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 – Pre-Conference
Plan ahead and get tasks done early. Of course, there are always going to be things that cannot be done until the week or two weeks before the conference. For everything else, get it done as early as possible so you are not bogged down with additional tasks the week before. Track tasks in a spreadsheet or use a program like Basecamp to help keep projects moving well in advance of deadlines.
Catch up on your sleep and stick to your nutrition habits as closely as possible. If you know you’re going to need to stay later at the office, plan ahead and bring extra snacks or dinner to heat in the microwave. No one particularly likes to eat multiple meals at the office in one day but it’s better than fast food at 9 pm on your way home. Try to go to bed at your normal time when at all possible. You may get a little behind on your favorite TV show, but just know there’s a DVR/Hulu/Netflix binge in your near future.
Get your personal affairs in order the week before. Pick your outfits and start packing for the conference in advance. You don’t want to stay up late packing and frantically doing laundry the night before your trip! Catch up on laundry before you leave so you are not coming home to chaos. If you are the main cook in your household, stock your freezer with pre-made, ready-made foods so you’re not stressed or hearing complaints while you’re gone.
Stay tuned for more tips on avoiding conference burnout!
What are your tips for avoiding burnout in the weeks leading up to an event? Let us know if the comments below.