For exhibit and event professionals  

How do I work my way around bumps on the road?

March 3, 2013 By Editor

Traveling to trade shows is always stressful, but what really gets me is the wasted time. Flights hardly ever take off when they’re supposed to, and road construction and traffic tie-ups throw my already tight schedule totally out of whack. Are there any tips or tricks to traveling smarter?

— Bernadette, Events Coordinator

Chart a course for smooth sailing

Bernadette, road trips always carry with them the possibility of obstacles that will throw you off schedule. But you can find ways to minimize delays — and/or their effects.

According to our readers, you should:

  • Do your research before going out the door.
  • Don’t let delays get you down.
  • Take care of your body.

Do your research before going out the door

Since you typically know your destination months in advance, find out how long it should take you to get there — early on and right before you leave.

An account manager cites some resources you can use.

“If you want to make sure you have plenty of time getting to or from an airport in a major city, check out http://mobility.tamu.edu/ums/congestion-data/. It has regional maps with files on typical traffic congestion hours, travel delays and more. Also, some cable TV suppliers have a channel dedicated to up-to-the-minute traffic conditions, including delays due to road construction and accidents, so you can change your route if necessary. And, of course, always go to the airline or railroad website to determine whether your flight or train is going to be on schedule.”

Don’t let delays get you down

Despite your best efforts, some delays may prove unavoidable. If that’s the case, don’t stress out; work your way through the snafu constructively.

E. Jane Lorimer, managing director of Lorimer Consulting Group, believes in the “lemons out of lemonade” philosophy.

“You can’t control airlines, and you can’t control traffic. You can, however, control your reactions to these delays. Make this ‘wasted time’ a downtime to listen to a favorite song, call a friend or relative, hone your observation skills by people watching, learn something new from a stranger at the airport, or just ‘do nothing’ — things to rejuvenate you vs. stressing about things you can’t control.

“Also, check out Tony Schwartz’s blog, The Energy Project, for why downtime makes you more productive. ‘Thick Face, Black Heart’ by Chin-Ning Chu is a free e-book download with good tips on how to rethink these business ‘road bumps.’ And remember, with today’s communication tools, you can always be within reach in real time, including visually, so you can ‘be there’ even when stuck somewhere else.”

Take care of your body

Sometimes, you may encounter a lengthy delay while you’re traveling or stuck in a hotel. If this happens, make staying healthy a priority.

Karl Frazier, events marketing manager at EVault, provides suggestions for both scenarios.

“Always pack some healthy snacks or a protein shake in your laptop bag to ensure you get something good to eat before too many hours pass. On site, make time for a daily workout, even if it means just doing push-ups and sit-ups in your hotel room for 10 minutes. Traveling is hard on the body, and this is the way to give it some love. Also, limit your alcohol consumption and late nights. Drink lots of water, and pace yourself!”


  • Travel, by its very nature, can be stressful. But having as much information as she can about possible glitches should make Bernadette’s journey a little smoother. Plus, if she takes a Zen approach and remembers this too shall pass, she should be able to stay calm and centered.

    How do you make on-the-job travel easier on yourself?

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