Convention Foot Care

Maybe you work in sales, or maybe you don’t, but either way, it’s likely that you’ve been to trade shows or conventions. According to the Convention Industry Council, 205 million people in the United States attend conventions, conferences, congresses, trade shows and exhibitions each year. Conventions are essential to gaining new knowledge in your field, networking with cross-country colleagues, and promoting your company and/or products, and, while all are beneficial, conventions can do a number on your body, particularly on your feet.

Exhibit halls are very, very long with concrete floors providing little support. In fact, the largest convention center in North America, McCormick Place in Chicago, IL is 2,670,000 sqft! Chances are that if you’re on the floor, whether you’re an exhibitor or attendee, you’re on your feet. All day. This not only causes foot pain but soreness in your knees, hips, back, and shoulders, but makes those long hours seem even longer. To help you keep your convention experience pain-free, here are some helpful foot care tips for before, during and after your day on the trading floor.


Pack Comfortable Shoes!

This seems like a no-brainer but a good pair of comfortable shoes is a must for any trade show. If you’re getting new shoes for the occasion, break them in ahead of time. Pro tip: to make sure they fit properly, try to purchase new shoes at the end of the day. Your feet tend to swell during the day and this is the best way to ensure they will fit well and remain comfortable.

Avoid dress shoes with pointed toes (both men and women’s shoes seem to be following this trend). For women, shoes with high and/or thin heels are not recommended. Instead, try short heels or even wedges. If you need those high-heeled power pumps for a certain event, just throw them in your tote and bring them with you to the convention. And open-toed shoes like sandals on the crowded convention floor sounds like a recipe for disaster so it’s recommended that you stick with the closed toe variety.

In addition, change it up by bringing more than one pair of comfortable shoes with you. This helps to fight against foot and leg fatigue. Plus, it’s always good to have a backup pair of shoes.

Invest In Orthotics

A supportive insert in your favorite pair of shoes can make all the difference. Not sure what type you need? Visit a podiatrist prior to your trade show to figure out what you need in terms of foot support.

Try Compression Socks or Hosiery

Compression socks or stockings help to increase arterial pressure, which causes more blood to return to the heart and less blood to pool in the feet. Give it a try. Compression therapy can help relieve heavy, aching, post-convention hall legs.


Take Breaks

Give your feet a rest every once in a while! Step away from the floor or your booth and find a place to sit comfortably for 10-15 minutes.


Staying active and fit during a convention might sound extra draining but there are some benefits. Exercise releases endorphins, lowers stress levels, and helps you sleep better. If you’re not particularly active, try taking a short walk in the morning to help get your energy up and loosen your legs for the day ahead.


Soak Those Toes

After spending the day on your feet, relax and unwind with a foot soak. Mix in a little Epsom salt; it’s has anti-inflammatory effects and it’s a natural exfoliant. After you dry off, rub your feet down with some lotion, making sure to skip over the toes though. Then throw on some cotton socks and head to bed. Your feet will feel rested and ready for the next day.

Treat Yourself

Conventions and trade shows can be exhausting for more than just your feet. Consider treating yourself to a massage after. This is not only a great way to relax but also to alleviate any lingering pain in your feet, legs, and back.

Are you a frequent trade show attendee? Got any additional tips for us? Leave them in the comments.