By Jessica Garrett, Conference Manager
Burnout: It happens to all of us. The longer hours put in before the conference lead up to even longer hours on-site. Multiple site visits mean not sleeping in your own bed along with changes in your eating habits and generally being off of your schedule. All of these together can quickly add up to staff burnout. With burnout, you become more than just physically exhausted; it leaves you emotionally and mentally drained as well. But burnout doesn’t have to be a fact of life for convention staff. With careful planning and mindful preparation you can work towards a smoother, better conference season.
3 Ways to Avoid Burnout – During the Conference
Sleep is critical … if you can get it. You’re sleeping in an unfamiliar bed with unfamiliar sounds and you’re probably stressed about a million things that could potentially happen the next day. You also have to worry about missing your 5 am (or earlier) wake-up call. Use the first night to get acclimated to your room so hopefully you can sleep better the rest of the week. Adequate amounts of sleep will not only give you energy to last through the long days, but also helps recharge a positive outlook.
Keep your caffeine intake in check. You’re tired so your first thought is to have an extra cup of coffee or can of soda. It may not kick in as soon as you need it so you pound another one. Next thing you know you’ve had more caffeine in one day then you should have in a week. Increase your water intake instead. I used to always carry a water bottle but found I wasn’t drinking as much as I normally do so I’ve found it helpful to find times throughout the day where I can drink 8 – 12 ounces in one sitting. Find what system works best for you to stay hydrated and refreshed.
Know that you can’t control everything. There will be mishaps and attendees may get upset with you. In the moment it may be hard to keep your cool but afterwards take a deep breath, take a 5 minute walk and get back in there. You can’t control everything, so how you deal with the situations that arise and how you let it affect you is the important part. Don’t let the stress eat away at you. Focus on what is going well! Allow yourself to celebrate the “small” victories, too. They add up.
Don’t forget to check out our pre-conference tips for avoiding burnout!
What are your tips for avoiding burnout during an event? Let us know in the comments below.