Yikes – My Feet Hurt!
Concrete. Tiles. Cheap carpet. Walking, walking. Standing,
standing. Talking, talking. Walking, standing, talking – and
walking some more.
We’ve become a comfortable people. We don’t walk miles
per day on hard surfaces. We don’t stand for hours in a
relatively confined space. And, we get grumpy when we’re
required to do so.
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.”
We perch on the edge of tables, put elbows on counters or
just sit down – forcing visitors to lean over to talk to us. We
look bored and people who may stop to talk to us just pass
by. Who wants to deal with grumpy people?
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.
2. Wear comfortable shoes. Not old ugly comfortable shoes.
Nice, polished professional comfortable shoes. Never new
shoes. Make sure your socks or hose fit properly in the
shoes – lumps and bumps rub blisters.
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.
5. Women & Men – take a minimum of 3 pairs of shoes of
varying heel heights which are comfortable to you. Use
inside lifts. Change shoes at least twice a day.
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
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.