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It’s Summer Conference Season!

Katherine Harrington

By Katherine Harrington, President/CEO | West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce

It’s summer conference season! Here are some essential items you should bring to a conference to make sure you are prepared:

  1. Business cards: Bring plenty of business cards to hand out to other attendees. It’s a great way to exchange contact information and stay in touch after the conference. I write notes on the back of cards I receive to remind me of certain conversations we have had.
  2. Notepad and pen: Bring a notepad and pen to take notes during sessions, workshops, and keynotes. This will help you remember important information and act on any follow-up items after the conference. I try to bring a smaller pad so that it does not weigh down my work bag. On that note, I purchased a ‘fancy’ backpack this year to carry items I collect so it is easy to cart around during the day.
  3. Charging cables and portable battery: Bring charging cables and a portable battery to keep your phone and other electronic devices charged throughout the day. This will ensure that you can stay connected and access important information as needed. Did you know that charging at public charging stations is dangerous? Thieves “juice jackers” can use it to add malware to your phone and steal your data. Check out this story to learn more.
  4. Comfortable shoes: Wear comfortable shoes that you can walk and stand in for long periods of time. Conferences can involve a lot of walking and standing, so it’s important to wear shoes that won’t cause discomfort or blisters. A nice new pair of tennis shoes works.
  5. Snacks and water: Bring a small bag of snacks and a water bottle to stay nourished and hydrated throughout the day. This will help you stay focused and energized during long sessions and workshops. A reusable water bottle and of course jellybeans, are a must. 
  6. Sweater or jacket: Bring a sweater or jacket in case the conference room is too cold. This will ensure that you stay comfortable and can focus on the content without being distracted by the temperature. 
  7. Conference apps and materials: Bring a copy of your schedule and any conference materials, including session descriptions and speaker bios. Make sure you download conference apps well before the event and start interacting with sponsors, speakers, attendees in advance. Have a plan for who you want to talk to.

By bringing these essential items, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most out of your conference experience. Enjoy conference season everyone! I hope to see you there!

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