It is August 1st already! You know what that means don't you? It is the month of the FGS 2013 Journey Through Generations Conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have less than three weeks to get my act together and get organized for the six days that I will be in Fort Wayne.
One of the ways, for me, to be organized is to start thinking about packing now. Here are the items, besides personal ones, I need to have a successful conference experience:
- Light sweater or jacket-the room temperature varies in the conference hall and I like to have something for the cold rooms. Dressing in layers works, too.
- Comfortable shoes-I hate when my feet get tired! I may not be the most fashion forward of the bunch, but my shoes have to be comfortable.
- Tote bag-I don't bring my purse to the conference hall, I like to carry a tote bag and tuck my ID and other essentials in the bag. I use the tote bag to carry my syllabus and schedule. If I make a quick trip to the exhibit hall, it is wonderful to have it to store my goodies in. I have a thicker canvas tote bag with straps that fits comfortably on my shoulder. It has room for my light sweater,too.
- Water bottle-I don't know about you, but I like to have water throughout the day. I start the day with a full water bottle and refill it as needed.
- Snack-you know the Snickers commercial? My husband has mentioned that I resemble that sometimes! So, I like to carry a snack of some sort to have if I find myself getting a little ornery-not that I ever do, mind you. My go to snack is almonds.
- Printed copy of my schedule and syllabi-I organize my day's schedule and syllabi into individual folders, prepared before I leave home. That way I can just grab the day's folder and be out the door. I select my sessions before I leave and print the syllabi. I keep my schedule electronically on my phone, but in Springfield in 2011 my phone's battery would drain so fast, that I want to make sure I have a paper copy of it. I put my entire schedule on my calendar and print two copies. One for my folder, and one I keep in the hotel room.
- Notebook-I take a spiral notebook to my conference sessions with me. I usually take notes on the syllabus, but sometimes I like to have paper available for notes. I am still a paper and pencil type gal. I don't want to have to worry about the power of my electronic gadgets dying, as very rarely is a power source available in the conference rooms.
- Address Labels-I have tons of free address labels lying around my house and I throw a few in my bag. Many exhibitors hold free drawings and an address label can be used in place of writing the information out numerous times. This is a tip I learned from my daughter when she went to a bridal show. It works wonders.
- Business Cards-Even though I do not have a genealogy business, I take business cards. You never know when you might meet someone that you would like to exchange information with. I have my name, contact information, blog information and surnames I am researching on my card. I bought inexpensive ones at vistaprint.com If I receive a business card from someone at the conference, I write FGS 2013 on it, so I don't forget how I met the person.
- Chargers-I bring my phone, computer, camera, etc. chargers with me. I don't want to be disappointed when something isn't charged so I bring them all.
- Laptop-I don't want to carry my laptop to the conference, but I like to have access to it at the hotel. I don't have a tablet (hint, hint, honey) so I bring my laptop. I haven't figured out if I had a tablet if I would take it to the conference rooms or not.
- Fort Wayne Visitors Information-A few weeks ago I sent for the Visit Fort Wayne Indiana Guide. I will tuck that in my suitcase. My husband is traveling with me, but not attending the conference. The guide will come in handy for him.