Conferences are such a fun time, but they are also packed from morning to night. I have a few
quirky time-saving habits that I follow to make myself feel more comfortable and organized that I thought I would share in case you are looking for more tips.
Go a day or two early. Here’s why.
This is mostly for anyone who lives outside of the conference location and doesn’t visit often. I go a couple of days early so I can meet up with some business associates and to try to hold meetings to make new connectionss. Never be afraid to email someone and let them know you are coming out and have some time to meet up. Step out of your comfort zone and put yourself in front of the brands or PR companies you want to be noticed by.
If you are already paying for the plane ticket, add on some business while you are there.
I also go early to meet up with fellow attendees or friends in the area. Having the chance to sit down before the conference starts to talk shop and life is a great idea if you can swing it. The conference will become hectic and some days you will pass those same people as you are frantically trying to get to the next amazing event.
Tip: Check the conference hashtag to see who else is in early with you. You may be able to meet up before you both get busy.
Pack your essentials and non-essentials as light as possible.
Make-up, lotions, shampoo, etc. Individually, they don’t seem like much, but it will all add up to one heavy suitcase. Try packing travel-sizes when you can, and limit your make-up to one day look, and the items you need to make it a night look.
I know this isn’t blow-your-mind kind of stuff, but I love to look like I am fairly put together. My favourite nail polish to take along are any of the OPI Liquid Sand textured nail lacquers (especially the ones with sparkles). With solid nail polish, you can tell when you get chips. Reapplying a quick coat or touching up a small section on your nail with the textured lacquers before heading down to the conference hides any imperfections without the need to completely redo the whole nail.
Tip: pack any liquids (nail polish, shampoo, perfume, etc) in sealed baggies for the flight. Those suckers break open more times than you think and that is an added headache you don’t want.
Ask about a fridge in your room.
Fabulous conferences have fabulous food and it is easy to pass on that extra helping of veggies because the dessert tray looks like something Nigella Lawson just whipped up. This year is the first year I am trying this, but I am taking advantage of a local grocers delivery option and I will be packing my small smoothie maker.
Being able to store a small amount of fruit and vegetables in the fridge will go a long way to making sure that I have a healthy option waiting in my room should the day get away from me.
Ask if there is a good chance of getting a portable fridge brought up to the room if one isn’t provided. This year, I ended up upgrading to a room with a fridge so it would be guaranteed.
Use your name tag holder as a business card holder.
If this is your first time at a conference, you will quickly notice everyone using this hack. When you register at the conference, you will receive a name tag. They are usually big enough to put a small amount of business cards in behind the paper that has your name written on it. When you hand out a card, and get one back, place it back in the name tag. Just be careful not to hand someone else’s business card out the next time and make sure you remove the ones that were given to you each night to a safe place.
Carry your iPhone charger and use airplane mode to save battery.
This is one of my favourite hacks in general because it saves a stupid amount of battery when you don’t need to use it. For example, if you are heading into a session, and you don’t think you will be tweeting, but you want to take photos and notice your battery is getting low, put it into airplane mode and cell data and wifi will be cut off. You won’t have access to those apps that drain your battery (*cough* Facebook), and your phone won’t waste battery trying to keep up with your notifications, or if it begins to search for wifi.
You will, however, still have access to your camera.
The best part is, if you decide you need to use it, just turn it back on.
Tip: if you normally get notifications you can catch up when you turn your phone back on. When you turn your phone on then deactivate Airplane Mode, immediately turn your phone back off to its black screen and all of your notifications will pop up as soon as it finds a signal. Then you can scan your notices before opening your phone.
To turn airplane mode on/of, go to Settings and it is the first option at the top.
Alternatively, you can also plug in your phone using the charger when you are taking a break near an outlet.
TIP: When you charge your phone, if you put it into Airplane Mode while it is charging, it charges faster.
And most importantly, have fun, and enjoy every minute.