So, when I get really excited about something, I kinda over plan for it in my mind.  And, I make lists and piles.  In those quiet moments when the lights are turned out and I’m alone with my head on my pillow and my quiet thoughts I make more lists and think through every scenario.  Then the night before I leave I usually spend a couple unplanned hours emailing and texting myself stuff to do the next morning.  So, when I get there I’m already exhausted.  Not this time!

I’ve resolved to do something different – pack early.  I took advantage of a lazy Saturday and time to think and planned ahead and made some piles.  I thought I’d share my over-planning and make your packing list easy for you!

(of course all of this is my own, very, personal opinion.  You may travel differently with more or less, do it sister!  Just don’t forget to leave your grumpy pants at home…)

  1. Electronics – power strip, extension cord, computer, digital camera, multiple devices, charging cords
  2. Business cards- I attended my first conference with out these and it was just hard to tell people how to find my stuff.  Thankfully I use the same handle for my blog and all my social media platforms, but I also like to share info about my etsy store and I want people to know who I am.  Plus everyone has them and I felt like I was behind
    -my first year I just made something on Publisher with my blog header and all my info.  I still love those cards.  Last year I made some on and LOVED them.  I felt so profesh!
  3. Digital camera – I took my DSLR last year and it was helpful for some food blogger sessions I attended to practice, but I found that most of the pictures I took, I took on my phone.  So make sure your phone pictures are cleaned off so you have plenty of memory space.  You might even want to take a video or 2, especially if you are planning to vlog, Periscope, Vine, Beam, etc. while you are there.  Its pretty safe to say that you need lots of memory space…in more ways than one!
  4. I mentioned multiple devices, but I found myself using my laptop, iPad and iPhone at multiple times throughout the weekend.  Plus you will use some serious juice so be prepared to switch at any point.
  5. paper and pen – I’m old school and I have a notebook that I’ve used at the same conference multiple years in a row.  I like to have my notes all in one place.  And, I like to have back up in case my devices die.  And, how do you doodle while you type?!?!
  6. sharpie – little known fact.  I don’t go many places without a permanent marker close by.  So many things!
Things you might not have thought of:
  1. sweater or cardigan – at this point if you go to any conference and don’t take a sweater, you are silly.  Its always chilly inside this time of year.  And outside of a good hot flash moment…you are going to want to cover up!
  2. tummy medicine – weird foods and nerves never make for a great combination, so just be prepared
  3. Tylenol/Advil/Aspirin/Aleve/ Excedrin – I promise your brain will hurt, your body will ache from a hotel bed and someone is going to get on your nerves…spare us all and just be prepared
  4. Clothes that are comfy, casual, and cute – you will take pictures with people, you will be so excited to see them and meet digital friends in real life that you won’t care what you look like…until you get home and want to blog about the trip and you are overly critical of yourself.  Just pack things that make you feel like a rock star and there won’t be any issues.
  5. Cute lip gloss – similar to the point above, your lips will need to be poppin’ for all the selfies and other randomness that will occur.  I like to take my BBW mentha, tinted gloss – mint, color, gloss all in one
  6. A good sense of humor – this is the first time you will be around some of the people you will meet at the conference.  And the only time in the year you are around others.  Don’t take yourself too serious.  Roll with the silly of the weekend and be fully present. 
  7. read the itinerary and see if there is anything extra you need to bring – a dress up night, a costume event, different events will call for different types of clothes or shoes…just read and be prepared. 
  8. If you are attending a conference for the first time – google it, see what other people wear.  If you know someone who has gone before, ask them what you need to know.
  9. Find your unique place in this community, and give all you can!  You will benefit.  It might not be followers or numbers, but it might be a long-lasting, mutually-beneficial, all-encompassing life-long friend! (#greatestgiftinlife)

Things to definitely leave at home:
  • your ego – ‘aint no body got time for a powerhouse. Don’t play the clique game; be inclusive whenever possible.  You are trying to build a following as much as you are trying to learn.  Be who you are.  We already follow you, we already know what you think, let us get to know YOU! Offline, unbranded YOU!
  • pre-conceived notions – on the flip side, get to know people and get to know the community you are there to connect with.  You will have read and followed many people attending.  You might even have some fan girl moments. That’s ok! But don’t judge. Just learn.
  • grumpy pants – prepare yourself and do whatever you have to be at the place you are.  You’ve paid a lot of money to invest in yourself or your business so be fully present.  Don’t get mad at silly things or if you don’t get your way.  Have conversations with people that you might disagree with just so you can understand them.

As for the gals coming to #AWBU2015, you will find a
welcoming group of women who want you to succeed.  They want to share ideas and
collaborate.  They want to hear your
dreams and goals, not because they want to steal them but because they want to
breathe wind in your sails and push you forward!  These women are in your corner and will cheer
big cheers for you.  Not just in blogger
victories but life – weddings, babies, new jobs, new ventures, start-ups and
shut downs.  This is your posse.
I’m pumped about my weekend…it’s why I went ahead and started
packing a few things…no need to lose sleep before I get there!

If you need a reminder on how to get the best out of a conference, read this article by my pal, Jacqueline Wolven.  #askJackie

If you need a pump up about #AWBU2015 specifically, here’s an article by Alison Chino.

And if that’s not enough, here an article about attending a conference from my introverted friend at Approaching Joy!

Happy packing….you should start now…

Blogger Conference Packing List from @bigpittstop - What to bring, what to leave and the essentials!