What’s in my conference bag nowdays?

Mary Poppins unloading her never-ending bag in the movie
I’m ready for any and all situations thanks to my conference bag!

In 2014, I contributed a post to the eLearning Guild’s Twist blog titled “What’s in Your Conference Bag?” I explored the tools I consistently use during professional events as well as my general approach and for getting the most out of the experience.

However, my toolkit is constantly changing as I find new resources – both physical and digital. Therefore, I continuously update this post for sharing before I head to any large industry events.

So, here’s the contents of my current conference bag …


Physical

  1. Thule Backpack: My version is a bit dated at this point, but I love the durability and diversity of compartments in these bags. It’s always with me.
  2. iPhone 8 Plus: My latest upgrade and go-to device for note-taking and sharing during the event.
  3. Mophie Powerstation XL: Still my FAVORITE piece of gear, as it has been keeping my mobile devices powered for full conference days for the past 5 years.
  4. Powerbeats 2 Wireless: Headphones for making calls and listening to audio without the danger/discomfort of dangling cables, especially useful given the lack of headphone jack on my iPhone.
  5. Macbook Pro: For staying productive done during downtimes and delivering presentations.
  6. Logitech Professional Presenter R800: My SECOND favorite item, as I’ve been using it to present for 7 years and haven’t even needed to change the batteries.
  7. Business Cards: Still carry the real thing because the majority of L&D pros haven’t gone fully digital for quick contact info.
  8. Post-its: Easy way to jot down notes to hand off to fellow participants.
  9. Pen: But only 1.
  10. Piles of Cables and Converters: Because you never know …

Digital

  1. Twitter: Still the center of my sharing universe 8 years and running.
  2. Event App: Typically used to create my session schedule with some added social benefits.
  3. Drive: When Twitter won’t cut it and I need to take some long-form, sharable notes.
  4. Slack: Staying connected with my team during the event.
  5. Axonify: I start every day with my Axonify reinforcement session.
  6. Flipboard: For curating resources shared during the event in real time, sometimes into a event-specific online magazines.
  7. Instagram: Always trying to capture visuals of the event experience.
  8. Chrome: Standard browser of choice for all Googling needs.
  9. Swarm: I love keeping a digital record of my location visits over time.
  10. Lyft: How I get from place to place while on the road.

What’s in your conference bag nowadays? What apps do you find most valuable? What physical items do you carry with you? How do these tools improve your overall event experience?

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