A week and a half ago I returned from a business event that lasted about 3 days and 3 nights. I’ve attended this event for the last 6 years and always look forward to it. It is one of 3 trips I take each year as a Director Consultant with BNI.
When I started attending these events, I had only traveled a few times without my family or a friend. I certainly had never traveled for business. That was completely new to me. I struggled with finding my groove. I was greedy for the information and wanted to absorb everything I possibly could. However, I found myself struggling and grasping for focus. I had frequent timid moments and had a hard time immersing myself in the group activities. Upon returning home, I would crash and sometimes even become sick. My excuse? I over did it…
As a Once Timid Networker, I’ve learned to establish a few routines which allow me to have a successful event and remain present for each day.
When attending multi-day events, here are a few things that I’ve learned help me.
- Know who will be there and establish your Touchstones. Your touchstone is your go to person who is supportive of you and helps you reground, refocus and reset yourself. If you are having a “Timid Moment” having a few minutes of conversation, a knowing glance, a note or a text with your touchstone, will get you back on track and you will find your power once more.
- Watch what you eat and drink. I bring my own breakfast smoothie stuff as well as snacks. I find that even though the food selections are great tasting, most times they are different than my normal way of eating. This way, I have enough protein and vegetables. And as always, drink plenty of water throughout the day. Healthy eating also helps keeps your mind focused while attending these types of events.
- Maintain your exercise routine. I try to get an early walk in, when the circumstances permit. When I’m staying in an unfamiliar place, I bring a friend. I look forward to seeing the sunrise and the quiet of the city we are staying in.
- Take some time for yourself. With introverted tendencies, this is vital for continuing the fast-pace and packed schedule. I’ve tried to skip it and ended up quite tapped before the event is over. So when there is a 15 minute break, I’ve often slipped back into my room for some quiet time. I’m also a fan of Power Naps. Many friends know that if I’m missing from the break, I might be grabbing a quick nap. Getting enough rest and quiet time helps me stay centered, my mind stay focused and my energy level at its peak.
- Take an interest in others. They may be having the same struggles you did or something similar. Find out more about them and how you can help them get the most out of the event. What are they hoping to walk away with after the event? I’ve made some very good friends since I’ve implemented this into my own event routine.
As I reflect on the event I just came home from, things were different this time. I was different. I had grown. I had a new focus and added new touchstones. Hopefully I made a difference for someone. But having my routines made it easy. Was I tired when I came home? Yes. Was I tapped? Yes. Did I miss my family, Yes. Am I looking forward to the next one? Yes!
I’ve already started my list!
When you travel for business, what things do you do to make sure to get the most out of your event? Please share, we would love to know!
Denise Prince says
Tara, I think you hit the nail on the head. Health Routines — whether they be food, rest, or exercise — are important at home, and even more so on the road. When we travel for Art Shows we pack our breakfast and lunch items and plan on a dinner as similar to what we would eat at home as possible (ie lots of vegies and lean meat). And we both take turns getting out of the tent for a walk.