March 23, 2013
While my back and shoulders hurt by the end of the day from carrying my heavy bag, everything I had in there was necessary and I used at least once. Here’s what I suggest:
Re-fillable water bottle.
It’s a long day and you’re in the desert. Stay hydrated. There’s water stations all over so you can fill-up rather than spending $3+ on water bottles everywhere you go.
I think Ryan, Becca, and Jordan can say that my bag of trail mix (not salt water taffy, Ryan) was clutch. I also had cuties and bananas in there. Those last two seminars of the day (4 – 8pm) cut right into dinner time and it gets a little hard to focus when all you can think about is what you want to eat for dinner.
Whatever your method of choice, being able to write things down was key. Even if you’re not a big note taker, I highly recommend bring something. It was hard for us to even remember what seminar we took that morning. You’re going from presentation to presentation to presentation. At some point it all starts to blur together and remembering something as simple as the album company they recommend can be like trying to remember the exact date of your last doctor’s appointment (I always hate that question).
I saw people with their DSLRs, point and shoots, or just their phones (what I did) – but there will definitely be things you’ll want to take pictures of. Ummm, hello… we’re photogs. We want to take pictures of everything. But it was even helpful to take pictures of the slides that were too much to write down. Either way, whatever you bring, be prepared to carry it with you all day – which is why I didn’t bring my heavy DSLR.
You meet great people everywhere. In line for the presentations, at the water cooler, in the bathroom, at the tradeshow – having business cards ready to hand out is a must.
I’m sure there’s much more you can bring to make your life a little easier, but hopefully this list puts you in the right direction!