Can you believe we are 40 days away from Chicago? It’s becoming real! So much to do getting prepared to leave work for multiple days and spend some time learning and unwinding in the city! While packing for the conference is important, and will be an upcoming post, it’s very important that you understand what to bring to the actual conference center with you every day. Here are a few of my must-have products in the convention center:
- Phone Chargers … multiple ones! This is the one I used last year for SHRM17 and it worked out perfectly! You can pick it up here on Amazon. It kept my iPhone and my iPad charged throughout the entire day! I also used one of those charger phone cases that worked very well, but they are no longer sold on Amazon.
- Notebook/Pens/Pencils – I go back and forth throughout the day, sometimes I’m writing things down, sometimes I’m adding it to the notes section of my phone. Do whatever is best for YOU!
- Laptop – Yes, multiple people will bring their laptops to the conference. Some people, like me, will be using it to tweet/blog/chat with others and some people are still responsible for work and check in throughout the day. Don’t forget your charger for this as well. You can meet a lot of people trying to find a plugin.
- Bonus – some people will bring a power strip and share it with others!
- Business Cards – Some will disagree with me on this one, and that’s fine, but I like getting business cards (from people I’m really interested in keeping in contact with) and being able to provide one. If you can’t talk to someone for as long as you wanted to, giving them a business card can continue the conversation, especially for those who don’t use social media.
- Mini Bottles – Meds, Headache Med’s, Gum, Hand Sanitizer. You can also throw in a little thing of deodorant if you’d like. If you wear contacts, don’t forget your glasses/contact solution.
- Snacks – It’s a long day, the conference center at SHRM17 did have snacks (muffins/candy/drinks) but sometimes that isn’t enough, especially for the amount of time we will be at the conference. The conference will provide lunch on certain days, it won’t be a gourmet meal, but it is food to keep you energized and going.
- ID/Keys/Money – Because, yea.
- Bookbag – This can be your choice, I love my bookbag, it keeps everything in its place for me, and has a space for my charger. SHRM did provide an official Bag for SHRM17, but for me, the bookbag worked better. I was able to keep it on me directly and not get it mixed up with someone else. I love my book bag because it also leaves my hands free. Vendors will be passing out information and products, having any other type of bag, to me, weighs me down.
- The SHRM18 App – seriously, this will be a lifesaver throughout the day. Need a quick reminder of the session you decided to go to in the next hour? Need to figure out where it is? Want to take notes or pull up the session’s presentation (if available) while in the session? Having the app in your hands will make the conference a lot easier!
- A Jacket – If I could look professional with a blanket, I’d do it. I’m always cold, I have a heater running in my office pretty much every single day. While it might be hot outside, inside the conference center, especially in the session rooms, it can get extremely cold. Bringing a light jacket that isn’t too big to carry is key.
These are my 10 must-have products when attending SHRM Annual. I know it might seem like a lot, but it’s important to have these things in your possession. Some people will be close to their hotel rooms, while some will be miles away. Even though you could take time away and go back to your room to get something you forgot, you really don’t want to.
Check in with some of the other SHRM18Bloggers, this will be my second year at the SHRM Annual, so I might be missing something that they can shed more light on.
See you in Chicago …