by Cathy Breden, CAE, CMP
CEIR Executive Director

In this crazy business we call face-to-face marketing, the planning leading up to an exhibition keeps us always looking ahead. We juggle a myriad of details making sure the show goes on without a misstep, or at least making it look that way for our attendees and exhibitors. After all, the  objective is to make sure that both exhibitors and attendees are achieving their objectives. Before the show has ended, we are already thinking about the next one, what can be improved, what needs to be added, how to perhaps design the floor for better engagement. Combined with keeping many details in your head we are at the same time engaging face-to-face with thousands of people. When the show ends, there is a sense of relief, exhaustion and then we move right on to the next thing. It is not just organizers that live this life. Contractors, venue managers also live this over and over again, week in and week out.

I know one of my challenges is taking a moment to just be and live in the moment. During our “off” times, some may do yoga, meditate, play golf, workout, or some other activity to clear their head. I am at the International Association of Venue Managers – International Convention Center Conference in Charlotte, NC, and had the occasion to visit the U.S. National Whitewater Center. I thought about not going as I have a lot to get done in a short period of time, including working on my presentation for tomorrow, and on this blog.

We told our whitewater guide that we were the adventuresome group and he made sure he gave us a good ride. As we were barreling down Class 3 and 4 rapids, someone said the experience will  make you live in the moment and  forget about everything else and just focus on not falling out of the boat. I realized that my thoughts on what I needed to get done, and my stress level, had disappeared. I had not thought about work for at least 90 minutes.

I came back to the hotel, and here I am working and feeling rejuvenated. Many, me included, work too many hours, stress too much on what needs to get done, and do not take time for themselves to recharge and rejuvenate. I highly recommend whitewater rafting. I am happy to say that no one in our group fell out of the boat. I can assure that those that were in the boat that flipped over were living even more in the moment! Take time to live yours.

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