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

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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

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.

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