I took a LOT away from this year’s Blogalicious Conference. The sessions were inspiring and informative and the women and men I met were intelligent, savy, kind, and just generally inspiring! Apart from the incredible wisdom I gained from the sessions, I learned some practical lessons that I will carry with me to the next conference. I’d thought I’d share these with anyone and everyone who is planning on attended a professional conference in the future.
Pack Light and Leave Room
I did not account for the AMOUNT of stuff I would be taking home from this trip, so I packed a ton of clothes and left almost no room for the return trip. I received SO MUCH swag that I had to make decisions about what I had to leave behind. I shouldn’t have had to do that! The crazy thing is, I was working through two of these days and missed almost two full days of swag. I didn’t even get a large portion of the stuff from the exhibitor’s booths because I was elsewhere. Next time, I’m leaving LOTS of extra room in my back and ensuring I can take everything home. No more sacrifices.
The Smaller the Better
My number once grievance with myself at this conference was packing my laptop instead of my netbook. My laptop is HUGE and carrying it around was painful, but necessary. Further, I was forever sitting in the back or the sides of the room (near outlets) for fear I’d run out of juice mid-session. Admittedly, I had TOTAL and UTTER gadget envy whenever I saw an attendee pull out a sleek, quick, fully charged IPAD. A smaller tablet or netbook, while it has less computing power, is just an intelligent solution to this problem. Smaller netbooks and IPADS also have incredibly long battery power which is a must have at a conference (As Aliza Sherman pointed out in her advice to me before the conference). In the future, my shoulder will thank me and my nerves will be that much less frazzled at airport security if I’m packing a tablet.
Find the Value
While this is certainly NOT true for everyone, the value I found in the conference was in the sessions (rather than the social aspect). I tried to do it all and I did not regret trying to make it to a lot of stuff. Every session I attended had value for me and I honestly wish I could’ve attended more on Saturday (which is when I was more “on duty” for our client).
Relax and Give yourself a BREAK!
As a result of all of the above, I had a hard time relaxing. I was wary about my responsibilities, wary about my laptop/power issues, thinking about all the stuff I would be lugging home, eager to attend things and disappointed when I missed sessions I wanted to see. The only time I was REALLY able to relax was when my duties were over. And by that time, I was so exhausted and frazzled I just CRASHED in my hotel room. I truly believe that in order to enjoy, and be successful at a conference, its important to relax and give yourself a break.