Yikes - My Feet Hurt! 8 Tips for Trade Show Exhibitors


Yikes - My Feet Hurt!

Concrete. Tiles. Cheap carpet. Walking, walking. Standing, standing. Talking, talking. Walking, standing, talking - and walking some more.

Not only do we get grumpy inside, we show it on the outside. Our shoulders droop. Our smiles become forced or disappear. We begin to make snide little comments - "Boy, this is a a long show." Or "I feel like I've been here forever."

Trade shows are hard work. And, they're hardest on your feet. Here are some tips to make the show more pleasant, whether you're in the booth or walking the aisles.

1. Remember that "your feet are your friends", so simple foot care is a priority before you subject them to long stretches of stress. Get the pedicure. Protect any injuries you may have.

3. Your shoes should be appropriate to your attire. You just look funny in a business suit and big white running shoes. Note - often you will go straight from a trade show to seminars or receptions, so plan outfits that can be worn for an extended period.

4. Never Ever take off your shoes in the booth. Tacky, tacky.

6. It's important to keep your posture erect - shoulders straight, head up. When we're tired, we have a tendency to curl over, dropping our head and shoulders. The simple solution? Bend your knees slightly - that throws the spine back into alignment and re-balances your posture.

7. If you have a recent or recurring injury, don't take the chance of doing more damage. Use a cane or wheelchair. If you use a wheelchair, please add a flag that sticks above at eye-level. I've seen too many near-misses between the wheelchair and the flow of aisle traffic. People walking in the aisles are looking up or straight ahead, not below shoulder level.

8. When it just gets to be too much, when your dogs are really barking, here's my favorite remedy. Just before bedtime, soak your feet in warm water. Rinse in cold water. Massage your feet, ankles and calves with Ben-Gay, Tiger Balm or other such product. Put on an old pair of socks that you'll throw away the next day. Sleep and you'll have refreshed feet for another day of walking, standing and talking - and walking some more.

Julia O'Connor - Speaker, Author, Consultant - is president of Trade Show Training, inc. Based in Richmond, VA, TSTi provides sales and marketing assistance to exhibiting companies. She is the author of "The Trade Show Reader - It Takes More Than a Display and a Handshake to Sell at a Trade Show", the definitive book for trade show exhibitors.


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