If you’re looking for a fitness convention or health and fitness expo, there are a ton of great ones coming up this summer: IDEA World Fitness Convention (July 19-23), Zumba Instructor Convention (July 27-30) and SCW Mania Convention (July 29-30) to name a few. You can find an extensive list of upcoming events here. I attended SCW Mania in California earlier this year, and the experience was amazing — I get giddy just thinking about it! But leading up to the event, I always get nervous about what to bring to a fitness convention.
For example, I’d hate to be drenched in sweat at 8 a.m. only to realize I have to sit in my clothes for the rest of the day, since I forgot a back-up outfit. Now that I have quite a few conferences under my belt, I thought I’d share a few items that have been lifesavers for me when I attend conferences.
Here’s my list of what to bring to a fitness convention.
A back-up outfit (including an extra sports bra, shoes and hair ties)
Like I mentioned above, if you do attend a session with an intense workout, it can be nice to put on a clean outfit afterwards or around lunch time if your day is full of exercising. And, if you start to realize your shoes are uncomfortable or your hair tie breaks, it’s worth it to have back-ups with you at the fitness convention.
A hardback notebook or clipboard
This is a lesser-known packing item that can be so helpful during the sessions. In every session I’ve attended, I sat in a chair or on the floor while the presenter went through their slides. Without a hard surface to use, your notes can easily end up illegible. So, I like to bring a sturdy notebook with me to write on or act as my “desk” if there’s a handout.
Pens and highlighters
Make sure to bring pens to take notes. I always like to have a backup, because my pens never cease to run out at the wrong time. And, you might want to bring a highlighter, as well, if the presenter will be passing out worksheets or if you like to highlight your notes.
If you’re like me, hunger can strike at any time. That means being ready at a moment’s notice to grab a snack. I like to have a few snacks handy that I can eat whenever. I recommend packing snacks that you can eat pretty easily (and sneakily) during a workshop. I always start to turn red when I’m the girl in the back of class ripping open a bag of pretzels or shoveling trail mix in my face and spilling everywhere. My go-to snack is the granola bar, because it’s so easy to eat and so tasty.
Most conventions will have food options available to purchase at the convention. Since I’m on a budget (saving for my wedding!), I try to pack my own lunch. You can pretty easily pack a sandwich and stick a ice pack in the bag to keep it cool until lunch time. I’ve even brought microwaveable lunches in my bag with an ice pack and used the public microwave at the snack bar. This lets me eat a decent meal to make sure I have enough energy to power through the day. Consider calling the convention center ahead of time to see what the food options are.
Deodorant, face wash/baby wipes
If you break out easily or feel yucky hanging out sweaty for too long, consider bringing toiletries to help freshen up at lunch time. Deodorant is a must, and also consider a face wash or toilet to keep you feeling fresh.
The convention schedule, map and session handouts
These are the three items you’ll need to successfully navigate the convention. I always like to have the whole schedule in front of me, in case I decide last minute I want to switch sessions. And, you’ll want to make sure you have a map to figure out how to get around from session to session.
Phone and extra charger
If you live tweet an event or use your phone to take notes and pictures, it’s always a good idea to bring a phone charger or portable battery charger.
The rooms at a fitness convention are notorious for being cold, especially after you stop moving. Make sure to bring a sweatshirt or two to make sure you’re staying comfortable. Sometimes it’s nice to have two different long sleeve items, so that if one gets really sweaty you have another clean one for later.
If you’re going to a fitness convention this year, hope you have SO much fun! Please let me know if you have anything to add to this list, or other advice for convention attendees.
For more tips, check out the group exercise ideas page.
And, let’s connect on Twitter @GroupXMich.