthy regime that involves practical things like: Get enough sleep so I feel energized and ready for long days (and the after-parties!) Do a juice cleanse so I can get rid of toxins in my body (and ready my liver for absorbing an abundance of vodka sodas.) Eat an immune system boosting diet (because: germs.) Last but not least, I like to find a beautiful pair of shoes that makes me feel like a million bucks when I wear them (knowing that after an hour on the show floor I’ll be back in my sensible Tieks, lol.)
-Julie Tangen, Executive Vice President 

Conferences are an incredible resource to build skills, relationships and general knowledge sharing. However, it is crucial to make sure you are taking care of YOU. Whether it’s conference season or not, keep these tips and tricks in your back pocket for the next time you’re feeling less than wise and well, and remember to take some time for you.