Having handled thousands of programs over the last four decades, PRA has a wealth of experience in managing a healthy lifestyle before, during, and after your event. From the airport to the afterparty, here are a few of our tips to stay well during your next program.
Before the Event
With a plethora of travel sites such as Google Flights, Expedia, and Travelocity, now more than ever travelers are able to have a bird’s eye view (literally!) on the flight options out there. Find one that works best for you and your schedule. Being well rested when you arrive at the airport ensures that you’re able to have enough energy for all that may be required of you – mentally and physically – on the meeting agenda. And let’s be honest, the only bags you should be flying with should be in your overhead luggage!
Little legroom, smaller seats, and the traveling class growing, now more than ever packing right is imperative to arriving to the event refreshed and ready to engage. So what’s that mean? For starters, pack for your body. Think high-energy snacks to keep you going like nuts, dried fruit, and low-sodium jerky. Save the soda for your Jack Daniels later in the evening and stick with water or tea to stay hydrated. Bring headphones and play your favorite podcast to tune out noise and perhaps bring a word puzzle or two to keep your mind elastic during your trip.
Think comfort, think cotton, and think black. Wear shoes that aren’t too tight to avoid swelling. Cotton is breathable, but make sure to pack a pashmina or jacket just in case it’s a little too chilly for your liking. And we recommend black for two reasons: airplanes are shaky and spilled coffee is inevitable, but it’s much easier to get away with business casual when you’re wearing all dark neutrals.
Bonus tip: Bring a tennis ball. No, not to play fetch with the emotional support dog in 14B. Rolling a tennis ball on tight muscles and joints throughout the plane ride will lessen aches and stiffness. Eating a banana for its potassium will have a similar effect.
During the Event
Home is Where the…Mini Fridge Is?
Make the hotel room as comfortable for you as possible the few days you occupy it. Build a sanctuary away from the conference room as soon as you arrive. Hang your suit, put your shirts in the drawers. Set up a workstation at the desk and perhaps stock a few essentials in the fridge. It may be extravagant (okay, it is), but even buying a bouquet on your way out of the airport to brighten up your room will make it feel like more than just a bed and four walls. Do what you can to make the space yours – even if you’re just there to sleep. Having a place to call your own when the festivities are done will help to turn your mind off and allow you to recoup a few minutes of “me time” before bed.
Plan for Every Meal
Helicopter tours, cocktail receptions, escape rooms – who knows what’s on the agenda for your program, which makes it important to eat mindfully for every meal. Load up on greens, lean proteins, and whole grains when they’re available. Opt for a vegetarian option every now and then to avoid the heavy sauces that sometimes accompany your steak and baked potato. Listen to your body – sometimes that 2:00 pm slump isn’t because of the meeting content or your caffeine from your morning coffee ran out; it may be because you didn’t eat the right things for breakfast.
Mindfulness is a Mindset
While corporate events are a valuable and essential part of any company culture, they can be mentally taxing when so much information is concentrated in such a short period of time. Take time for you. Practicing mindfulness a few minutes a day can do wonders in keeping things in perspective and staying mentally elastic throughout the meeting day. Whether its first thing in the morning or right before bed, closing your eyes, slowing your breathing to a controlled rhythm, and soothing the jumble of thoughts in your head, all of this helps to remind one that our mental health is just as important as our physical comfort.
After the Event
Corporate events build a sense of community in our otherwise digitized, often isolated working lives. Meeting planners work tirelessly to ensure attendees feel a sense of community. Keep that momentum going after the meeting is over. Did you see an associate in another office for the first time in three years? Did you hear some exciting news about a coworker’s growing family? Did someone get a promotion or recognized at the awards ceremony? Extend your gratitude for the time you spent together and share your memory with them in an email when you’re back in the office after the meeting is over. Letting others know how much you enjoyed the time spent together will help to strengthen work relationships, improve overall workplace wellness, and get you even more excited for the next time you are together.
Out of all the tips we’ve shared today, this may be the hardest one. Long after the program is over and you’re parked back at your desk, make sure to stay active. Your body just went through a lot – slouched in a seat at a terminal waiting to board, crammed into your middle seat, late nights with coworkers, strange time zones and sleep schedules. Make sure to stretch your muscles to help keep blood flowing and rebuild any lost or strained muscle tissue during the event.
Did you hear something at the meeting you weren’t completely familiar with? Or was there a breakout you couldn’t attend but wanted to? Keep the curiosity alive and stay elastic. Meeting planners put a lot of energy in making sure all agenda topics are relevant and exciting for attendees. Use the momentum from the event to learn something new and grow your skills and knowledge while the material is still fresh in everyone’s mind.
Reach out to PRA today and let us take some of the stress away from the planning to make sure you enjoy the event just as much as your attendees. And stay healthy while doing so!
Do you have any other tips? Share with us in the comments!
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