Trade Show Exhibiting & Black Friday?

Take Care of Yourselfinventory sucks

Are you a Black Friday survivor? (Note: In case readers outside the U.S. are unfamiliar with this strange phenomenon, it’s the official kickoff for the holiday shopping season where people give up sleep, food, and a warm house for long lines in the cold, stampedes in stores, and wrangling over the last remaining “gotta-have-it” toy of the season.)

So what does exhibiting have in common with Black Friday? In both cases, people have a tendency to get caught up in the action of the moment at the expense of their well-being. So here are some common-sense tips that both booth staff and holiday shoppers would benefit from including in their routines.

  • Take plenty of breaks – at least a few minutes every two to three hours. Find a comfortable place to sit (outside the booth) and give yourself a quick neck and shoulder massage.
  • Wear comfortable leather shoes (so feet can breathe), and don’t wear the same pair every day. Elevate your feet in the evening and apply lotion (mint is good because it rejuvenates).
  • Stretch before going on booth duty and during breaks.
  • Remember to take deep breaths periodically to calm down and release stress. Also watch that your posture doesn’t become tense.
  • Drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Eat healthy, not heavy (fruit, turkey or ham sandwich, salad, steamed veggies, baked potato), and avoid fast foods.
  • Keep energy bars on hand (but don’t eat them in your booth).
  • Get extra sleep.


© 2011; portions adapted from Build a Better Trade Show Image, © 2002 by Marlys K. Arnold


With experiences as both an exhibitor and a show organizer, Marlys Arnold has a unique perspective on trade show exhibiting. She travels the country consulting and training both exhibitors and show managers, and is the author of Build a Better Trade Show Image (2002), host of the Trade Show Insights podcast and creator of the ExhibitorEd training kit. She can be reached at 816-746-7888 or

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