Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Prepping for a Conference

I'm heading to Type A Conference in a few days and its always a crazy lead up since i have to get C1 loaded and away before i even begin to get myself going but i do have a set guideline of things you need to take with you to a conference.

Get a packing list. Why do it yourself? I've been using the one from ListPlanIt for a while now. I love being a download member of their site because i don't have to reinvent the list.

Caffeine Locator - If you are a caffeine junkie make sure you can locate your drug of choice. Last year it turns out that the hotel was a Pepsi hotel. I'm a Coke girl and i didn't drive so i was so insanely happy when i managed to find it 2 days in. This year i'm at a hotel that has Coke products but i'm bringing my own from home since i purchased them already. If you are a Starbucks person find out where the closest location is before its 8am your bleary eyed and edgy from having crappy in room coffee. Some hotel brands have Kuerig machines, if you use one at home its a good idea to toss a few K-cups into your suitcase. I'm not particular to coffee but i use sugar in the raw so i travel with that. Find those locations and save them in evernote or whatever smartphone app you use most. Bring water too to balance out the dehydration factor. i bring the liter bottles of smart water since they pack insanely well.

Label machine - Especially if you are sharing a room label all of your cords. Sure you may be totally fine letting someone bum a charge off of you but when you are leaving can you pick out your cable from the masses? What about when you are in the conference halls? When it doubt slap a label on it. All of my cords are labeled with my twitter handle. Makes finding me easier if i misplace something. And bring an extension cord or a power strip. Trust me.

Check your feet - You are going to be standing a ton, rethink your shoes before you leave and put them on when you leave your room in the morning don't think about it later. Sure you can bring the 4" platforms for the parties but do you want to wear them from 8-4pm or even 11pm? Probably not.

Meds - Most people remember scripts but don't forget OTC. Going to a conference in a unfamiliar town and its not winter? Pack some allergy meds. Don't forget the pain reliever and headache reliever of choice, plus a Band-Aid or 3.

Everyday Baggage - i hate purses. i don't wear one on an everyday basis. I went to Ikea and found this super light bag which can hold my laptop, business cards, small notebook, pens, gum, and a bottle of water all while being slung across my body for good weight distribution. Have 1 bag for the day sessions, that is comfortable and large enough to hold what's essential to you.

List of 5 - People you want to meet. It will give you something to accomplish as well as force you to put yourself out there if this is your first time. Last year i made a list of the 5 people i really wanted to meet before i went home. I found 3 on the first day. I'm still doing it because a big part of a conference is still socializing. Aren't comfortable just walking up to someone and saying hello i love your blog or "OMG i always wanted to me you?" (which i did to Justice Fergie last year). Sometimes they will even shock you by hugging you, (which Aunt Becky did last year she smells really good.)  Then just stop, breathe and talk to the person standing in the breakfast line behind you, or on your left at lunch. When you sit to eat just pick a table and say hi! Scared? Find me.

Imperalist shirt from Threadless
I will probably pack this one.

I'll be the one with the snarky T-shirt drinking coke. 

E-Reader - you will have down time. It may be that you don't like the sessions being offered, you might need a break from the chaos, you may not want to go out for dinner, while you're waiting for your flight etc. Bring it, you'll be glad you did.

Don't over pack - You will bring home stuff from sponsors and if you start with a full bag you have nowhere to store it to get home. make sure you leave anywhere from 1-3 shopping bags of space.

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