Do you have trouble knowing what to pack for a blog conference? I certainly do. Throwing a bunch of random items in your bag and hoping for the best isn’t going to get the job done. Having a game plan and the right necessities before you step through the door however, can give you the confidence you need to make connections and take your blogging game to the next level!
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1) Business Cards
This is number one on the list for a reason. It’s super important! Don’t forget your business cards at home. People will want to contact you after they meet you and they need to know how to reach you. You’re attending the conference to network, so don’t be shy about sharing those cards! In return, you will receive a lot of business cards. Feel free to make notes on them so you can remember people after the conference. I also invested in a business card organizer to keep them all straight. It really helps!
You will want to take notes while you’re there. Having plenty of pens handy will help you accomplish this. Bring a few pens to share too because inevitably someone will forget one. Sharing a pen is an easy way to make new friends! My favorites to bring along are flare pens. I love having a variety of colors to code events in my day planner. If I share these pens with you, just know I WILL ask for them back!
I carry a notebook everywhere I go because I can’t seem to let go of paper. If you want to put your notes in your phone, good for you, but if you’re like me, bring a notebook. Speakers will share a lot of information during the conference and it’s important to take good notes. Having a notebook at hand will make life easier.
A laptop isn’t necessary, but I know a lot of people who use their laptops to take notes instead of a notebook. A laptop will come in handy if you need to write any blog posts while you are traveling. This is completely a personal preference. Bring it if you want something else to pack in your suitcase.
Most of us have phones on our cameras, but many prefer the quality shots of a DSLR or mirrorless camera. Again, this is another personal preference item. If you want to take all conference photos on your phone, so you can quickly share them across social media, you will be perfectly fine and your luggage will weigh a lot less than mine.
I don’t even know why I mention this, since odds are no one will forget to pack their phone, but in case you were thinking of leaving it behind, don’t. You can use your phone for everything: photos, apps, notes, videos, texts, emails, Facebook groups at the conference, do I need to go on? I think you get the point. Pack it.
7) Portable chargers and charging cords
I learned this the hard way. Batteries can drain quickly, so always carry a portable charger and charging cords. If you get caught without them, it will ruin your day and you will be running around the room asking if anyone has one you can borrow. I own the Anker lipstick charger, which I love because it is lightweight and always gives me the power boost I need in an instant.
8) Power strip
I learned about the importance of a power strip at my last blogging conference when all the plugs near my table were already spoken for when I arrived for the day. Bring your own small power strip so you can have your own portable charging station wherever you go. This will also earn you many new friends when others are looking for a place to charge their electronics and all the outlets are spoken for!
9) Media kit
Before you leave for your trip, make sure the media kit on your website is up to date. E-mail a pdf copy to your phone so you can have it handy should someone ask for it. Get their email address, and you can quickly share it with them and save some paper. It’s probably helpful to have some paper copies handy too, so print off a small supply and bring those along.
10) Breath mints
This just goes without saying. Fresh breath is so important when meeting people.
11) Refillable water bottle
I bring along a refillable water bottle because sometimes it feels like you’re sitting in those conference rooms for hours with nothing to drink. When you have your own water bottle, you don’t have to worry about getting thirsty.
This goes right along with the water bottle, throw some small snacks in your bag to keep you from getting hungry. Looking for some easy ideas? Check out our 25 Easy to Pack Travel Snacks or 25 Easy to Pack Nut Free Travel Snacks to keep in your bag.
13) Lip balm
The air conditioning in the conference rooms always seems to dry out my lips. I throw a jar of Rosebud Salve in my bag and it gives me that extra bit of moisture and a little bit of color just when I need it.
14) Comfortable clothes and shoes
Keep your clothes simple. You will spend most of the day sitting in conference rooms and listening to speakers, so make sure you are going to be comfortable above all else. Bring a lightweight cardigan or sweater to keep warm in chilly conference rooms. Find outfits that work for day to night and use accessories to change them up. Also, don’t go out and buy a bunch of new outfits. Remember, none of these people have seen your wardrobe before, so everything is new to them!
Bring comfortable shoes you can walk in. Some conferences will include tours or long distances between conference rooms and your hotel room. This is not a time to try out those darling new shoes and get blisters.
15) A positive attitude
Be willing to step out of your comfort zone and open yourself to new experiences. This is your chance to sell yourself and your brand, so be willing to talk to others. Smile and listen, be engaging, but not overbearing. Remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
Bonus tip: Be sure to leave extra room in your luggage when packing. Brands at conferences like to hand out a lot of swag, so you will need somewhere to put it!