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How to Avoid Getting Sick at Conferences

With E3 kicking off this week and a slew of exciting EdTech and game-based learning events like ISTE, Games for Change, and Serious Play just around the corner, it’s safe to say that the summer convention season has officially arrived! While attending such trade shows and industry events can be a blast (or tremendously stressful experience, depending on who you ask), frequent conference-goers know that large crowds plus tight spaces means the rapid transmission of unwanted illness and disease.

Con plague, con flu, or conferencitis – no matter your preferred term, post-convention sickness is no joke! To help keep you healthy this summer season, we’ve polled some of our most well-traveled team members and assembled this guide to avoiding unnecessary infection whilst attending in-person events. Let’s jump right in, starting with a selection of pre-conference preventative measures…

Pre-conference Considerations

  • Stock up on immune boosters – Some folks swear by powdered drink mix vitamin supplement Emergen-C, but other supplements like Vitamin C and Zinc can also go a long way in boosting your immune system. Take these daily throughout the duration of your trip!
  • Get your flu shot – Enough said. Learn more about seasonal flu and how you can get a vaccine on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s official website.
  • Exercise – hit your local gym, go running, or even just take a walk around your neighborhood! Harvard Medical Schools has identified regular exercise as a key component of a healthy living strategy, which helps boost one’s immune system.
  • Sleep well – at least 7-9 hours per night, according to Mayo Clinic. Conference days can be long and grueling – don’t compromise your immune system and put yourself (and others) at risk!

At the Show

  • Boost your immune system! – consume your immune-boosting supplements each morning in anticipation for the day ahead.
  • Stay hydrated! – dehydration can be a real drag, so be sure to drink lots of water! Mayo Clinic recommends 8 glasses of fluids per day as a reasonable goal – to save yourself time and energy, you’ll probably want to pack a reusable bottle to avoid relying on (often sparsely available) venue water fountains.
  • Eat healthy – conference center food is not only expensive, but the meals offered are often less-than-healthy. If possible, pack a healthy lunch to enjoy while at the event! Your wallet, taste buds, and immune system will all thank you.
  • Avoid physical contact – it’s on you to decide whether or not to shake hands with others, though adopting a personal handshake-free policy throughout the duration of the event will go a long way in helping prevent the transmission of unwanted disease.
  • Don’t touch your mouth/eyes/etc. – don’t let harmful diseases make the jump from your hands to your internals! Keep your hands away from all orifices at all times.
  • Wash your hands – thoroughly, and at every available opportunity, especially before and after eating.
  • Bring hand sanitizer – for those moments when you need clean hands but don’t have access to a sink!


  • Relax, unwind, and rest… – if you’re returning home from a conference, you’ve likely spent your last few days standing and moving on a near-constant basis. Your body has come in close contact with hundreds – if not thousands – of fellow human beings. What I’m trying to get at here is simple: treat yourself! Sit down for a minute, drink an extra glass of water, and reward your body for its hard work with a few extra hours of sleep…you’ve earned it!

Will you be attending any industry events or conferences this season? We’d love to hear about them. Sound off over on our Facebook or Twitter – maybe we’ll even see you there!

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