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What To Pack For Your Next Conference

conference packing tipsIf you’re one of the many readers I’ll be connecting with at the Bloggers At Midlife (BAM) Conference this week – HELLO! – I can’t wait to see you / meet you!! And if not, it’s not too late to grab a ticket. Just click the BAM link above.

But even if you’re not, these tips are important ones, if I do say so myself.

Whether you’re headed to a blogging conference, a writer’s conference, a professional conference, wherever it may be, these are a few things I recommend you bring with you.

What To Pack For Your Next Conference

Your phone charger – Yes. I know. You’re thinking this is a given, right? But you might not normally leave the house with one. Or maybe you normally travel with a partner who always has theirs? Put an extra one in your suitcase right now. You don’t want to have to deal with a dying phone constantly. In fact, if you have a suitcase that’s your go-to when you’re traveling? Get an extra one and keep it in there. You’ll never go without.

Pen and paper – With all of the electronic note-taking people tend to leave their favorite pen at home. Don’t. You might not feel like busting out the laptop (which, depending on the kind of note-taker you are – can be optional), or staring at your phone the entire time. In fact, you might find that you prefer listening to the speaker and jotting down a few sentences that stick with you. This, too, can be something you keep handy at all times. Because if you’re like me you know you have about fifteen notebooks sitting and waiting for you to fill them.

Business cards – BAM attendees, don’t fret! You can still have some made up. Head on out to Staples or Office Max/Depot and they’ll be done in a flash. Even the simplest of cards can represent you well to brands, speakers and your fellow attendees. Unsure of what to include? Your name, blog/business name, email, and a phone number if you’re comfortable sharing that. Just the basics can be enough to ensure that you’re remembered. And my biggest tip? Don’t use shiny paper. People will want to write notes on them, maybe where you met or spoke, or what they think you might be a fit for – help them not have to scrounge for a Sharpie to do it!

Sweater – BAM friends, we’re headed to Las Vegas. I know this sounds a bit ridiculous. But hotel conference rooms can be chilly. Bring your favorite one with you – or have a look at these links (affiliate) I’ve provided and do some shopping. If you’re still figuring out your wardrobe for the weekend, opt for a simple black cardigan.  If you’re more of a bright and colorfully dressed person, go with pink. You can never go wrong with pink! And a quick bonus tip? If your feet get cold easily bring a pair of closed-toe shoes with you. Flats are easy to pack and simple to match with anything.

Optional additions to your packing list: 

Power strip – You don’t have to bring one with you, but if you do you might find yourself with about a hundred new besties. Power outlets can be hard to come by during conferences. Have this on you and you won’t be the outlet hogger. Nobody wants to be the outlet hogger – trust me.

Snacks – Not required, but think of the traveling you’ll be doing, and the amount of time you’ll be sitting listening to speakers. Are you the kind of person who feels their blood sugar dropping if they don’t eat every few hours? Or do you not eat breakfast early in the morning and find yourself hungry at around 10? Bring some bars with you – granola, protein, gluten-free – whatever your tastes and dietary restrictions require. And maybe bring an extra one for the person sitting next to you. Make a new friend! You’ll thank me for this reminder.

Reading material – For those traveling long distances a good book or a few magazines are essential. Pop your Kindle in your bag, grab that book you’ve been meaning to crack open, bring it with you. A quick move like this saves you from having to purchase a brand new (often overpriced!) book at the airport.

Portable phone charger – If you have one? Bring it with you. It doesn’t take up much space and might just be what you need in those moments between being able to plug your phone in and charge it up right.

We also have some great tips on what to wear to BAM 2016 for you, so head on over and check them out.

And I’ll see you in Vegas in a few days!

Andrea Bates

Andrea is a native New Yorker living in NC who has become quite accustomed to wearing flip flops year-round. A licensed clinical social worker, she spends her free time volunteering for a number of organizations supporting women (more specifically, mothers) in need of a reminder that they are not alone. Andrea blogs at Good Girl Gone Redneck, where she writes from the heart, sharing the ins and outs of parenting, family and relationships. She also devours books and regularly features her honest reviews, ensuring that her readers are intrigued and ready for more.

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Friday 15th of April 2016

I'm Always CHILLY! yes, even in Vegas, they pump the a/c and I freeze. A good reminder to bring a sweater!

Sheila DelCharco

Monday 11th of April 2016

Making my list now! Thanks for the great tips! This is my first blogging convention and I can't wait! ~Sheila Making the Most of Every Day

Jennifer Buchholz

Monday 11th of April 2016

Can't wait to meet you all. I love this travel charger - it goes with me everywhere.

It also encourages sharing - rather than taking an outlet, you're providing more!


Monday 11th of April 2016

So excited to meet everyone! I hadn't even thought about pen/paper. Thank you! See you soon.

Doreen McGettigan

Monday 11th of April 2016

Excellent tips and perfect timing I'm packing today! See you in Vegas.

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