My eyes are bloodshot, pain shoots down my legs and chances are I’ve gained at least five pounds in the last week -- these are the perils of attending conferences.
So how do you minimize the damage you'll take on during them?
Before you pack, you must plan. Beyond the obvious items like fresh underwear, you need to pack with survival in mind. Bring both aspirin and Ibuprofen. Since aspirin thins your blood, it will help with the brown bottle flu, and the Ibuprofen will keep the swelling down from all the walking. Bring some moleskin for your feet. Hey, you never know.
Avoid planning flights that get you into the conference late at night. This sets you off on the wrong foot from the get go. Also, as confident as you are before the conference that you will be in great shape by the end, make your flight home at the earliest 11 a.m. This way, you will be able to sleep until 8:55 a.m. that morning.
Drink a ton of water. This is like carbo-loading for a race, only for your liver. Night one often plays out as such: welcome reception with drinks, which is followed by a quick drink, then dinner and drinks and then a stop by the hotel bar for “one more quick one.” That said; pace yourself on night one because you have might three more to go.
Yeah, you brought work out clothes with intention to hit the gym, and that didn’t happen. Take 25-minutes and go for a walk outside. The fresh air will help you feel better and get the blood flowing. Start with the aspirin and Ibuprofen regiment this morning and every morning from here on out. If you are out late again, sneak a few club soda and lime drinks in a lowball glass. It will look like you are drinking gin and tonic and that keeps the "come on, have a drink" guy off your back.
See day 2. Now this is your night to go crazy, but keep it within reason. People are watching and having too many drinks can cause you to do stupid things that you won’t even remember tomorrow to regret. Unfortunately, those iPhones remember everything.
Pat yourself on the back if you are still functioning. You made it. Just don’t miss your flight and you will be able to come home with your head held high.
Jabez LeBret is the author of the Amazon No. 1 bestselling law office marketing book How to Turn Clicks Into Clients. As a partner at Get Noticed Get Found, a legal marketing agency, over the last nine years he has delivered over 800 keynote addresses in six countries. His main area of expertise is managing Gen Y in the workplace, advanced Facebook strategies, LinkedIn strategies, Google+, SEO, local directory optimization, and online marketing.