Don’t Panic: How to Relieve Stress When Planning a Trade Show

We’ve all experienced it, and we’re here to talk about it.

The trade show industry is stressful, and it never stops moving. You’re balancing timelines, emergencies, and your day-to-day tasks. When it’s show time, your stress is amplified with travel, VIP visitors, unforeseen emergencies and making sure everything is perfect for attendees.

Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to help alleviate those stresses that won’t take up a ton of time. For your event to be successful, you need to be in the right state of mind and operating at 100%. Self-care is survival!

Here are four things you can do to calm a screaming brain:


In moments where you can’t take some time to decompress, take a few minutes to meditate to clear your mind. According to the Mayo Clinic, meditating allows your brain to clear itself of information overload. There are a variety of meditation techniques you can take advantage of, but in moments of stress, “Mantra Meditation” is the most effective. To practice, you’ll silently repeat a calming word or phrase during a stressful event to distract your brain from any intrusive, negative thoughts.

Another tactic is to do some deep breathing for a few minutes. Take a breath in and count to ten and as you exhale, count to ten again. Repeat this a few times and focus on counting and breathing. This will also help calm your nerves in times of stress.


After a stressful day in the office, taking at least 30 minutes to exercise, will help calm your brain. Staying physically active causes your brain to release endorphins. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, endorphins are chemicals that act as natural painkillers and improve the ability to sleep, which results in a reduction of stress.

Even if you don’t have thirty minutes to exercise, scientists have found even just five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects. If you’re not thrilled about intense cardio or weight lifting, walking at a brisk pace for thirty minutes works just as well.


A comforting smell, your favorite song, or a warm beverage can help you calm your mind.

Engaging one or more of your senses is the fastest way to alleviate the pressure that comes with event marketing, or any stressful job. The way you engage your senses will require some experimentation, as it varies from person to person. What’s your favorite drink? Is there a scented candle you really enjoy? Is there a particular type of music that soothes your soul?

While sipping on a hot cup of tea won’t permanently take the stress away, it can help you clear your mind and reset so you’re able to handle what’s being thrown your way.


Yep, you probably guessed it. You need at least eight hours of sleep to operate at your very best.

According to the American Institute of Stress, adults who sleep less than eight hours a night are more likely to report symptoms of stress. Unfortunately, stress is also a common cause of a miserable night’s sleep.

To help your mind get some rest, put down your electronic devices one hour before bed, as the blue light emitted from devices suppresses the hormone melatonin, which helps you fall asleep. If you absolutely need to occupy your mind before bed, try a calming activity such as reading a book or journaling.

During the day, getting some exercise, and eating healthy, balanced meals will help your mind turn off when it comes time to hit the sheets.

No matter how you relieve stress, the bottom line is that YOU come first! To have a successful trade show event, you need to be operating at 100%. Unless it’s an absolute emergency, that e-mail or request can wait. Take care of yourself.


Subscribe to Exhibit Concepts Blog

More to explore

NEXT Lab is a dynamic, experiential, and creative team dedicated to developing unique digital and virtual experiences for trade shows, museums, education spaces, marketing initiatives, and interior environments. Learn More