Event detox tips.
As I type out this missive, I’m back from the HR Tech Conference about four hours. From the red-eye, I jumped in a car, got home, pet the dogs, put my laundry in the machine and hit the gym. Oh, and I got coffee, too. Now I’m sitting at my desk, attempting to catch up and add some semblance of normalcy to my day. You probably think I’m nuts, but I’ve learned a thing or two from doing events. Here are some ways to ease the detox:
Do a quick edit. As you pack up and double check that you’re leaving with all the essential items, get rid of anything that no longer serves you. Swag is all well and good until you’re stuck lugging it through the airport (only to turn around and throw it out a month later). Channel Marie Kondo and just keep the items that spark joy.
Go home. Don’t attempt to unwind onsite (unless you’ve got a few extra days to spare). Otherwise, it’s like staying too long at a party. Sure, a massage at the hotel spa sounds wonderful, however, there’s a decent chance you’ll run into other attendees, colleagues, etc. Nothing says relaxation like having to remain “on” and “engaged.” What happens at the event, stays at the event.
Get the right flight. Is the red-eye crazy? Of course. Was there a reason I took it? You bet. Going to Vegas, I flew out Monday afternoon, which meant I was able to ease into the trip and still get some work done ahead of time. Taking a late night flight home did the same, just in reverse. I have my Friday free to read email and wrap up my week.
Save the debrief. Give yourself a few days to reflect on what you experienced. Capture notes, scribble things down, read and revise before discussing with anyone formally. After all that work, it helps to take some space and let the energy and excitement subside. Taking time to process will also help inform any next steps.
Recognize your role. Industry events tend to be more than a little competitive so, at this week’s conference, I was pleased to see one vendor ran around fulfilling the attendees’ dreams. This made the experience more personal and gave everyone the opportunity to feel important. Big or small, don’t lose sight of yourself and the work you put in.
Treat yourself (right). Being around tons of people is awesome, but it also means exposure to lots of germs plus the change in routine, sleeping and eating habits. I often joke that there’s an HR Tech plague because I usually spend the week sniffling and come home fighting something. So get back to basics - water, vegetables, vitamins.
And when in doubt, sleep it off.
Image via Bekah Russom on Unsplash.