10 ways to avoid a meltdown on C-day

Whether you’ve delivered one conference or a hundred, those event-day jitters and our good friend Murphy always seem to be a part of the experience. Murph especially likes to rear his ugly head in the short hour, just before showtime. That hour you thought was going to go so smoothly because you’d taken every single precaution and prepared for every eventuality. Nope, couldn’t prepare for the moderator’s wife going into labour that morning (true story). Nor could you prepare for your keynote getting grounded because she didn’t have six months’ validity left on her passport. Well, technically you could have prepared for that, but when was the last time you checked the passport validity of all your speakers and important participants? Right, didn’t think so!


Bottom line is, conference days are tough, but they’re also a lot of fun.

Here are some tips to help you through what could be the best day of your career:


Breakfast of champions (and conference managers). Which is the same thing, really.

  1. Say no to that last drink, or better yet avoid having any big dinner or drinks sessions, the night before – be strong, you will thank yourself the next day

  2. Try to get at least 6h sleep (let’s face it, 8h is just not going to happen)

  3. Keep a notepad and pen by the bedside table so you can write down the many things that will come to mind during the night

  4. Leave the bedside light on, but sleep with an eye mask, so that when inspiration strikes, you don’t have to fumble around in the dark to find a light switch in an unfamiliar hotel room

  5. Pre-order a light and easy-to-eat but nutritious room service breakfast that will arrive exactly when you need it to

  6. If you’re lucky and you have a late conference start time (no conference should start before 10am, in our opinion!) try to take a brisk 20-30 minute walk to clear your head and allow for any last-minute inspiration to strike

  7. And no, it’s never too late to tweak something to ensure that perfect experience for your participants – your sub-suppliers* will probably wish death by a thousand paper cuts upon you, but it’ll be worth it

  8. Wear. Comfy. Shoes. In fact, be sure your whole outfit is comfortable! Conference Day is not the time to experiment with a new skirt or pair of trousers and definitely not a new pair of shoes

  9. Drink a lot of water throughout the day – and eat when you can, a starved and dehydrated conference manager won’t be any use to anyone

  10. Last but not least, remember to put a smile on your dial and channel positive vibes – you’ve done a great job getting to this point, enjoy it!

PS: *Don’t forget to thank your suppliers at the end of the day – from the photographer to the catering staff and AV tech, they’ve worked so hard behind the scenes to make this day a success, they deserve a pat on the back, and so do you.


Let's inspire your community – Team UC


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