I have never been very good at packing for a trip. Whether I am going away for an hour, an overnight or
a week, I grossly overpack. For some reason I am convinced that no matter the location, it is in the vicinity of the moon and likely there is not a store in sight.
This year, I am carpooling to BlogPaws 2013 and know that I will likely be limited to a single, smallish bag – you know one that would be considered a carry on size if I were flying. Gulp! I've been packing and unpacking it for the past week and am still not sure what to bring and what to leave behind. Do I need three pairs of shoes — heels, comfortable dressy shoes and sneakers? Who knows!?
Whether you're a conference veteran or a conference newbie, there are specific items you do want to bring to BlogPaws (or any conference) and here are my ideas on those:
- You need to pack clothes that are suited to the weather, but remember even if it’s warm outside, the temperatures in conference rooms range from frigid to desert level temps. Bring a sweater and dress in layers. There will be dressy events but you don’t have to wear a ball gown. As pet lovers we also know that if we wear black, chances are we will be covered in white hair – I never leave home without a lint brush!
- It’s a blogging conference so you will be learning from the excellent speakers;as such you will want to bring paper, pens, pencils or your laptop or tablet of choice. You will need to determine whether you need internet access or simply a place to set your laptop up so that you can type away and plan accordingly. Bring a bag to carry your items so that your hands are free for shaking with fellow two- and four-legged attendees.
- Business cards. Business cards. Business cards. Yes, it is that important that I need to mention it three times. Even if you don’t think you have a “big enough” business to warrant business cards, at least get a card that lists your name and all of your contact information. You need to make certain that the people you meet can get in touch with you after the conference has ended. After all, one of the main points of BlogPaws attendance is to network and met fellow pet lovers with whom you can connect and build relationships that will last long after the conference has ended.
- If you’re traveling with your pet – and why not! – it’s a pet-friendly hotel and a more than pet-friendly conference, bring whatever your pet may need to make her comfortable. Does she need a crate for the hotel room? Don’t forget to bring it. Don’t forget to pack her favorite food, treats and toys. Will he need space for long walks? Bring your doodie bags! If you need time to attend seminars without your pet with you, we will have a pet park open and your four legged friend can make new friends of her own!
- Your elevator speech and a willingness to network and mix and mingle with people you may not know. It is sometimes nerve wracking to walk into a roomful of strangers, but because we are all pet lovers, we’re naturally a friendly bunch. One way to make yourself more comfortable though could be by crafting an intro aka an elevator speech to use when you meet your new blogging friends-to-be.
Attending BlogPaws 2013 is much like attending any conference you may have gone to in the past, but sometimes it’s nice to have a checklist lying next to your suitcase to make the packing easier.