This past weekend was the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio. It is a huge fitness expo that contains events, competitions, and an unimaginable amount of booths. This is my first time ever going to an expo, so in true Mel fashion, I planned ahead. I spent about an hour trolling internet forums for any information about the Arnold. I am so glad I did! If I hadn’t read ahead, I would have been totally unprepared. After attending the expo, here is my advice on how to plan ahead.
- Bring a backpack, tote, or duffel. As previously mentioned, there are tons of booths at fitness expos. They range from supplements, to clothing, to magnetized phone cases that help you selfie at the gym. Many of these booths pass out freebies, so it’s best to have a place to store them. My duffel bag was LOADED by the end of one day.
- Bring a camera. There are sure to be many famous athletes, YouTube stars, and Instagrammers there. If you have a solid camera on your phone, that’ll work just fine. Be prepared to wait in line to meet anyone famous. I waited over 2 hours to meet Heidi Somers. *worth it*
- Don’t plan on having cell service. When there is so many people packed into a confined area, cell service is sure to go out. If you’re going with a group of friends, stick together or pick a meeting place.
- Bring cash. Most booths take cards, but if there is no wifi or cell service they cannot run your card. You don’t want to miss out on deals just because you don’t have the cash.
- Pack a lunch and bring water. There may be places to eat near your expo, but the food is likely pricey. I threw a sandwich, apple, and water in the duffel bag I brought, and I was set! I didn’t have to miss out on the fun to find a place to eat.
- Do not have your tickets at will call. If possible, print your tickets at home or buy them at the event. We got there before the expo even started and the will call line was already wrapped around the venue.
- Uber or have a friend drop you off. Parking is likely pricey and limited. There is almost always traffic to get into these lots as well. Getting a ride to and from the venue is definitely the way to go!
- Get inspired! There were so many amazing athletes at this weekend’s expo! I left the event feeling motivated and uplifted. I will definitely be returning to the Arnold next year. I’m already looking to see if there are any local expos coming up soon!