what to pack for a conference

There’s an old saying that people tend to pack an hour before leaving for a trip and unpack three months after getting home. Don’t let this be you. At Smarter Searches, we want you to digital smarter, think smarter, and packsmarter. Let’s run through some tips to help make your packing experience pain-and-procrastination free.

If your digital conference is less than a week, you probably don’t want to check a bag. Checking a bag pretty much sucks on all levels. At the same time, we weren’t all born with the Mary Poppins packing gene like I was, so consider this my duty to the less skilled packers out there. Think of packing like a game. You can and will win the packing game. You will pack *all the things* in your carry-ons.

Personally, as the honorary “mom” of my friend groups, I am always over-prepared. That being said, I also try to be as efficient as possible in everything I do. Below are some of my tips and tricks for digital conference packing.

Necessities

  • Plane tickets (app, email, or printed out)
  • Hotel confirmation (email, or printed out)
  • Conference tickets/passes
  • Conference materials and speech (if presenting)
  • Any medications you take, plus some allergy medicine, Tums (for sriracha-fueled endeavors and coffee binges. I’m looking at you, Steve), Advil, band-aids, and neosporin in a little zip lock baggie (for good measure)

Clothes

First of all: For the love of God, please just check the weather. (You’d be surprised at the amount of people who do not).

If you are going to a warm climate, like the one for this year’s PubCon, you’ll want to pack light layers, particularly in a monochromatic color scheme. Vegas-the location for PubCon 2015- is likely going to be akin to the surface of the sun, but the temperatures inside the conference sessions are going to be the approximately that of the Arctic circle, so there’s that. By packing light layers you can layer a tank top under a cardigan, under a blazer, and shed as necessary. Furthermore, if you pack clothes from one color family, you can mix and match your outfits with exponentially more options. Options are your friend. Getting to your destination and feeling less than stellar in theone outfit you packed for Day 1 is beneath you. You are a beautiful shining star, and we want you to look and feel your best so the only thing you have to focus on are all of the awesome conference sessions.

You’ll probably need:

  • 1 shirt for each day, plus 2-3 extras for spills (if you’re a spaz like me), options, etc.
  • 1 pair of nice jeans
  • 1-2 pairs of slacks
  • 1-2 skirts
  • 1-2 cardigans
  • 1 blazer
  • 1-3 dresses
  • 1 pajama shirt with 1 pair pajama pants, 1 pair pajama shorts (you never know how cold the hotel will be)
  • 1 pair comfortable (but nice) shoes, such as flats
  • 1 pair of dress shoes (heels for ladies, for an evening meal or dress-up event)
  • Ahem, socks and underwear (I told you I was a mom. I can’t help it.)

Personally, I like to stick with blacks, whites, greys, blues, olives, and throw in pops of color with accessories.Speaking of which.

Accessories

The exciting part about packing monochromatic clothes is that you can spice up your life (life? wardrobe? whatever.) with bright, statement-making accessories.

Aim for:

  • 1-3 statement necklaces
  • 1 nice necklace (for an evening out)
  • 1 pair small, diamond stud earrings (they can dressed up or down)
  • Watch/Pedometer
  • 1-4 neckties for the gentlemen
  • 1 small cross-body bag or clutch
  • 1 professional work tote or briefcase

Toiletries

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body wash/soap
  • Dry shampoo
  • Deodorant
  • Perfume/body spray/cologne
  • Lotion (face/body)
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Contact Solution
  • Eye drops
  • Makeup and brushes (everyday items, plus one eyeshadow palette with neutral shades)
  • Hair styling tools and products, as needed

Tech

  • Headphones for the flight
  • Laptop
  • Laptop charger
  • Cell phone
  • Cell phone charger
  • Back-up battery source for phone (like these)
  • Notebook and pen, or tablet and stylus for notes
  • E-book reader, or your fave paperback/magazine (for the plane)

Extras (if applicable)

  • Extra contacts
  • Glasses
  • Sunglasses
  • Workout clothes
  • Tennis shoes
  • Compact umbrella
  • Business cards
  • Tote bag (for conference swag)
  • Pedometer charger
  • Snacks for the planes/in between conference sessions
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Zip lock baggies for dirty clothes, wet swimsuits, etc.
  • Your fun, networking-minded personality!

Warm:

  • Swimsuit
  • Flip-Flops (for the pool area)
  • Beach towel
  • Sunscreen

Cold:

  • Scarves
  • Hat
  • Gloves
  • Wool Socks
  • 1 pair of dress-up/dress-down boots (wear, don’t pack)

So there’s our list. You can make the most of the space in your bags by grouping your outfits together, rolling your clothes into little logs, stuffing socks and underwear into your shoes, and using your carry-on tote as additional storage space. Also consider buying one of those cheap toiletry container bags (like this one) to store your toiletries in. We hope you find this information helpful and useful. You may also notice many of the listed items have check boxes by them. Feel free to print this out and use it while you pack! Our CEO, Courtney Herda, is one of the speakers at this year’s PubCon. For more on Courtney and her speech, click here. We hope to see you at the next digital conference. Until next time, think smarter.

 

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  1. […] your bags are packed (side note: if they aren’t packed yet, check out our awesome packing list here), and you’re anything like us, then you’re probably brimming with excitement about PubCon 2015. […]

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