6 Tips to Stress-Proof Your Nursing Conference

Attend a nursing conference and you come back energized, enthused, enriched.

And exhausted.

I’ve attended a lot of conferences. Nursing conferences, BlogWorld, BlogHer.

I learned the hard way that it is very easy to overdo it and wear out, when you really want to have energy so you can enjoy the experience.

Here are six tricks I use to make sure I have enough energy to make it through a conference, with some to spare!

1. PLAN YOUR SCHEDULE

Print out the brochure and map out which sessions you want to attend.  You can always change your mind later, but this way you can be sure (a) the sessions do not overlap and (b) you aren’t missing something of interest because you are making a decision on the fly.

2. GET THERE EARLY

Get to the conference location early on the first day. Save yourself the agony of long registration lines. Give yourself some time to check out the layout of the rooms, the location of the general sessions, the restrooms and the location of snack bars, restaurants and coffee.

3. SHOES, SHOES, SHOES!

You will be walking. A lot. Especially at a convention center. Go for comfort. If you have great looking shoes that are also comfortable, great; but unless you are a presenter, no one cares what is on your feet.

4. PACE YOURSELF

There are early bird sessions, breakfast sessions, lunch sessions and parties at night. Some of those “early bird” meetings are at 0600! If you are young and full of energy, that is wonderful! Otherwise, make sure you plan for down-time during the day to recharge. Know your limits. A party tonight will make that early bird session tomorrow mighty difficult.  On a related note…

5. SLEEP

Cut your sleep time and you’ll be dozing off in those sessions you so diligently selected ahead of time. It can be tempting to stretch the night out, especially in a city you’ve never visited, but you’ll wind up losing out on what you paid so much money to attend – the conference. Who wants to walk around like a zombie the next day?

6. WHAT’S YOUR HURRY?

If you can swing it, try to schedule your departure for the day after the conference ends.  Trying to store your luggage, make the last few sessions and high-tail it to the airport on that final day makes for a stressful end to what should be a fun experience. Staying that extra night gives you time to unwind, go through all your swag, put your feet up, and get a good night’s sleep before tackling the TSA and the friendly skies.

The key to a fun, successful conference is having enough energy (and staying awake!) to enjoy the entire event. These tricks help me, if you have any tips for conferences that help you make the most of your trip, share them!

I’m planning on attending a few this year!


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