MY FIRST/TWENTYITH CONFERENCE
Conference season is upon us. Have you already hit your first for the season? Are you jumping on a plane and heading off to RT, Nationals, Arizona Dreamin or RNC? Even the most experienced conference attendee will forget something—it comes right along with the excitement. Here are a few helpful hints to make your packing and conference more enjoyable.
THINGS TO DO BEFORE HAND and ONCE YOU ARRIVE
(1) Check the weather days before and pack accordingly, but even if the weather says hot, bring a sweater or cover up. Air conditioning can get freezing cold in some of those conference rooms and nights in the desert are often cool.
Make sure to pack comfortable shoes. Yes, I know we all love our five inch stilts (they make us look taller) but let’s get realistic; walking and standing in them for hours is going to wear you down.
Bring your meds, even those you only take in emergencies. You never know.
Bring a couple of trash bags. They weigh nothing and can control your soiled/dirty clothes once you have arrived.
Leave extra room in your suit case. You will be going home with more than you came with.
(2) Long before leaving load up your calendar with all previously scheduled your appointments, tours and conferences. Know in advance where you will be when, especially if someone asks you to be a presenter at their next conference. It will save you time and an apology later if you double booked yourself. Once you’re checked in and have your registration packet, add the workshops you plan on taking and the additional appointments you have made. (i.e., lunch in the cabana with chapter.)
(3) Plugs are scarce in conference rooms. Make sure your laptop, tablet and phones are charged and if you can afford it pick up extra batteries for ALL your electronics. Never miss an opportunity to charge what ever you are using. Having lunch in a booth with an outlet? Plug that phone or tablet in and give it the boost it needs. Back up plan, carry pen and paper.
(4) Familiarize yourself with your surroundings. Pick up a hotel map upon registration and see where everything is located. If you arrive early and have some extra time, go exploring. Knowing where you want to go ahead of time will save you tons of frustration. If you have made the decision to stay at a different hotel, allow plenty of time to get back and forth. Remember traffic during certain hours can be hectic. In addition to rooms catering to the conference, remember to mark on your map, places to eat, buy misc. items, smoke, and drink.
(5) Carry water with you at all times. Purchased water or water in carriers fits nicely into the swag bag. It’s also a good idea to pack a few protein bars and keep them readily available. (They too fit nicely into your bag). Remember to eat a healthy breakfast and eat small amounts often. Chances are you will be running all day once you leave your room. You'll need the calories to sustain you.
Now that you've been reminded of the basics, go pack and get on that plane and have some fun! I'll see you there... V