Must-Have Items When Attending A Conference

By Cara Friedman It is Internet Week, which means there have been lots of conferences (including #LikeableU!). A few weeks ago, I attended “Blog World Expo” in NYC. This is the first conference I have ever attended and was very excited about it! Although I registered in advanced and printed out the schedule beforehand, I still felt unprepared! After experiencing this conference first hand, here are some must-have items I recommend you bring to make sure you get the most out of your experience.

Charger. If you plan on live-tweeting at the conference, which I recommend you do, you will soon find that your phone is going to die… and fast! That is why I recommend you come prepared with your phone charger in hand. Also, get to the sessions early so you can grab a seat near an outlet!

Writing Tools. Although live tweeting is awesome, you will likely need more than 140 characters to jot down all you want to learn. Bring a notebook, iPad, laptop or other tool where you can take notes throughout the sessions.

Wireless Internet Card. Most conferences provide a free WiFi network for your use. However, there are so many people trying to use it at once that it is normally useless. Luckily, you can bring your own WiFi if you want to pay for it. You can purchase a plug-in for your laptop that will provide you with Internet no matter where you are. Any electronics store will sell this.

Directions. Either come early to scope out the venue or bring really clear directions. Too much time can be wasted trying to figure out where you are supposed to go, where sessions are, etc. Conferences that are located in big venues (like the Javits Center) may have multiple conferences running at the same time and you can easily get lost!

Apps. You can use Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to easily follow the conference hashtag and respond to tweets in real time. If you are going with friends you can use Group Me to keep track of where you will all be. Throw away your old business cards and trade them in for your new Hashable app. Finally, although some people feel they are outdated, you always want to have a QR Code scanner handy. You never know when you’ll see one and I am sure you’re curious where it leads!

What are some of your must-have items for conferences? Share them below in the comments!