Mascot for #DevilDiss

Mascot for #DevilDiss
Mascot for #DevilDiss

Monday, January 5, 2015

Conference Hacks

This week is MLA so social media is full of tips for traveling to Vancouver and other conference hacks.
This got me thinking about conference prep in general.
I carry two bags when I travel- my leather briefcase and my leather bag. I don't check luggage to avoid any issues.
 My carry-on is the perfect size- I can stuff it with 4-5 days of clothes, and it's never too heavy to lug across airports.
It's also part and parcel with my belief that you should have a professional persona from airport all the way through to the conference. So my travel wear is always my work wear (shirt-tie). Bonus? It often gets me in the lesser security line.
The shirts and ties also makes packing easy. I try to stick to a color scheme. I'm not interviewing, so it's jeans, although I'm taking a grey pair of slacks for Friday (jeans for travel Thursday and Saturday). Wear jeans and blue shirt/tie/vest on travel day. Grey tie/vest for Friday. Brown tie/vest for travel day.
Because Vancouver may be rainy or snowy I'm wearing brown dress boots because they'll work regardless of weather. It's also why I'm taking my military coat versus the wool pea coat, because it can double for rain or snow.
I also splurged last  year and bought a clear toiletries bag which makes it easy for airport security, and goes last on top of the packing.
I don't sleep well in hotels, so Duckie travels with me. Often to the amusement of TSA. And housekeeping (who always tuck him in when they remake the bed which I think is adorable!)
I travel with my Surface because it's lightweight. Unfortunately I have a Surface RT which does not consistently connect to a projector so if I'm presenting, and have a PowerPoint I need to take my clunky, heavy laptop. Luckily for MLA I'm just looking around so Surface it is.
As much as I love technology, I'm a bit old school with hard copies. Every conference I attend gets a folder.
The folder includes hardcopy print outs of registration, hotel and flight info. I also rough out what the schedule is (inside has a more specific conference schedule of panels to attend). Also, this is my first international travel so MLA badge and passport are in the folder. The folder ensures everything is in one spot, easy to find and reference.
Despite loving Twitter have not mastered live-tweeting, and prefer to take handwritten notes in my binder during panels, so I like to have a new pad and a pen with plenty of ink. I also include extras of my business card, and Post-Its.
Each day of the conference, the handwritten notes get torn off and put into the conference folder.
A bonus of my Surface is the Kindle app, but I also carry at least a couple of hard copy books for a couple of reasons- I tend to use airport time to work, and all my work books are hard copy so I can highlight and make notes. Also, some airports still charge for wifi (which by the way is batshit crazy) and I rather read my book than pay for wifi.
So those are my conference hacks- what are yours?

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