Having attended upwards of 100 conferences in my professional life, I’ve learned a thing or two about packing for events like the Acumatica Summit. There are lots of articles about what to wear and how to pack efficiently, even what to bring for snacks (my favorite are those Sahale nut packs).
But for me, the real value is in the not-so-everyday items that we often wish we had once we’re in a hotel, miles from home. Here’s my cheat sheet for some very nice-to-have comforts and some absolute essentials, as I see it!
- Ibuprofen (this recommendation came from my friend Patricia Bennett) and I strongly second it. Nothing worse than a screeching headache while sitting through a session on Acumatica pricing changes. She also recommends low-heeled, comfortable shoes.
- Extra phone battery and zinc lozenges (from my colleague Brian Dunn, who also recommends Advil or the like).
- Q-tips & safety pins. Most hotels don’t include them in their bathroom accoutrements.
- Gorilla glue or Super glue. I can’t count the number of times this has come in VERY handy.
- Tape and scissors. Even if you aren’t an exhibitor, these can handle everything from wardrobe issues to slippery new shoe soles.
- Nail clippers or a nail file.
- Mesh laundry bags. Makes packing up to leave a snap, and separate what you’ve worn from what you haven’t. If you’re like me, the overpacking queen, the “haven’t worn” pile is usually bigger.
- Lint brush. I can’t blame it on the furry family I have when traveling, now can I? But somehow lint finds me. And they make compact versions that fit in your backpack or handbag.
- Business cards AND your favorite lanyard/holder. Did I mention I’ve been to a lot of these things? My favorite nametag holders are a bit larger in size and have a pocket that you can squirrel away cards you collect. Very handy if you are wearing something without pockets!
- Antihistamines. I’m currently fond of Xyzal, but any of the major brands will do. May not be as big of a necessity for a dry climate like Vegas, but you never know.
- I love these blotting tissues. They have a light jasmine scent and banish shiny foreheads in seconds. Very helpful when you’ve just covered three floors of an enormous conference center in 3 minutes flat.
- A light jacket. Those conference rooms are CHILLY. It can be hard to concentrate with your teeth chattering.
- Mints or gum. Who knows what garlic-infused quinoa concoction they may be serving. While tasty, it may not make you many friends. And mints are great for sharing. 😊
- A few pens, a Sharpie and a dry erase marker. Just in case a planning session breaks out in the lounge or you get pulled into a training class.
- If I happen to have a little extra room in my bag, I might even bring along my favorite fluffy bed pillow. Nothing helps me wind down at the end of a very long, fun conference day than a little bit of home.
What’s your conference essential? Let me know and I’ll update the post!
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