Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Conference Essentials for Your Computer Bag

Yesterday, since many of us are headed to ACFW in Indianapolis, I shared My Favorite Apps for a Conference. Today, I have a few more things you’ll want to pack. I call these my conference essentials for my computer bag. 

Business Cards: It doesn’t matter if you’re pitching or not you still need business cards. It’s a great way to keep up with new friends and exchange information.

Camera: This can be your smart phone or a digital cameral, but keep one on you at all times. You never know when you’ll meet your dream author or just want a snap to illustrate a future blog post.

Sewing Kit: you never know when a button will pop or a hem come down. A tiny kit will leave you prepared for any emergency. It also might make you a hero with that editor you’re meeting with.

Safety Pins: Sewing kits used to come with these, but not always. Keep a few in your bag for life’s little emergencies.

Colgate Whisp Alternative Toothbrush: I LOVE these things. They come individually wrapped and replace the toothbrush and toothpaste I use to carry. Pick up a package, I guarantee you’ll be glad you did! 

Mints: For those times when you haven’t used your Whisp. Chance meeting occur around every corner. And for me, the peple I most want to connect with show up at the most inconvenient time—like right after that large cup of coffee.

Extra Ink Pens: I know yesterday I talked about going paperless, but I still keep the odd pen in my bag. Sometimes nothing replaces pen and paper.

Sticky Notes: These little gems are invaluable. They will help you stay organized and give you a quick way to jot down things. The fact that they’re sticky mean they’re harder to lose—a big plus for me!

Binder Clips: I keep several sizes of binder clips in my bag. These help me keep things together and help me lose important information.

Band-Aids: Although you should NEVER break in new shoes at a conference, even the ones you thought were comfortable can turn on you. Keeping a couple of bandages in your bag won’t add any weight and can save you hours of pain.

Individual Dollar Bills: Keep at least five of these and you’ll be able to tip when you need to, grab a soda from a machine (anyone remember when all you needed was several quarters for this), even give a small donation. 

OTC Pain Reliever: My favorite choice is Excedrin Migraine, but whichever one you choose, keep a small bottle in your bag. Stress can bring on aches and pains. Take the medication before you’re completely miserable.

These are my essentials to help me stay organized, comfortable and calm when attending a conference, what are some of yours?

Don’t forget to join the conversation!


  1. What a great list, Edie! I would include a light sweater for those indoor air conditioned rooms.. Although, that may not go in the computer bag itself. :)

    Looking forward to seeing you this weekend!

  2. I'm going to look for those Whisp toothbrushes!

    You must have better luck with sticky notes than I do, or you buy a better brand. I carry a small spiral notebook - 2" x 4" or so. All my notes stay safely secure.