In continuation of Monday’s post, “Conference Prep,” here’s more advice about what to take with you to be sure you’re ready for one of the most exciting events of your year. Things you may want to consider about packing:
1. Clothes. (Yes, clothes. Stating the obvious is part of my charm.) St. Louis is already getting cool–not too bad for those who live north of it, but for some of us who live in the south–where 65 degree weather requires a sweater–it’s good to be warned. Even if you plan to spend the entire time indoors, it’s good to dress in layers.
While I’m on the subject of clothes, I want to reiterate something I’ve said often before an ACFW Conference. This is a big deal for a lot of folks. We’re all professionals–we need to remember that and dress the part. You don’t have to have a wardrobe of three-piece suits and straight skirts that require infant steps in order to move from point A to point B, but slacks and nice blouses/shirts work.
The banquet Saturday night is a formal affair, which doesn’t mean you have to dress in an evening gown (you can if you own one), but definitely glam up as much as your budget allows.
These days, we’re allowed a costume night, when each of us can dress as according to our genre or characters. If you’re participating in this, don’t forget all the components that make up your costume. And don’t forget to bring your camera.
Oh, and if you’re one of those people I admire, envy, and wish to high heavens I could emulate (but gave up trying years ago), pack your workout clothes. They have a gym.
2. Shoes–the comfortable kind you can race around in. My preference is the kind I can slip out of easily so I can sit at a table barefooted (which reminds me, I need a pedicure).
Did I tell y’all what happened to me last year? I tried the stride of Lauren Bacall, but looked like Lucy on Vitameatavegamin. Then, just seconds before a mentor appointment, I realized the toe of the sole had curled toward the heel of the shoe, which made rushing to my appointment nigh unto impossible. I yanked both shoes off and ran barefooted from one end of the Hyatt Regency to the other. Moral of the story: take an extra pair of comfortable shoes.
Of course, since there are special dress-up days, you’ll need special dress up shoes. I, however, have served my time in stilettos and platforms, so I’ll stay with my low-heeled shoes. The ones that have the soles glued on tight.
3. Perfume–Don’t pack that, or if you do, don’t plan to wear it to conference classes, appointments, meals, banquets, book signings, etc. Since there are people who have allergies, it’s best not to inadvertently send someone into a sneezing frenzy just as the speaker is delivering the punch line.
4. Hairspray, etc. If you’re flying–and this is the first time you’ve ever flown–you may want to be careful what you pack in your carry-on. I’d totally forgotten about the regulations about bottled/canned items and MSB and I both wound up with our hairsprays being thrown in the trash during the security check.
I’d always heard to take a carry-on that holds enough things to tide you over until the airlines located your luggage in Kyoto, Japan. But what I didn’t realize is that so many things we use daily can’t be carried on planes anymore. So, study the regs and know what is allowed and in what sizes.
I hope this helps someone, even though these are things adults already know to do. But it gives me something to write about. Don’t be surprised if I write more on Monday.