If combining a digital detox with a marketing conference sounds counterproductive, think again.
Whether it’s networking at happy hour or putting out last minute “emergency” client fires; making the most out of a conference is never as easy as you think.
Usually the first thing to suffer is our mental health and physical wellness.
In this always on digital world, there’s no such thing as out of office.
We can either recognize this reality and plan to offset some of the inevitable multi-tasking or suffer the toxic ramifications.
Avoiding Conference Remorse
Everything is all groovy months before when you commit and book your travel.
Then reality hits…
The day before leaving comes and questions pop into your head:
Is this worth it?
Should I even go?
What am I crazy?
What was I thinking?
All of a sudden what seemed like a no-brainer event is now a calendar crossfire.
Getting the most out of your conference can tailspin, blurring the digital lines between home life, office life and being in the present moment.
As a means to offset the regrets and proactively have the healthiest and most successful business conference, take into consideration these five digital detox secrets:
1. Buffer Days
Set up your out of office email responder to start one day before leaving and keep it on one day after you return.
This gives you some breathing space before and after to get ready to leave and catch without feeling like you must respond to email in real time.
Digital Detox Secret
Put your email responder to work.
Take your “out of office” message as an opportunity to educate and communicate a personalized message.
Share your latest article or a little about the conference you are attending.
You can even invite them to follow your conference adventure on Instagram.
Traveling in an airplane is a surefire way to instantly dehydrate the body.
Mix in an over abundance of alcohol served at conferences and you have a recipe for disaster.
Dehydration negatively impacts your focus, memory, mood, energy, sleep, and even your physical appearance.
Who wants more wrinkles at a conference? Not me.
Digital Detox Secret
Improve the chances for big ideas and focused conversation.
Hydrate your mind and body by drinking at least a 12 ounces of water every waking hour.
If you really want to monitor your body’s analytics, Thermos makes a water bottle that connects via Bluetooth to a FitBit to help you achieve your daily hydration goals.
3. Take ‘Me’ Breaks
It’s easy to let the conference run your schedule, planning ahead can put you in charge of creating space for yourself.
Most conference schedules start in the early morning with sessions, events, networking happy hours, and dinners ending late in the evening.
Review the schedule ahead of time and find pockets of time you can reserve for yourself to take a mental time out from crowds, emails, and unplanned events.
This could mean:
- Sleeping in a little late.
- Taking a nap at lunch.
- Escaping on a 30-minute walk.
- Finding a quiet place to listen to a 15-minute guided meditation on an app, such as Buddhify.
4. Sleep More, Drink Less
There’s an old saying ‘nothing good happens after midnight’.
If you don’t get the chance to go out much, it’s easy to get carried away in party mode.
A recent study reported 27 percent of business travelers admit to binge drinking while at a conference or business trip.
Do you really want to wake up the next morning looking at pictures of yourself on Facebook doing shots?
Digital Detox Secret
Give yourself a curfew and be the one to head in early.
Getting a solid eight hours of sleep assures you will be fresh to take on the next conference day.
It can also mean less alcohol intake and decrease chances of being “over-served”, dehydrated, and hungover.
Need a reminder? You can even add an alarm on your phone to give you the nudge it’s time to go to sleep.
Pack your sneakers, yoga mat, or favorite workout gear and carve out time to activate the mind and body.
Business conferences are starting to be mindful of attendees health and wellness.
For the first time, conferences such as Social Media Marketing World are factoring in a health and wellness agenda offering free yoga and movement classes to give attendees alternatives to networking.
Pubcon also added a session titled Social Media Health focusing on tips and advice on how to stay productive and healthy using social media for business.
Whether it’s a business conference or out of town work meeting, the challenge of staying digitally balanced remains a constant battle.
The trick is in finding the pause button at the right time for the sake of your health and wellness.
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