2023 NASPA Annual Conference

Four Wellness Tips For a Successful Conference Experience

“Everything in moderation” is a familiar term I have used and heard often when it comes to encouraging healthy living and peace of mind; two important factors in any successful experience. Practicing moderation may sound simple, but is it? 

Consider this scenario: You’re presented with a giant piece of chocolate cake (your favorite) and know that eating the whole thing will probably give you a stomachache. You think, okay, I’ll just have a little bit right now and see how it goes...and then before you know it, the cake is gone and you’re ready to put on sweatpants-- and, let’s face it, a nap is not an unrealistic reality.

So you’re thinking, what does chocolate cake have to do with attending the NASPA annual conference this year? Technically, not much--but it’s how you approach the chocolate cake that can help with your wellness approach to staying healthy at NASPA. 

Bear with me...

Now, consider this scenario: You want to attend every session (you love to learn), go to every networking session (how else will you ever grow professionally?), and visit every vendor (you have to keep your institution on the cutting edge, right?)...and then, before you know it, you're exhausted, wearing sweatpants, and all of the notes and business cards you’ve collected never get taken out of your bag.

See, I told you it would make sense…(it is making sense, right?)...

Feeling excited and getting overwhelmed when faced with something you know you can handle is a supernormal phenomena...keep reading! 

These tried and true tips will show you how to retain what you learn and the names of who you meet. You’ll stay dressed in your business attire AND not need to take a nap for 3 straight days post-conference.

  1. Teamwork makes the dream work: Tap into your network of colleagues and peers at your institution (or in your professional network) who are attending. Discuss which sessions you each want to attend. Assign each other to specific sessions. Then agree to take notes for each other. You’ll have the added benefit of seeing the content through another lens with a clear mind--it might even give you the chance to reflect and discuss with others on a new level.
  2. Virtual resources are available to everyone: Whether you are attending virtually or in-person, all NASPA attendees will have access to virtual content before, after, and during the conference. Be sure to check the virtual resources before the conference, engage with colleagues online throughout the event, and share your experiences and takeaways after the event.
  3. Slow and steady wins the race: Whether you schedule your own break or follow the ones built into the conference schedule--remember to breathe, center, and rest (repeat). In the end, you will feel better and be able to retain more information, as well as, give more energy to other important things like networking and visiting vendors.
  4. Eat when you are hungry and sleep when you are tired: Did you read number three? If not, please do before moving any further. It’s easy to forget to take care of yourself (that’s the whole reason for this post). Sometimes we think if we push ourselves a little longer we can just muddle through. Or we get so busy we just forget to eat/breathe/rest. My advice? Set a periodic reminder on your phone throughout the conference or ask a friend to remind you that food, water, breath, and sleep are key to your daily success. Eating properly and getting enough sleep will keep your mind and body fresh. Why muddle when you can be amazing?

There you have it--tips and tricks from someone who has been there. See you in Baltimore!