01 August 2013

Packing for the FGS 2013 "Journey Through Generations" Conference

Clip Art Courtesy of Microsoft Office Images

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.
The above items are what I carry to the conference rooms with me.  In addition, I have a few must have items for the hotel:
  • 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.
Lastly, with the conference being held in Fort Wayne, Indiana I will be bringing my research plans and list of resources to check at the Allen County Public Library.  I am fortunate enough to live with driving distance of Fort Wayne and can visit the library at other times.  I keep a running list of resources to check on my computer throughout the year.  I will be bringing that list with me.  IF, I get time to research I will have everything I need with me.

Are you going to FGS Conference in Fort Wayne?  What is your must have item for conferencing?


  1. My must have items are my faithful tote bag and my printed syllabus. I will also be taking Snickers to all conferences from now on. Thanks for the tip.

  2. You can never go wrong with snicker bars and a faithful tote bag. Thanks for commenting.