Tips for Moms Attending Trade Shows
Children are wonderful blessing, but when you’re a working mom, you may often run into challenges balancing business life and motherhood. If you’re in an industry where attending trade shows is a must, it can be especially difficult because it’s not a job you can do from home, and the time investment could end up stretching beyond the basic 8-5pm workday. So what’s the best way to get through the trade show season when you have kids? Here’s some tips that can help you through.
If you’re staying close to home…
If you’re lucky enough to live near a major trade show city like New York, Las Vegas or Chicago you may not be traveling too far to attend a trade show. If this is the case, the easiest way to attend trade shows is to do it based around your child’s schedule. Most trade shows begin early in the day, which is perfect if your child is of school age. If the trade show is taking place on any weekdays, use that time to attend. You can start your day early and be out in time to be home in your regularly scheduled hours.
However, if your little ones are not yet attending school, care will have to be arranged. If you’re a working mother, chances are you already have a day to day plan for childcare, whether it’s a stay at home dad, daycare, or a babysitter. Consider making arrangements to extend or modify the care schedule you already have in place, if you cannot work in your usual schedule. This also applies for weekend trade shows.
If you have to travel…
Unfortunately not all women have the luxury of staying close to home for trade shows. If this is the case, there are still options when going out of town. If you must travel with your children, the first place to check is with the organizer of the trade show or conference. Many planners work with outside companies, like Corporate Kids Events, Inc., to provide on-site day care programs for children of all ages. These programs ensure you can visit the show, while your children spend the day doing fun, scheduled activities with trustworthy caregivers.
If no on-site care is provided, research the surrounding community for licensed, trusted child care. A great place to start your research is to consult with your hotel or conference hall for recommendations. Your hotel may even provide daycare services themselves. If you feel more comfortable leaving your child in the hands of someone you know, consider hiring a nanny/sitter for the weekend to travel with you, and approach your company to see if they are willing to cover the costs. You can research child friendly activities and create a schedule for the hours you’ll be at the show.
If the trip is going to take place over a weekend, or during a convenient time for the rest of your family, you can also get creative and make a family trip out of it. Most trade shows take place in vacation friendly cities so you’ll be able to find plenty of activities for the family while you work, and maybe even squeeze in some relaxation time between trade show days.
If there’s one thing busy mothers are best at, it’s multitasking. These are just a few ways to work around a trade show schedule, but where there’s a will there’s a way!
Sarah Bridgewater has been writing about trade show topics for companies like nimlok.com for more than 10 years. When not writing, you can find Sarah at the gym or spending time at home with her family.