July 10, 2014

What to Bring to a Conference

Attending conferences of all kinds is super fun but super exhausting. It's wonderful to be inspired, get free goodies and meet young women just like you, who want to make a change and want to be moved by something powerful. 

I attended the Her Campus conferences last year and got my first taste of what a true conference/summit is like; workshops, free food, slideshows, and door prizes. When I attended the Smart Girls Group Conference this week (I couldn't make it to day 2, super upset), that same powerful energy was noticeable throughout the room. On Saturday, I'll be attending the Her Campus Conference again and I can't wait!

There really is something incredible about being around young, ambitious and strong women who have the same thoughts and feelings toward topics the same as you. When I sit and listen to someone telling their story and they're so passionate about it, it lights a fire inside of me and I feel like I could do anything. 

More on that in another post; I'll have round ups of both conferences up next week!

For now, I want to talk about what you bring to a conference. You would't think you'd need a lot of stuff but the journalist, blogger and Type A inside of me knows that it's better to be prepared than not prepared. 

You're sitting in a big room all day, listening to people talk, networking and taking in a lot of information. It can be overwhelming and exhausting. Inspiration is tiring.



There are certain things that you need to bring to a conference in order to be successful.

// iPad: I don't recommend bringing a laptop because it's heavy and it'll die more quickly. It's also easier to get distracted on a laptop. An iPad or tablet is the perfect solution (A+ if you have a keyboard case to make it easier to type). I love taking notes in my Evernote app and live tweeting; it makes me feel more like a blogger/journalist. An iPad or tablet is easier to transport and it won't make as much noise as you type. It's just a great thing to have at a conference.

//Portable chargers: Speaking on technology; bring as many chargers as possible. Most conferences will last from 8am-5pm so your phone is bound to die. I recommend bringing your regular wall outlet charger because you could definitely plug it in somewhere. Also, bring portable chargers if you have. I have a Lilly, J.Crew and Kodak chargers that work great! They don't charge your phone all the way but they do a good job at keeping it alive.
SmartGirlsGroup Conference: credit

//Business Cards: Conferences are the perfect breeding ground for networking. Networking is the best way to get an internship or job so be ready to pitch yourself. Whether you're networking with other women your age or one of the speakers who works at a magazine, it'll be in your favor. Business cards whether for your blog or your professional life is great to have on hand. Pair them with a fancy business card holder like my Kate Spade one and you're fabulously set!

//Notebooks: If you're not too keen on the iPad train, then a notebook is great for jotting down some contact info or taking notes. An iPad is a lot easier but I still like having a notebook on hand. Don't forget a few pens, as well!

//Misc: I always come prepared with some essentials that are crucial for long days. Even though conferences will always have food, coffee and water on hand, I like to bring a granola bar or two and a bottle of water. I also always bring mints, lip balm, my glasses, some aspirin(because sitting down for a while can give you a headache and make your body hurt), and facial mist. I'm really into facial mist this summer because it keeps your face fresh and keeps your makeup in place. It's refreshing, like splashing cold water on your face.

//Good attitude: This is just a fun little one but always go into a conference knowing you're going to meet great people, have an awesome time and be inspired. It's truly amazing!







What are some other essentials you love to bring with you to a conference?

PS: Keep a look out for my posts on both the Smart Girls Group Conference and the Her Campus Collegiate Conference next week filled with inspiring speakers, fun workshops and goodie bags galore!


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