Seven Tips for Surviving a Work Conference in Vegas

There are SO many conferences in my industry that take place in Vegas. And once you’ve been there for work, it’s easy to see why. The resorts can hold a lot of guests, have great meeting spaces, and offer tons in the way of entertainment and dining.

However, I can say without a doubt that there’s a big difference between traveling for vacation and traveling for work, especially in Vegas. With many work trips over the last decade, I offer the following tips on surviving a work conference in Fabulous Las Vegas:

  1. Hydrate and protect. When you’re surrounded by the lights, sounds and crowds of Vegas, it’s easy to forget that you’re literally in the middle of a desert. Drink more water than you ever have before. Then drink more. And don’t forget about your precious skin—it needs hydration, too. Pack a good chapstick and lotion to keep your lips and skin moisturized. My absolute favorite lotion for combating the dryness is First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Cream. ($12 at Sephora for a travel size, but totally worth it)

  2. Wear the most comfortable pair of shoes you can get away with. Unless you’re lucky, your conference will require something a bit dressier than sneakers or flip flops. The resorts are HUGE, and you will walk more than you thought possible just to get from your room to the meeting spaces. I easily put in 20,000 steps a day on a typical conference day in Vegas. Pack the most comfortable pair of shoes you can get away with, and consider packing a backup pair in case you start getting blisters in the first pair.

  3. Layer your outfit. Yes, it’s the desert, so you likely wouldn’t think of wearing layers, but do. While it may be warm outside (if you’re lucky enough to step out—more on that later), some of the meeting spaces can get cold. Pack a cardigan or two, and a scarf or shawl that you can bust out if you get cold during the sessions.

  4. Find time to step outside. It’s no secret that the casinos are designed to keep you inside, spending money. Even if you’re there for a work conference, it’s easy to fall into the trap of never taking a step outside. You have everything you need in the building…from convenience items, food, entertainment, and more. But be sure that you step outside for fresh air (because the air in those places is definitely far from fresh). I like to find a secret spot where I can sit outside to get away from the crowds, pop open my laptop and knock out some emails as time permits.

  5. Make your bag modular. Sometimes you need your computer, and sometimes you don’t. And if you don’t, you definitely don’t want to be lugging it around. For speed, I like to pack a small crossbody purse that I can stash in my travel tote when I need everything with me, and then stash my tote and grab my purse when all I need is my personal items.

  6. Pack enough. Yes, I’m an overpacker, but even if you’re not, be sure you pack enough different outfits. As Vegas is one of the few places where smoking is still allowed indoors, coupled with the fact that the resorts are designed where you can’t get from your room to anywhere without walking through the smokey casinos, it’s pretty hard to rewear most clothes.

  7. Moderate the partying. It’s SO easy to fall into trap of “another round!” when you’re surrounded by the lights and sounds of the casinos, as well as all the other people who are clearly banking on the thought that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. If you’re there for work, keep in mind that what happens there, shows up on your credit card and sometimes social media. And you likely have some early mornings. Have fun, but keep it in check.

With that, I’ll wish you good luck and happy travels.

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