Like your parents always said – fail to prepare, prepare to fail. That goes for journeying your way through conferences seamlessly too.
Though we spend most of our time helping to organise conferences; as event professionals, we know far too well the energising experience of actually attending them too. With that, we’re also aware of the other, slightly furrier side of the experience. The exhaustion, the panic of leaving a necessity at home – but we’re all in it together and most faux pas’ or worries can be easily avoided as long as you plan ahead.
To make the most of your conference, we’ve put together a really simple survival guide that just jam-packs our thoughts about conference prepping and packing into one. Whether you’re a conference veteran or you’re about to take the first plunge, use these tips and build on them to suit you. Happy conference-ing!
Comfortable, reliable footwear is a must
Conferences may seem as though they breed a plethora of power-dressers, but those same individuals will be the ones wishing they’d left the heels at home by the end of it all.
Depending on the size of the venue and conference itself, some delegates have experienced a lengthy walking distance of up to 7.15 miles a day (that’s around 15,170 steps, give or take…). Though that may seem excessive, it’s realistic to assume that you won’t be sat down much and blisters have never been anyones friend.
Though we probably wouldn’t recommend glowing trainers like the above, find a trusty pair of smart shoes which have had a decent test-run. Just remember, you don’t need to be in pain to look like you know what you’re doing.
…so is comfortable clothing
Who knows what temperature your rooms are likely to be? Large spaces generally feel on the cooler side, so layering is a must. In the same way, conference venues have a tendency to have a decent amount of dry-ish air (air-con alert), so anyone likely to feel on the Tin-Man scale might want to think about bringing their trusty lip balm or hand moisturiser. It’s the little things.
Dose up on H20
Between the morning coffee, aircon and potential happy hours, conferencing and water-drinking go hand-in-hand.
Many seasoned conference attendees take their own reusable water bottle to make sure fluid is on hand in case their busy day ahead won’t give much time for tea breaks…you’re guaranteed to be drinking a decent amount of water every day without too much goading (which beats any fancy app that monitors your intake).
Business cards are still important
Yes, we’ve entered an ever-technical age, but that doesn’t mean that things are always foolproof. You know what they say – if it ain’t broke…
Though we have rarely experienced disastrous signal at conference venues, it certainly can happen. Making those important connections on LinkedIn might come to a stand still, which is where those business cards that have been in your desk drawer, or the bottom of your bag, come in.
On that note…
Keep your phone/ipad/device charged as best you can
Whether checking emails, taking photos, tweeting, inputting those new contacts or simply making some notes – you’ll be using your phone a lot. It might be worth investing in an external battery charger case because they are the ultimate life saver – they’re even starting to look a little less clunky than when they first came out. Don’t leave at the end of each day wishing you’d had chance to make *that* call or take *that* image.
Disclaimer: If you do go for a portable battery pack, it’s up to you to choose how professional you want it to look…
Make a list
Holiday packing? Make a list. Monday morning? Make a list. Heading to a conference? Make that list!
As event professionals, lists make our world go round (and we’re pretty damn good at making them by now). Here’s our quick checklist on what we aim to pack in our bag each day.
- Delegate pass
- Business cards
- Cereal bar
- Lip balm/Hand cream or the like
- Phone charger/ battery pack
- Room keycard
Catch some Zzz’s
You can’t expect to be on top form with a limited amount of shut eye, so each night get yourself into ‘the zone’ and get yourself ready and prepared for the next day and enjoy the wind-down routine. Trust us, it makes the difference.
Take a look at our accommodation here.
Explore your host city!
You’ll most likely have a few hours to yourself – whether it be between seminars and meetings or in the evening, make the most of your stay and explore your surroundings, it helps to wind down and is an additional plus of conference travel. Check out your host city visitor or convention bureau website and social channels for handy itineraries and special offers to make the most of your stay.
To see what you can get up to during your downtime whilst in Liverpool, we suggest you head to Visit Liverpool.
And last but no means least: Enjoy the experience.
Pace yourself throughout the conference period and get used to the flow of things – following the above tips should get you feeling confident rather than apprehensive about what to expect. No conference is the same, that’s the best thing about them! Enjoy.
What are your surefire tips to happy conferencing? Send us a message on Twitter, we’d love to know. For more tips and news on conferencing, be sure to sign up to our newsletter too.