Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Conference Prep - What I'm taking


I've been to quite a few conferences, and they're all a bit different, but my experience has given me a list of things that are necessities for every conference.  Here's what I take with me;


An extra tote bag - you never know when one of your sessions will have freebies or giveaways, and the expo hall is always full of fun samples and there's never an easy way to carry all of it.  This tote from Ikea is perfect because it folds into a little pouch so I can throw it into my purse until I need it.


A water bottle - I'm cheap, there, I said it.  I hat to pay for drinks at conferences, they're always so expensive.  If I take my own water bottle I can fill it as many times as I want and If I'm flying to the conference I just pack it empty so I can get through security.  My favorite is this bottle by Copco. I love it because the entire top part of the bottle twists off right above the purple cuff so that you cas add ice cubes or lemon slices.


A notebook - a notebook is always helpful at a conference, but I take mine a step further.  I create my own notebook with copies of my travel arrangements, hotel reservations, transportation information, and conference registration so that I have all of this information and space for my notes organized in one place.  Last year I used this Vera Bradley Binder, and this year I used my binding machine to create my own notebook.


Your contact information - You never know who you might meet. I've made new friends and had the opportunity to connect with some great business contacts, it is so helpful to have a business card to give them so that they can contact me after the conference to follow up.  I know many teachers who also take return address labels so that they can easily enter giveaways in the expo hall without having to fill out all of their information at every booth they visit. I had my business cards done on VistaPrint.

Comfortable shoes - Attending a conference is a guarantee that you will be walking. A lot. The type of shoes that you wear will obviously depend on where the conference is.  Since it's supposed to be 80 degree in Orlando this week I'm wearing sandals, specifically, these Crocs.


A portable charger - Whenever there are a lot of people in one place it has a tendency to drain your phone battery a lot faster, and there are never enough wall outlets.  These little chargers don't take up much space, but they will definitely save the day, and you can usually find one for less than $10.

Snacks - nothing is more embarrassing than your stomach growling in the middle of someone else's presentation.  Snacks are a must, I try to choose snacks that are easy to carry and don't make a lot of noise when I open them! I love dry cereal, fruit snacks, trail mix, and I always pack a little chocolate too.

What do you take when you go to a conference or Professional Development day? Share your ideas in the comments!

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