So for those of you preparing for your first time, here are some simple pointers for getting your conference on.
On the technical side:
- Pack Simple: if you’re fashion challenged like me – pack basics. This is not the time to try wear a fur trimmed tunic with sparkles or the latest trend in patterned skinny jeans – if you’re not sure you’re gonna feel good wearing ‘em. You want to be comfortable and confident. Pack the things that rock your Mojo.
- Leave room in your suitcase: I had no idea what SWAG was until last year. SWAG takes up space. If you keep your clothes and accessories on the simple side – you’ll have room for the SWAG you love best and choose to take home
- Pack a great bag for the daytime: stylish is good but it needs to haul the stuff you’ll need throughout the day. (pens, paper, Chapstick, Twizzlers, cell phone, etc)
- Comfortable shoes: if you can walk all day in 4 inch heels – hats off to you. I like shoes that let me sprint, dance, or cartwheel without requiring a change in footwear.
- Something to write with: notebook and pen, iPad, laptop. Someplace to capture your thoughts as they race through your head. Or to trap those speaker quotes that turn your world upside down.
- Water bottle: this will save you like $500 in bottled water.
- Business Cards: you’re there to meet people right?. Give ‘em some way to remember all your awesomeness. Make sure it has the essentials on it, i.e. name, blog / business name, email, Facebook page. Also, bring an envelope, a business card holder or some other way to keep track of any business cards you collect.
- Camera: you’ll want to record those moments when you’re making duck faces with your 10 new BFF’s. Phone cameras work well too.
- Cash: you’ll want moula for coffee and snacks. Maybe treat yourself to a nice dinner. At Blissdom, you’ll definitely want to check out the [Handmade Marketplace].
- Chargers: don’t forget to pack chargers for your cell phone, laptop or any other gadgets you’ll be brining.
Most importantly – some non-technical pointers:
- Big Girl Panties: you know – the ones you’ll need to pull on when you’re in a room full of people you don’t know and they’re all dressed really smart and have conquered the world and are never ever awkward in social settings. Keep those Big Girl panties in your purse. Use them. They are your self-esteem’s equivalent of Spanx. You’re awesome and the world won’t know that unless you reach out, shake hands and say something.
- Your Inner Child: yes, this is business. This may be your dream. Your be all and end all. But you can still laugh, participate in a flash mob or do the chicken dance. For pete’s sake – let your hair down and have some good old fashioned fun.
- Super Hero Cape: (sold separately from your Big Girl Panties) Help someone. No matter how nervous, scared or freaked out you may be – there is someone else who is struggling the same struggle. Tie on that cape, use your x-ray vision and find that person in the crowd. Your conference experience will be better when you help make someone else feel at home.The best thing you’re bringing to a conference is yourself. Keep everything else simple.
The best thing you bring to a conference is yourself. Keep the rest simple.