Makers Gonna Make

What I’m Bringing to BlogHer ’14

Posted on Jul 21, 2014 in Conferences & Networking, Travel |

Twitter Addict & Blogger Conference BannersAre you going to BlogHer ’14?  I am!  This will be my first journey to a BlogHer conference.  I’ve been to plenty of conferences in my career, but none that seems as, well, laid back as this one.  When I found out that BlogHer is going to be in San Jose this year, I decided that it was a good opportunity to finally go since I’m an hour away in no traffic from San Jose.  I’ll be pulling double-duty at the conference as I’ll be representing this here blog as well as my other blogs (Girl Scout Guide and Food Askew) and my day-job, Snow Consulting.  I’m used to wearing many hats, so it should be a breeze!

Because my co-worker, Ginette, will be coming from Las Vegas, and I don’t care to commute, I’ll be staying with her at the Hilton San Jose, conveniently connected to the San Jose Convention Center.  Of course, I have the advantage of being able to pack full size items in my bag, but generally speaking I still won’t.  I keep a full set of small travel sized toiletries in my suitcase for travel, and I don’t really feel the need to tote a lot of stuff down when it’s not absolutely needed. Of course, I’m bringing the usual toiletries, clothing, etc. but these are some suggestions of things you might not have considered bringing.

Toiletries

  • Julep Mint Condition Pedi Crème – My feet take a beating at conferences, so I like to have a good foot cream that soothes that ache to put on before bed.
  • Julep Doublestep Foot Treatment and Friction Stick – I just got this in my July Julep Maven box and I love it.  I have wide feet, so it’s awesome on the wider areas that rub the most and take the biggest beating when doing a lot of walking.
  • Tea Tree Oil Foot Wipes – For the same reason as the creme, I like having the wipes handy in case I need a quick foot refresh during the day when I run back to the room for something I inevitably forgot, but really need!
  • Dry Shampoo – Always good to have for a quick hair refresh if there’s just no time for a full shower.  I like the new Herbal Essences Naked Dry Shampoo.

Office Supplies

  • Business Cards –  this is non-negotiable!  You’re going to meet a lot of fellow bloggers and brands.  Networking is crucial and business cards are still a must-have item.  I trust PsPrint, but by now you don’t have time for that.  Even if you have to go to your nearest FedEx Office, Office Depot, or OfficeMax TODAY to have some made, DO IT.  It’s totally worth the investment.  If you’re on a super tight budget, buy the kind you can print yourself.  They’re better than nothing and a missed opportunity.
  • Tablet – I like my iPad because it fits into my stylishly huge purse and it’s easy for quick internet usage if there’s WiFi (I have a WiFi only model) and convenient to look up stuff as a speaker is talking and take notes.
  • Notebook & Pens – Because some speakers speak WAY too fast to be able to get everything typed out on that screen keyboard!  So I personally find it faster to write things down sometimes.  Being Back to School, notebooks are super cheap right now at most stores.  Personally, I’ve been using the same composition notebook since 2007 for all my conference notes!
  • Nikon D5000 DSLR – Complete with extra batteries, different lenses, monopod, battery charger, filters, etc.  Besides being an amateur photographer, it’s always easier to use your own pictures in a blog post instead of trying to get permission to use someone else’s!
  • Smart Phone & Extra Juice – My iPhone 4S still works just fine, but in some low-coverage areas the battery can go to hell.  So I have one of those USB battery backup chargers AND an external battery charging case, just to be sure.
  • Laptop – with cord, mouse, etc.  It won’t leave my room, most likely, but I’ll need it for evening work so I don’t get too far behind.

 Clothes

  • Comfortable Shoes – I love the few different pairs I have of SKECHERS Women’s Work Shoes.
  • Cardigan or light sweater – Sometimes conference centers are colder than you’d think.
  • An extra of nearly everything – You never know when a glass of wine might get spilled on you and you’ll wish you had another shirt to go change into!  It’s worth the room in a suitcase, TRUST ME!
  • A Geeky Shirt – This is really only if you’re attending the little geek meet up spearheaded by Williesha Morris (see Facebook group thread).  Personally, I can’t decide which fandom to represent.  At least I have options.  Need one?  Try ThinkGeek!

Miscellaneous

  • Granola or cereal bars – I always WANT to make it to the provided breakfasts, but sometimes I’m just running too late and I’d rather have a snack with me than have to wait until lunch.  Plus, I’m a rather picky eater, so I don’t always like the food that is provided.
  • Gum and/or mints – Because no one wants to talk to someone with gross breath.  You can never have too many either.
  • The nail polish you’re currently wearing – I’ll be wearing some custom Minx wraps, but I always bring my current color of nail polish with me when I travel.  I’ve tried several at-home gels and even they are unreliable, so I’m always prepared if my polish chips and I have to do a quick touch up.  If you’ve got an elaborate design, I’d stick with whatever color is the base or closest to the tips as that’s the most likely area that might need a touch up while you’re at BlogHer.  Don’t forget to keep the polish in a sandwich bag – the bottle is glass and can break, and you’d rather in the unlikely event of a breakage to have the disaster contained, right?

Like I said before, everything else is pretty run-of-the-mill in terms of travel essentials.  I used to bring my own water bottle, but I found there was ample water around the conference centers to keep me hydrated. This is the first time I’m going to BlogHer, so I’m glad that I’ll be driving and can easily run to a store to get anything I might forget or, worse case scenario, drive the 60-90 minutes back home if there’s something irreplaceable I forgot at home!

What’s on your packing list for BlogHer ’14?