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? #USANA16 will be her 22nd consecutive Convention!
This year’s convention theme – “Life Unlocked”!
We are less than five weeks away from a life-changing convention, so I thought I’d send out my annual convention tips list now, with a few changes since last year!
(Drum-roll, please …)
First and foremost, visit The Hub for up-to-date Convention information. There, you can find the agenda, speakers, training stage seminars, breakout sessions, FAQs, and hotel reservations to view or modify. You can also also get more detailed information via the USANA Live 2016 smartphone app (iOS, Android), so download that to your phone and/or iPad.
Now for some details:
1. Pack comfortable shoes. Definitely more than one pair. The Salt Palace and Vivint Smart Home Arena aka VSHA (formerly the Energy Solutions Arena) are HUGE!
2. Dress in layers. Always have a sweater or jacket with you for inside the cool convention center. Have an umbrella as well. I’ve been caught in a few showers running from the hotel into the VSHA or Salt Palace.
3. Check the weather. Before you pack! Late August begins a shifting weather pattern in Utah. (And, I mean SHIFTING! Could be very hot, could be cold. Could be BOTH!)
4. Pack an empty small suitcase (or large purse or even a collapsible duffle bag) for bringing home purchased items. Bringing products home with you on the airplane saves on shipping.
NOTE: Many airlines are charging even for the first checked bag, though some offer a discount if you check in early online, or if you pay for your ticket with their supported credit card. If you do prefer to ship purchases home, a UPS shipping station is now in the USANA shopping area in the Salt Palace, and a USPS post office (with free priority mail boxes) is within walking distance. Direct shipping might be cheaper than paying for another checked-in bag.
5. 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. Dress for success! And, bring your latest rank pin to wear proudly!
Three exceptions to business attire …
- Wednesday evening — USANAFest, the opening celebration, is at the outdoor corner of the Vivint Smart Home Arena (VSHA) block, from 6:30-9:30 p.m. This year, it’s an 80’s theme! So find that headband, your leg warmers, those big shoulder pads, and plan to DANCE!
- Grab a healthy early supper — hmmm, maybe a USANA MySmart Protein Shake? — and arrive early! This is one night where casual is totally fine!
- Thursday night — Our popular “Oscars Style” evening on Thursday night is back! The Recognizing You Awards Show! Last year’s was the smoothest production yet, and I hear that they are enhancing it again. You’ll have time to have a light dinner and dress in your finest. So plan to arrive at the evening session at the VSHA (arena) in party/evening attire, for a combination of entertainment and top awards (many other awards will also be presented throughout other general sessions).
- Red carpet starts at 5:30 p.m. Event starts at 7 p.m. Then migrate to the Salt Palace at 10 p.m. for food and dance!
- Saturday morning — Remember to throw in your workout clothes and walking/running shoes as this year’s 7 a.m. Champions for Change 5K race 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. There will also be service projects going on. Ask at their booth!
6. Take note. Bring pens, notebook paper, and a flat binder for note-taking. Plan to take LOTS of notes and even journal in the middle of the experience. Also, consider bringing a tote bag or large purse to keep everything together while you’re walking around the convention center.
7. 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.
8. Pack a BPA-free water bottle for carrying your water around with you.
9. Bring USANA MySmart bars for the airplane, for quick snacks in Salt Lake City and for during convention sessions. I do NOT mind hearing the crackling of a USANA bar wrapper during the sessions! ?
10. Bring USANA MySmart protein shakes both to save $$ and to enjoy a very healthy meal in your hotel room! Our collapsible shake bags (both large size and single-serve size) are PERFECT for packing! Remember to also bring your favorite flavor sticks. 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 the shakes 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 of powder leakage.
11. Bring a handful of Rev3 lightweight 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!)
12. Don’t forget your Sensé facial care products! Also bring your Sensé shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, shower gel, and hand therapy, to keep your hair/body moisturized in the dry, higher altitude.
13. Bring your USANA vitamins! Duh. Our HealthPak and MyHealthPak offer convenient packing. It’s almost like they were made for on-the-go lifestyles!
14. Shop. Use your breaks — especially Wednesday — to shop, shop, shop at the USANA store in the Salt Palace. 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 announced on stage.
*INSIDER SCOOP* There might be more pizzazz in the store this year — aka a Discovery Center — so plan for more time to explore all that it offers!
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.
15. 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. During the sessions, texting, tweeting, and Facebooking are encouraged (quietly), to report news immediately and to create a buzz, but in training seminars, please keep your phone on silent.
16. Take a tour of USANA Headquarters. There are free home office bus tours all day Wednesday, and then also Friday afternoon/evening, and Saturday evening, leaving from the corner of the Salt Palace that faces the Holiday Inn Express (formerly the Shilo Inn). My favorite time is Wednesday, before the serious networking and meetings begin.
17. Keep all your convention receipts for business expenses: hotel, shuttle/taxi, airfare, all meals, and business tool and logo merchandise receipts.
18. 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, and 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!
Other seasoned convention goers, please feel free to add to my list!
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