Attending events is an excellent way to learn, grow, and build a valuable business network. With the right support, attending events can be healthy for you and your business. However, if you have health challenges that impact your pain or energy level, attending a two- or three-day event, or even a single-day event, might feel daunting!

Why? If you overdo ‘it’ by attending the event and then experience increased pain, fatigue, or other symptoms, it WILL show and it WILL impact your work. If you don’t attend events out of fear of repercussions to your health, you might be holding back both your personal and business growth.

So let’s focus on how you can successfully attend events while protecting your health and well-being.

Three strategies to help you make the most of an event without disrupting your health.

ONE: Know your goal(s).

Goals text with business woman
Knowing your WHY for attending the event helps you focus your energy where it matters!

First off, please tell me your goal isn’t to make sales!! Focusing on valuable relationships will go further in so many ways. You’ll be less stressed, you’ll be more approachable, and everyone will have a more pleasant experience.

INSTEAD: Decide if your goal is to gain confidence networking, to learn valuable content to help you with your business, or to make three connections you can follow up with.

EXAMPLE: Some of my BEST relationships with peers were the result of attending workshops or breakout sessions where we got to ‘see each other in action’ within the group setting. We enjoyed conversations that flowed naturally and identifying we were aligned, led to partnerships, my being their client, or their business being my client. The value of organic conversations is undervalued and overlooked. This is an easy way to set yourself apart and create win-win solutions.

TWO: You do NOT have to attend everything.

professional black woman in cafe area taking a break for health
Taking a break from the planned activities gives you time to focus on showing up to the event segments that matter most with your BEST energy!

Read this out loud “I do not have to attend everything!

Attending everything, besides being tiring, can often be overwhelming. According to the article Is Information Overload Hurting Mental Health in Psychology Today, “Information overload can lead to real feelings of anxiety, feeling overwhelmed and powerless, and mental fatigue. It can also lead to cognitive issues such as difficulty making decisions or making hasty (often bad) decisions.”

INSTEAD:  Select the key events that will have the most value and then schedule ‘off’ time to step aside and stretch, to sit and relax, or to go to your room and rest. It more important that others see you at your best than that they see you the entire time. If your energy is low or if you are in significant pain, it will show. Others might not know the cause, only that you are not presenting yourself in a way that garners their interest in working with you or building a relationship with you.

EXAMPLE: In years past, it often took me 2-3 hours every day to get my pain level to a point where I could reasonably show up, hold a conversation, and be present. On the day of the SBDC Duquesne University Entrepreneur’s Growth and Networking Conference, I woke up in intense pain. By the time I was able to drive to the all-day event, I had missed registration, the breakfast, the keynote speaker, and the first breakout session.

Instead of calling it a day, I saw an opportunity. My focus was on building strategic alliances. The vendors were at their tables bored!! So I walked around to each vendor and introduced myself. AND… I walked away with a fresh strategic partnership with a digital agency that offered complementary services to my marketing business. I missed half the event, met my goal, and had a solution that better served my clients.

THREE: Build in rest BEFORE and AFTER the event.

woman at white table relaxing for health with green plants and white table
An hour or a day, schedule the time YOU need to rejuvenate both before and after the event to be your best.

Finishing a big client project the night before, rushing to get everything ready the day of, and then having a day filled with scheduled meetings the day after the event is a recipe for disaster. Even if your health is perfect, you’re unlikely to have an optimal experience.

INSTEAD: If you do not have a team member to manage the work, schedule your client work so delivery dates are a few days before or after the event. If you have built valuable relationships with your clients, based on mutual respect, this is a simple logistical change.

Build personal time into your schedule before the event and plan morning activities that help you attend with better energy. This might be a short walk, a hot bath, or yoga. The more aware you are of how you and your body respond to activities around the event, the better you will be able to determine how much time to set aside and what activities to incorporate. If you have pain issues, consider the impact of sitting in chairs, getting from room to room, etc.

Setting aside time after the event is beneficial regardless. It’s the best time to recap the value you found and to begin to plan how to follow up with new connections. It’s also a time to let your mind and body unwind. Depending on your scenario, it might well be worth a massage, chiropractic care, and/or a half day off the next day so you can then perform with greater productivity and efficiency over the next several days. “Pushing” through rarely serves you or your clients well.

“Sometimes 4 hours away from your work to take care of you results in significantly greater productivity, efficiency and quality of work over the course of the next several days, saving you more than the 4 hours you allotted to your self-care.”

Are you ready to implement these strategies and achieve your event goal while taking care of your well-being?

Do you already have an event scheduled on your calendar? If not, find and register for a business event that is aligned with you and your business right now. It doesn’t have to be a full-day event. If you’re not at that point, schedule a workshop that you find enticing.

  1. Calendar the event.
  2. Identify and write down your key goal for attending the event. Do you need to attend the full event to achieve this goal?
  3. Block time from your calendar for the day before and after the event for relaxation or self-care. Base the allotted time on YOUR needs.
  4. Check your work schedule for the days leading up to the event and for the day after the event. Do you need to arrange for any changes to your schedule? Block time as appropriate to ensure you do not overload these days.
  5. Go and enjoy the event, have fun, be curious, and see what happens!

If you are interested in discussing how your health challenges are impacting your business and ways you can rebuild your foundation to better protect your well-being, schedule a 20-minute virtual coffee chat with Simone.

Other health challenges that can bring your participation at an event to a halt

For other networking challenges such as managing stiffness and pain sitting in chairs, dietary restrictions, chemical sensitivities, or sensitive handshakes read Overcoming Challenges at Networking Events and Conferences.

If you’d like to learn more about growing your business and living well alongside health challenges, I invite you to one or more of our ongoing workshops or activities or to learn about our services on our home page.

Simone Giangiordano, better known as Simone G, is the creator of BalanceUP® Community. She is a business and lifestyle coach who has helped hundreds of clients create a business that works for their unique lifestyles. This despite being told by multiple doctors and professionals that she should not work and to just get on disability because of her chronic health issues. She has used her nearly 2 decades experience in the corporate world and more than 15 years’ experience as an entrepreneur, trainer, and business coach to create the Building Balance to Empower® programs, including her signature program The Power of I Can't® to help individuals with heath challenges create and live a life of peace, joy and yes… success.Learn more about Simone G's story.

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