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Episode 005 – How to Maintain Your Energy at Trade Shows – with Brittany Cermak RDN

Episode 005 – How to Maintain Your Energy at Trade Shows – with Brittany Cermak, RDN

A very special episode today with our guest (and in full disclosure – my daughter) Registered Dietitian Brittany Cermak! Brittany is going to discuss what we need to be doing to maintain our energy throughout these long shows. With many hours on our feet and having to perform at a high level, we can get tired and drained. This is important information for anyone who works trade shows!

Brittany is a Registered Dietitian & Nutritionist in Cleveland, Ohio who works full time for a non-profit health clinic group, is a professor at Case Western Reserve University, and also has her own private practice called Your Life Nutrition.


What is your experience relating to trade shows?

  • I have attended many trade shows for Food and Nutrition from local to national and engaged in company booths.
  • I have also held a booth for Your Life Nutrition at different health fairs trying to engage attendees for nutrition education and to promote my services 
  • My goal was to leave attendees with something to remember that was positive about me and my business. Energy and passion is critical.


What was your most memorable trade show moment? 

  • At a large, national nutrition show, I got to see Lisa Lillian from “Hungry Girl” at the Flatout wrap booth. Even though I didn’t get to meet her, I waved at her and she waved back. I was a little star struck!
  • Lesson – how can you create “star-struck” moments for attendees at your next show? Maybe it is bringing in a celebrity or someone well known in your industry to your booth. How else can you have people feel special at your booth and leave with a unique positive experience?


Your top tips for our listeners (trade show planners and workers)

  • Eating properly is critical for maintaining your energy.
  • So important to eat breakfast! 
  • Stay away from high carb, high sugar items like donuts, pastries, waffles/pancakes, etc., because they will have you crashing down in energy after a couple of hours.
  • Higher protein items like eggs, meats, veggie omelet, etc. will help you feel full longer.
  • Coffee is fine especially if you are used to drinking coffee regularly. Skipping can lead to headaches.
  • For longer shows spanning multiple days:
  • Plan & Pack
  • Stick portable healthy options in your show bag to have on hand
  • Have your snacks in single serving bags so you can easily grab one when you need. Also smaller portions will help you avoid eating too much at once and running out of your food before the show ends.
  • Don’t rely on what food offerings vendors at the show venue have
  • Always pack more than you think
  • Items that can be taken through the airport 
  • High protein options to help with feeling satisfied
  • Eat a snack every 3-4 hours to keep you energized and prevent feeling hangry and ravenous 
  • Put in single serving bags so they are easy to pull out and eat your portion without eating all of your packed snacks at once.
  • If you don’t want to pack these, hit up your local supermarket when you arrive
  • Dried nuts
  • Protein bars
  • Jerky
  • Commit to eating fruits/veggies with every meal to help provide natural energy and keeping it light 
  • Focus on lean protein 
  • Whole Grains
  • Avoid high starch meals like only pasta dishes that will leave you feeling full and sluggish
  • Pass the candy offered by vendors
  • Take advantage of the fruit available in presenter, press, exhibitor, and VIP rooms if you qualify
  • Make time for Lunch 
  • Make time for lunch, even if it’s finding the one healthy meal for sale at the venue restaurant.
  •  If you rely on snacks and booth samples alone you will be so famished and fatigued by day’s end that every food will call your name.
  • Hunger does crazy tricks to our brain so do your best to maintain the snack and lunch timing you have at home.
  • For Dietary Restrictions, Food Allergies or Sensitivities:
  • If you have dietary restrictions or allergies be sure to communicate this with the event staff well in advance
  • Check also with your hotel to find out what options are available to you
  • Can scope out local restaurants or markets for other options
  • Do NOT just take the chance on your health because you feel you might be embarrassed to not eat what your colleagues are eating. You will be grateful to do your research and stick to a diet that you know is good for you.
  • Proper hydration
  • This is key!
  • Proper hydration affects your alertness and mental acuity as much as food does.
  • Pack a reusable water bottle
  • Take sips during the show to help you avoid having to rush to the bathroom!
  • Have gum or mints can keep your mouth hydrated without slugging down huge amounts of water – plus it keeps your breath fresh!
  • Avoid the alcohol or sugary drinks and juices which can also cause post-drink sluggishness
  • If traveling for more than a day
  • Try to stick to your typical diet routine
  • Commit to eating fruits and vegetables at every meal
  • Focus on eating lean proteins like fish, chicken, turkey and eggs
  • Eat whole grains – brown rice, whole wheat pasta and breads
  • Avoid high carb meals
  • If you have a sensitive stomach or get gas easily you may want to avoid any new foods you aren’t used to eating
  • Foods that frequently cause gas
  • Cabbage, Garlic and other foods that cause problems for you
  • Eating for the show
  • Avoid eating at your booth because it makes you look messy and less approachable 
  • Keep a tooth brush or breath mints in your bag
  • Brush your teeth after a meal or pop a mint so that your potential clients are smelling your garlic laden lunch
  • To avoid body fatigue – legs and feet:
  • Have comfortable shoes. Ladies – may want to leave the heels at home!
  • Do not get brand new shoes for a show – can lead to blisters and pain


The top 1-2 takeaways:

  • Choose healthy options, eat light, and add fruits and veggies to every meal
  • Snacks are your friends! Nuts, fruit, protein bars, etc.
  • Take small sips of water to prevent the need to run to the bathroom


What would you like to promote (for your own business)?  

  • Please take advantage of this! We want this to be a WIN-WIN!
  • My services and meal planning
  • Follow me
  • Head to my website to subscribe to my website for weekly emails
  • Make sure your product or offer is somewhat timeless for those who tune in long after the original episode airs.



Special Offer for Trade Show U listeners!!

·      10% off any Services – Weight Loss, Meal Planning, Nutrition Consulting and more!


How should people get in touch with you?

  • – subscribe for value-packed weekly emails
  • Also search for Your Life Nutrition and Brittany Cermak on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn!

About the author, Jim

Jim Cermak has over 30 years of exhibiting, planning and working trade shows. As a Professional Trainer, he helps companies transform their results at trade shows, expos, events and conferences.

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