Weekly Insights: Breathing Room

Photo: © FreeImages.com/Brian Lary

Photo: © FreeImages.com/Brian Lary

This week’s ExpoChat was on the topic of mindfulness and how expos can provide opportunities for attendees to find quiet space for processing all the info that’s bombarding them. Some of the ideas discussed included morning yoga sessions, creating “whitespace” for attendees to breathe (idea from @pcmaHQ via @TSNN_Rachel), using an idea journal, building in additional time between sessions, and more. (Click here to read a complete transcript of the discussion.)

The prevailing thought is that often conference and trade show organizers are so focused on packing every possible activity into the schedule that they don’t allow enough time for attendees to recharge and absorb what they’re learning. I know there have been times when I had to make the tough decision to skip a mid-day activity in order to catch my breath enough to make it through the rest of the schedule. (Caught a bit of flack for that on the discussion, but come on … I know I’m not alone.)

Tying in with the idea of breathing room, check out this slide show on BizBash to discover some great ideas from the TED Conference on how to create an inspiring atmosphere, including: a ball pit lounge, warming huts, a picnic lunch, and more.

So how do you handle dealing with conference overload, either as the show organizer or as an exhibitor or attendee? Have you found techniques that work? If so, please share in the comments below.

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Marlys Arnold

With experiences as both an exhibitor and a show organizer, Marlys Arnold has a unique perspective on trade show exhibiting. As an exhibit marketing strategist, she travels the country consulting and training on how to create experiential exhibits that produce significantly higher numbers of qualified leads. She’s led workshops for events ranging from local consumer expos to some of the largest trade shows in the U.S. She hosts the Trade Show Insights blog/podcast, and is the author of Build a Better Trade Show Image, the Exhibitor Education Manifesto, and the ExhibitorEd Success System. She’s also the founder of the Exhibit Marketers Café, an online education community. To request an “Extra Shot of Exhibit Success” go to www.ExhibitMarketersCafe.com.