In most industries, far and wide, at some point in your professional career, you’ll have to attend some kind of conference. It’s important to know crucial information before you go, so today is all about conference preparation! Mostly, because it’s on our minds, since we’re heading to an amazing conference in Orlando soon! While I’m knee deep in prepping, it seems it’s a good idea to share the knowledge (you know, beyond the standard charging cords, and portable chargers!)
Conference preparation: what you didn’t know you needed to know before you go
Let’s talk business cards
Yes, most people are all digital, and all that jazz. Listen, I prefer not to have to stand there trading information while we each have our noses in your phones. I prefer making eye contact, handing a card to someone, and receive one, too. Later, in my hotel room, I make notes on the cards. Or, quickly after my conversation, I pull out the card and jot down notes. Whenever, just depends on how big the conference is, and what kind of time I have.
After the conference has ended, I take out the stack and go through all of the new cards I have. Slowly, I put them into my contact list under whatever conference I just returned from. All my notes from the cards go into the contact, and that can be downloaded right to my phone. It’s what works for me. OR, I just snap a photo of the card, to have the information to put into my phone at a later time. Whatever works, but business cards are still a big thing to pack for a conference! Don’t skip this step.
You’ll be on your feet, a lot.
Breaking in your shoes is a must. If you’ve purchased new ones, make sure you’re wearing those bad boys around the house a couple of weeks prior to the conference. Is there a pair of shoes that you’ll only be wearing for one reception during the conference? Break those in, too. Depending on where the conference is, there could be a ton of standing around while you wait for things to start.
Let’s just say, you don’t want to be stuck with two feet in pain, and filled with blisters! You didn’t get that cute pedicure done so your feet can be covered in bandaids! Break those shoes in before you pack them up for the trip, trust me!
Pack plenty of layers
You’re rolling your eyes at this, I can see you from here. Trust me. If you’re heading to a warm, tropical climate for your conference, you’re going to be inside for a large portion of the day. Inside has killer air conditioning, and if all you’ve brought are cute sundresses, you’re going to freeze. If you’re cold, you’ll only be thinking about how cold you are, and not on the conference speakers.
You’ll need to dress in layers, so pack items you can layer. Light sweaters, or jackets, can be taken off and thrown in your bag during breaks in the day when you head outside, to that tropical weather you crave. Throw a pair of flip flops in your suitcase, too. Your feet want some options, too. Things run over, and once you’re let out, you might not want to go all the way back to your hotel to get the comfier shoes for evening fun with friends. Bring those flip flops, throw them in your bag for the day.
Prepare your girls for full days of underwire
If you work from home, and aren’t accustomed to wearing a bra all day….. well, this one’s for you. In the weeks leading up to the conference, strap those girls in, and get them used to being trapped for longer days. It’s one thing to throw one on for a little bit to head to the store for a quick shopping trip, but it’s completely different when you’ve got to spend an entire day, along with a long night, with underwire around your girls.
Get the girls ready for full days of underwire, it’ll help you feel a bit more comfortable during the few days of the conference. If you don’t use underwire, that’s fine, you still want to prepare them for full days of being stuck in any kind of over the shoulder boulder holder. You’ll thank me when you return!
Body spray, or some kind of mist spray
Grab yourself a body spray, or one of the spray bottles you can mist yourself with water. Time is precious, so beyond bringing a small deodorant you can carry with you, bring something to spray all over yourself to feel less gross, and sticky. A little mini freshening up does a mind good! Gives a little spring in your step, to get through long days, and longer nights.
As someone who rarely carries a pocketbook, let alone a large bag, I cannot stress enough how important it is to have an oversized bag at a conference. It’ll hold not just your laptop/tablet, but also all charging cords; snacks; pens; business cards; bottles of water; layers of clothing; and, all things conference related. Nothing so big your shoulder will lose feeling in it from the weight of the bag, but SOMETHING that you can toss all your stuff in and keep your hands free.
The name of the conference game is comfort
To sum up, the name of the conference game is comfort. AND, never underestimate how important those business cards are. You want to have fun, and learn, without worrying about blisters, and your boobs being upset. Prepare in advance, and pack accordingly, and you’ll be fine.