Written by Taylor Davis
You were in a rush - scatter-brained and running out the door with one shoe half off your heel.
We feel your pain, but unfortunately we see a lot of people attend conferences and seminars without the proper backup equipment, or I.C.E. bag.
What is an I.C.E. bag, you ask?
An In Case of Emergency pack.
Set it and forget it when you pack the essentials in this bag this night before, pop it in your vehicle and don’t forget it the next morning when you’re fumbling from lack of sleep.
Here’s our list of seven things you should bring to a seminar to be on the safe side.
It seems like something you wouldn’t forget, but it happens more often that most people like to admit. Keep this habit from your college days because it’s a necessity for any seminar or conference you go to. Yes, many courses you take for your continuing education will probably have someone there handing out pens, and even have a handout for you to write on, but better safe than sorry.
Pack an extra pen and notebook to avoid missing out.
Baby, it’s cold inside.
Spring, summer, winter or fall – don’t forget to bring the coat. We see a lot of attendees suffer sitting in their course because they forgot. Keep one in your car or pack it the night before, but don’t forget it.
Inside hotels and office buildings are usually pretty cool, and sitting for a long time can cause you to get a chill.
Seminars and conferences are great for networking. You might not think that it’s big thing until someone asks you to connect afterward and you don’t have time to trade phone numbers.
Whipping out a business card with your name, occupation, website (if you have one), phone number and email address is much easier. Don’t fully rely on your business card though to get networking done. Decide what your pitch is, too, that describes who you are and what you’re looking in 30 seconds or less.
Don’t have a business card, yet?
Definitely add that to your to-do list.
Business cards aren’t the only way to connect with people though. Always have your pitch ready, but make sure you have apps with your professional profile ready to launch, too.
LinkedIn is a great example that can help you find people instantly and make a connection.
Also, check if the event you’re attending has an app for it. A lot of conferences have one, which include an attendees list, notetaking capabilities and other essentials for the event.
Forgot to connect with someone? Grab their name from the attendees list and find them in your downtime.
Almost every conference or seminar will have refreshments, but having a water bottle on hand is always helpful.
Cell Phone & Chargers
Who oesn’t have their cellphone with them nowadays?
Not many, but quite a few people forget their chargers.
Keep your cell phone on vibrate to avoid interrupting or dealing with disgruntled co-attendees, but still keep it nearby.
A lot of seminars and conferences have social media opportunities for you to take part in. Contests and other interactive options give attendees a chance to win things, engage with others around the country, connect after the event. You can use it to take pictures of slides, tweet a quotable saying from a speaker or capture the moment with a picture.
Just like water, there might be some there for you at the seminar, but it might not be for you.
Some places provide breakfast, but bagels and doughnuts might not be high on your food intake list. Unhealthy things like this can also leave you feeling sluggish throughout the seminar and not give your brain the power it needs to gorge itself on the knowledge you paid to learn.
Save yourself time, uncomfortable hours of freezing, and make a few new friends when you prepare the night before.
Do you have any other suggestions?
Leave us a comment!