Packing strategically for a trip isn’t really my strong-suit. I’m always packing last minute and include way too many clothes. And inevitably I forget something critical (i.e. a toothbrush). But for keeping your personal brand, blog and business in mind at a conference, I’m your girl! Sometimes attending a big conference like Altitude Summit or BlogHer is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And for those of us that work for ourselves, business travel can be a rare treat!
With the time and money invested in such conferences, we sure as heck better make it worth while. So as you’re packing, don’t forget to throw in a little something extra for your brand!
Here’s what I’m brining for my brand to Alt Summit next week:
1. iPad – I used to drag my laptop everywhere with me. It’s sort of my best friend and I can’t leave home without it. But honestly, it can be unnecessary and cumbersome. At a conference, think light and simple. You really shouldn’t need more than an iPad (if that) to capture notes, jump online and even blog on the spot if you’re an overachiever. 😉
2. Notebook – Not just any notebook, but one that inspires and puts you in that “you can take over the world” mood. You know what I’m talking about! I take down all of my session notes in my Make My Notebook. But most importantly, I’ll write down all of the brilliant ideas (and to-dos) that randomly pop into my mind.
3. Business Cards – Before my last conference I wrote about the keys to business cards that mean business. I believe wholeheartedly that your picture should be on your card. Because your smile is your logo! In a sea of bloggers, it helps connect a face with a name, with a conversation and and to your blog. And if you want more tips on collecting business cards at a conference you MUST read this fabulous post by Asia at Sparrow Soirées. It’s amazing!
4. Meaningful Chachkies – If you’re going to spend the money buying little giveaways and the time it takes to tie said giveaways to your business card, make sure it’s meaningful and it makes sense for your brand. A tiny piece of handmade soap would make sense if you’re MessifulMama.com. If the link isn’t intuitive, then connect the dots for those you meet with a tagline or call to action.
5. Business Card Holder – Man I’ve learned my lesson with this one! When get business cards, I have a habit of tossing them in my bag without thinking. And then when I reach in to grab one of my own, I mistakenly pull out one I’ve collected. My mom got me the coolest business card accordion organizer. A slot for mine, a slot for possible collaborators, a slot for those I need to follow up with immediately, etc. I’m psyched to use it!
6. Signature Style – Your brand should have a little something, something visually that becomes your thing and sets your signature look. Some of my signatures (or things that I’m trying to make signatures at least) are glasses (sometimes…I know, how can you make something and thing when it’s sometimes?) and red lips. I did a glitter glasses DIY on my Zenni Optical eyeglasses just for this special occasion. And I finally found the red lipstick that goes on the perfect color, stays the perfect color and stays exactly where I put it. For that, I love you gloMinerals!
7. Playlist – I create a special one for every conference! For introverts like myself, a good playlist can give life, boost confidence and skyrocket energy. Because let’s face it, speaking and networking can be exhausting. So here are some of the songs I’ll be jamming to in my hotel room: Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself, I Got This, Grown Woman.
8. Your Product – If you’ve created something, anything, you should have it on you…even just one. Especially if it fits in your bag. I know a woman who keeps one of her handmade baby bibs in her purse at all times and has it on her even at the grocery store. You never know who you’ll run into, who will want to see what you’ve created and what doors could open simply by having it on hand.
9. Cute Bag – Now the trick is to find a super cute bag that can hold it all, keep it organized and not be a burden to carry. This fabulous one is from Maurices and fits the bill.