Small business conferences are taking place all the time, in all industries, all over the world. There are many reasons to attend a small business conference, and there is no shortage of events to choose from.
One universal element of conferences and other events is the need to pack. We all know you will need to pack clothing and personal items, but there is a lot more that you'll want to fit in your suitcase! This conference packing checklist will help you make sure you have the most important things packed up and ready to go before you depart for your next small business conference or event.
1. Travel Itinerary and Other Documents
There are a few travel documents you should keep handy as you get ready for the event you are attending. You will want your travel details, hotel stay confirmation, receipt or ticket for your conference registration, and a photo ID. If you are flying, most airlines will allow you to check in online 24 hours prior to your flight. This can be a huge time saver; just make sure you print off your boarding pass and have it ready when you arrive at the airport.
Some other information you might want to have with you includes directions to your final destination, a list of car services or taxis, and information about the city you are visiting.
2. Quick Contact List
When I travel, I always keep a list of important names and numbers easily accessible. This list may include people I am meeting at the conference, the hotel where I am staying, a recommended car service and the airline. You never know when you may be delayed or have problem getting where you need to go, so it's always a good idea to keep the information you may need on hand.
3. Laptop or iPad
Most small business conferences are held at locations that provide WiFi access, so you can bring your mobile office with you if you need to keep up with work during your trip. Even if you don't plan to work while you are away, though, you may want to bring a laptop, netbook or iPad to stay in the loop. You can also use your computer to take notes during sessions you attend.
If you have one, you should definitely bring your smartphone, too. A smartphone is one of the easiest ways to stay connected while traveling.
4. Mobile Chargers
Regardless of what type of technology you bring with you, you will need a way to replenish the batteries during downtime. You can bring separate chargers for each device or a universal charging station. Just make sure you keep it on hand and accessible during your travel as well as once you arrive. You never know when your flight may be delayed or a problem with your hotel reservations; there may be nothing worse than being stranded without access to your phone, contacts and other data.
For more travel product help as you gear up for your trip, check out this list of recommended business travel products.
5. Business Cards
With technology, we may have developed some very cool gadgets for sharing contact information, but when you're attending a small business conference, business cards are a must. Not only are they still expected by most business networkers, but a great business card also gives you a chance to make a great first impression.
If you aim for a memorable and relevant business card that provides all of your most important contact information while highlighting your brand, you will be armed with an effective business card.
6. List of Goals
You may be wondering why you would need goals when you're attending a small business conference. The answer is that goals can help you align your expectations with action. If you take time to set SMART goals before the next small business conference you're planning to attend, or any new opportunity for that matter, you are able to approach the situation with an awareness that often translates into increased learning opportunities and growth.
So...what are your goals for your next small business conference?