Editor’s Note: The following was written by USANA Associate, Kathleen Rockney. Kathleen is a Gold Director and she graciously contributes a list of Convention travel tips each year to What’s Up, USANA?
From a seasoned “conventioneer” (this will be my 21st USANA convention), the following is a list that I’ve compiled over time to help you prepare and pack for #USANA15 which is happening in 5 weeks from today!
Websites to Bookmark:
- The Hub – Our convention info is now in the Hub, rather than on a separate site. It will eventually include agenda, speakers, training stage seminars, breakout sessions, FAQs, hotel reservations to view or modify. We will get more detailed information via the USANA Event smartphone app, so be looking for that.
- In addition to the TSA rules we’re all used to, consider getting a TSA pre-check clearance. This allows you to take the shorter security line through the TSA area of many airports. It can take a long time to get approved, so do this now!
- Check the weather reports, so you can be prepared for anything. Also, mid-August can be hot during the day, and chilly at night. A 30-degree swing in temperature is not uncommon.
Airfare, Hotel and Transportation:
The week before convention, confirm your airfare reservation. A few days before, it’s helpful to confirm your hotel reservation directly with the hotel (if you check too early, they won’t have the reservation list from Passkey yet).
Decide on transportation to your hotel. Xpress Shuttle is an inexpensive downtown hotel shuttle service at the airport. Or share a taxi for the short 15 minute trip to downtown. It’s $8 + tip one way per person for the Xpress shuttle, and about $23 + tip for a taxi, regardless of number of passengers. Uber and Lyft aren’t licensed to pick up passengers at the airport, but you can use them to return to the airport after Convention is over.
Pro Tip: Find out if your hotel provides airport-to-hotel shuttle service.
- Pack more than one pair of comfortable shoes. The Salt Palace and Energy Solutions Arena (aka ESA) are HUGE!
- Dress in layers. Always have a sweater or a jacket with you for inside the air-conditioned convention center. Don’t forget your umbrella either. I’ve been caught in a few showers running from the hotel into the ESA or Salt Palace.
- Again, check Salt Lake City weather the week before you pack, because late August begins a shifting weather pattern in Utah. (And, I mean SHIFTING! Could be very hot, could be cold. Could be BOTH!)
- Keep your camera/smartphone with you for that spur-of-the-moment photo op with Dr. Wentz or other leaders. Be sure you pack your camera/phone charger with you as well, to recharge at the hotel or at the charging station in the store.
- Bring pens and a notebook. Plan to take LOTS of notes and even journal your experiences. Bring a mini flashlight, if you think you might want to take notes when the lights are down!
- Bring a tote bag for your pens, notebook, snacks, etc. to carry around the convention center.
- Remember your USANA business cards! You’ll want to swap as many cards as you can, as you connect with other USANA Associates and even corporate leaders and staff.
- Bring an empty small suitcase or large purse to bring home purchased items in carry-on. Bringing these items home with you on the airplane saves on shipping.
Pro tip: If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve already heard that there are new products being launched at #USANA15 and you MUST be in attendance to take them home with you!
What Should I Wear?
General attire is smart business casual. Remember that you are representing USANA to the public, as you wear your convention badge. So, kick it up a notch, and leave the jeans or shorts for another time. Don’t forget your latest rank pin to wear proudly!
Three exceptions to business attire…
- USANAFest, the opening celebration, is at the outdoor corner of the Energy Solutions Arena (ESA) block, from 6:30-9:30 PM. Grab a healthy early supper and arrive early! This is one night where casual is totally fine! If you haven’t made airline reservations, make sure you consider either a Tuesday arrival or early Wednesday arrival, so you’re rested for this first networking event!
- Our popular “Oscars Style” evening on Thursday night is back! You’ll have time to have a light dinner and get ready for a formal evening. Plan on arriving at the ESA in evening attire, for a combination of entertainment and top awards. Red carpet starts at 5:30pm. Event starts at 7:00pm. And don’t forget about the after party at the Salt Palace! This year’s theme is a Night with the Stars, taking you back in time Old Hollywood style. All the glitz, glam, dance, food and fun starts at 9:30pm!
- Saturday morning – Remember to throw in your workout clothes and running shoes as this year’s “Champions for Change” 5K will again benefit USANA’s True Health Foundation! You can pre-register now, then pick up your number and commemorative T-shirt at the True Health Foundation booth when you arrive at Convention. Proceeds from your entry fee and any further donations you gather, go to the Foundation.
- Pack a BPA-free plastic bottle or a glass water bottle and fill it up with the reverse osmosis water provided at the convention center.
Pro Tip: Drink plenty of water! Salt Lake City is at high altitude and staying hydrated is key to avoiding altitude sickness.
- Bring USANA Nutrition bars with you for the flight, quick snacks in Salt Lake City and for during convention sessions. I do NOT mind hearing the crackling of a Peanutty Bliss bar wrapper, during the sessions! 🙂
- Pack Nutrimeal™ – both to save $$ and to enjoy a healthy meal in your hotel room! Our collapsible Nutrimeal bags (both large and single-serve size) are perfect for packing! My husband, Bill, and I like to pre-mix our favorite combination of flavors into one gusset bag each (remember to put the scoop inside) and then reinforce its opening with extra masking tape. Or, you can bring Nutrimeals and/or Fibergy in their original bags with scoops inside, to mix and match as you desire. For packing, we place them inside another gallon-sized Ziploc, just in case it leaks.
- Bring a BlenderBottle® to mix your shake with hotel ice and your bottled/filtered water. My favorite travel appliance is an electric hand-blender wand because I prefer the consistency that a blender provides. It works great in crushing hotel room ice and makes a nice, slushy drink. The last several years, USANA also offered a Smoothie booth In the Salt Palace to purchase blended USANA drinks.
- Throw in a handful of Rev3 surge packs to add to your mid-morning or mid-afternoon water for that additional healthy “lift”! (If you bring the cans, you’ll be swamped by Rev3-starved friends!
Other Useful Information
- Don’t forget your Sensé skincare and hair care products! At the higher altitude, it’s important to keep your hair and skin moisturized. (Most of our regular-sized facial products meet the 3.4 oz. rule for carry-on. The rest need to go in checked baggage.)
- Bring your USANA vitamins! Our HealthPak and MyHealthPak are convenient for packing. I put 2 day’s worth of vitamins inside my one quart Ziploc bag allowed in my carry-on, and pack all my other vitamins in a checked piece of luggage. Two-days worth of vitamins will hold me over, in case checked-in luggage is temporarily lost.
- Use your breaks – especially Wednesday – to shop, shop, shop at the USANA store in the Salt Palace. The store will have products AND business tools. So, on Wednesday, I do my serious logo merchandise purchasing. Throughout the rest of the time, I add purchases as new products or sales tools are introduced.
Tax receipt tip: Since products that we consume aren’t tax deductible, but logo merchandise and business tools are, I separate them out at the cashier and run them as separate orders. That way, I can file the receipts easily as either business or personal expenditures.
- Cell phones are a godsend at convention. So, before you go, swap cell phone numbers with everyone you know that you might want to contact for lunch or a meeting. But, be very aware that cell phones should be turned off or put on vibrate inside all the meetings and seminars. That’s just etiquette! During the sessions, texting, tweeting and “Facebooking” are encouraged (quietly), to report news immediately and to create a buzzzzzz! Additionally, USANA will update their free Convention App for smartphones to keep agendas, maps, etc. at our fingertips! Download it when it becomes available!
- Bring your laptop or iPad for your hotel room to correspond with business partners who couldn’t make it. Most hotels have free Wi-Fi and any nearby Starbucks will have free Wi-Fi as well.
- Carve out time to tour USANA Headquarters. A free bus runs all day Wednesday, Friday evening and Saturday evening, leaving from the corner of the Salt Palace that faces the Shilo Inn. My favorite time is Wednesday, before the serious networking and meetings begin.
- Keep a little Kleenex handy. Some of those speakers WILL touch your heart.
And, finally, think of this as YOUR time to absorb, to network, to have fun, to grow! Leave your worries behind and give yourself the best convention experience ever! After all, this is our annual celebration – and it is truly a gift from corporate to us!
Other seasoned convention goers, please feel free to add to my list in the comments!
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