Think health articles are boring? This one isn't, so read on -
it may save your life...
Physicians and public health officials agree that the single
most important role you can play in your own health is to
wash your hands.
Why is this old-fashioned idea coming to the forefront again
- and what does it mean to you and trade shows?
WHY is it important now?
Here are five very obvious tips to preserve your health that
have taken on new
1. Travel is more global. Diseases, that may be more
prevalent in one country or world area, now get on the plane
and sit next to you. We know that when we travel to a foreign
country, we take inoculation precautions, but we don't think
about foreign germs on domestic flights.
2. We overmedicate ourselves. At the sign of every sniff or
sneeze, we pop an over-the-counter remedy or ask the
doctor for help. It solves our immediate problem but our
body builds up immunities. At some point, the normal
remedies don't work, leaving us vulnerable for a more
3. Medicine doesn't always work. Researchers are
scrambling to invent new medicines to combat the
Immunities, the mutant diseases which result, and
previously undiagnosed illnesses. Look at the history of
AIDS as an example of the "new" diseases which are
TRY this Exercise:
Here's an exercise for a regular workweek and to repeat at
your next trade show:
Count the number of times you shake hands, and the
number of times you wash your hands. Bet it's a scary
relationship. At a show you may shake literally hundreds of
hand per day.
WHAT should You do Now?
Be aware of the fact that germs travel in both ways. I don't
want you to be paranoid or obsessive, but here are steps
you can take to protect you and others:
1. Well, wash your hands frequently. If soap, water and
clean towels aren't available, use a hand sanitizer that
doesn't require water. The travel size can be tucked into
pocket or purse and used discretely on a show floor.
2. Use paper tissues and dispose of them properly.
3. Avoid those "sticky" places - under the restaurant tabletop
or the escalator handrail.
4. At the show, only accept food that is wrapped or freshly
prepared. Which means you don't dip your hand into the
bowl of M&Ms, but accept the candy in a wrapper. At the
buffet table, you don't double dip your cracker into the veggie
dip, but you can spear the cheese cube.
5. Use common sense - make sure you and your family are
up to date with inoculations and general health matters.
Some childhood diseases can be fatal to adults.
Enjoy the show... and be sure to wash your hands!
Julia O'Connor - Speaker, Author, Consultant - is on the
road frequently. As president of Trade Show Training, inc.
she travels to speak to corporations and associations to
improve their trade show expertise.