Back in January, Nicole and I attended Alt Summit, a super popular blogging conference in Salt Lake City.
If you have a business, whether uber-tiny, still-in-your-brain, or large, you should do yourself (and your biz) the favor and go to a conference/summit/retreat. If you’re wondering if you should attend a conference… check out Nicole’s post on why she attends conferences. Work-related breaks -like conferences- recharge, inspire and give new perspectives/ideas by helping you step out of your normal environment- that’s in addition to what you learn in workshops. They are also great for networking with like-minded people, increasing your community and support. These things are all felt long after you arrive home.
So let’s say you decided to attend a conference, now what!? While this is a break- there is some business to be done so here is a list of things to consider so you are prepared without bringing your whole house with you!
WHERE ARE YOU GOING?
Look at the weather and location. Going to the beach? Pack a swimsuit. For SLC, where it was snowing, I made sure I packed leather boots just in case I had to walk in the snow and 1 good coat. It only takes a few minutes to look-up the climate in an area and it’s worth it!
You need to bring things that make you comfy, you will be either sitting or standing for a while. I am into packing light and doing the most with what I have. Doing so will allow you to enjoy yourself but not feel out of place. My choice for must haves:
-Good looking but comfortable shoes, leave the 3-inch heels at home (unless you can REALLY wear them all day without a fidget, and walk in easily for a while in them). Bring shoes that you can wear with pants or a dress. Bring two pairs of shoes, a dressier heel type and a one that is flat. Just make sure that they can go with the clothes you are bringing (forget that one pair that goes with that “one” outfit)… You aren’t moving there!
-One nice outfit. Maybe there is a party or nice dinner off-site. Make sure you check the conference schedule for themed parties or special events. You can make it funky with accessories.
-A few of your favorite accessories: brooch, necklace or bracelet. Maybe cute earrings or scarf. They can dress up anything. These things are small and can change the look of your outfit.
-Cute lounge ware just in case you meet some new friends in the hotel bar after hours or at the pool.
-Bags: remember, you are not moving there. Bring one small event purse for when you are having fun and a large on for your work items for when you are serious. I am a big fan of the over-the-shoulder, that way you never have to remember to grab your purse because you will be moving and networking all the time.
-Your go-to clothing item. Maybe it’s a skirt or blazer, or maybe a pear of jeans that you adore at the moment. Bring that item- you cannot go wrong in your favorite thing.
Conferences are a vacation for your work, not from your work, so make sure that you bring what you need to get the things done. Just don’t bring the whole office.
-Business cards: Seems like a no-brainer, but people (like me) forget. You will meet lots of people so make sure they have your info! In fact when you check-in have them attached to your badge, that way you are never without your contact info.
-Computer or iPad and backup/flash drives: A computer glitch can happen away from home. Make sure you have some backup and a way to power your devices!
-Camera: Maybe it’s a phone or maybe a SLR, decide how much you want to capture (if you have a nice camera but don’t use it, just wait on it) before you go, you can always go next year to capture more. Check to see if the conference has a DSLR/photography class and use the trip to work on your skills!
-Do you make something as your business? Bring it! I say bring two, one to show and one to give away. You don’t need to give gifts to everyone. If you bring business cards, they will know where to find your great items!
-Pens and a notebook: You will be taking notes and jotting ideas down (some people use computers or iPads for this but I love old-fashioned paper and pen).
-YOUR LIST: Again, I am a list person! Before you leave, make a list of workshops you need to attend, people you want to meet or things you need to do. This will keep you on track and focused. I also make a list of things I want to do when I get home while at the conference. There is inspiration everywhere and I constantly come up with ideas of things I want to do when the conference is over. Make sure you don’t forget those ideas—write them down!
The one thing I hate while away is having to buy something that you left behind at home. Think of things like: sunglasses, sunscreen, Advil, socks, ear phones, music. I even carry a bottle opener because it seems that we are always looking for one!
Above all, bring a mind ready for meeting new people and new knowledge. Rest before so you have the energy to do everything you want to do!
craftcation ticket giveaway
Now that you’re ready to go. How about a free ticket to Craftcation Conference? That’s right we’ve teamed up with our sponsor Fairgoods to give away four free tickets to Craftcation!!! All you have to do to be entered to win one of them is like Fairgoods on their Facebook page here + leave a comment on this blog post letting us why you want to come to Craftcation. You must do these two things by March 14th.
*This contest is only to people who have not bought a ticket yet.
this contest is now closed!!!
Thanks to all who entered! Congrats to the winners: Rana Thomas, Yezenia Hernandez, Debbie Ungar and Stephen.