• Plan for fatigue. Try to sit down occasionally during the day—workshops are great for this—and bring along whatever might help you if you become especially achy or tired. I always bring supplies such as these:
    - Bottled water—hydrate!
    - Acetaminophen
    - Aspirin
    - Band-Aids
    - My favorite tea bags or coffee for the hotel room
    - My own pillow
    - Chocolate
    - My dear friend Regina, who does deep-muscle massage!

  • Vendor Tips

    • Reminder: Wear a comfortable backpack.

    • The vendors are there to serve you! Even if you’re “just looking,” they usually know their products better than anyone and are thrilled to explain them to you. If you have a question, ask! If they don’t know, they may be able to find out for you.

    • Tell them what you’re looking for. If they don’t have it, they’ll say so, and they might even be able to tell you who does have it—saving you loads of time.

    • If you talk to a vendor at length about a product, don’t turn around and buy it from another vendor to save a dollar or two; remember, “a worker is worthy of his wages.”

    • Please don’t ask vendors to “hold” purchased products for you. It’s too easy to forget to come back at the end of the day, and vendors truly shouldn’t be responsible for your belongings. Many conventions offer a great book-check service. Use it!

    Shopping Tips

    • Did I mention that you should wear a comfortable backpack? 

    • Agree on a budget with your spouse and stick to it.

    • Think and pray about purchases.

    • Keep track of purchases in a notebook.

    • Lots of places have materials, CDs, games, family DVDs, etc., that can make great presents later in the year.

    • If you’re unsure about a purchase, take a catalog, circle the item, and consider it. It’s better to pay for shipping than to buy a product you don’t really need.

    • If you look through used books, know what you’re looking for ahead of time. Beware of old editions if you need matching workbooks or teacher guides.

    Workshop Tips

    • There are basically two types of workshops: teaching and motivating. Both are extremely valuable and worthy of your time.

    • Remember: Speaker workshops are normally taped, but typically, vendor workshops are not. Decide which workshops to attend and which ones to buy tapes of.

    • If a workshop says it will be hands-on, visually oriented, or mimed, the CD won’t be as good as being there.

    • If you are interested in a product, find out if a vendor workshop will be offered. Attending a workshop is often more productive than trying to get fifty questions answered at the vendor’s booth.

    • If you sit through the first ten or fifteen minutes of a talk and discover it isn’t for you, quietly make your way out. Better to spend a couple of minutes feeling slightly uncomfortable as you leave than to waste another forty-five minutes of your valuable time. (We speakers will just assume you had a phone call.)