Dreaming of ACCT
“Hi Brad, it’s great to see you…Rachel, I’ll meet you in the lobby tonight…Hey Bryan, stop by our booth later, ok?…” The atmosphere in this place is electric! Man, I can’t wait to check out those pre-conference workshops. Wait, where’s my notebook? Did I forget my business cards? Is my phone out of battery? Noooooooooo!
I haven’t actually dreamed this scene yet, but it really is a nightmare when you forget something for a business trip. But not to worry. As always, Xola University has got you covered. I talked to long-time ACCT-goers and made a list of essentials for every type of traveler.
The Star Student’s Package
Regardless of what your study habits were back in high school, you won’t want to miss the knowledge being shared at ACCT. There will be 130 workshops. I repeat, one-hundred and thirty, in the span of five days! Don’t end up kicking yourself as you head home, wishing you had taken more notes.
Things to pack:
- Extra pens and notebook paper: I don’t know about you, but I organize my thoughts best when I first connect pen to paper. Doing it “old-school” has advantages at a busy conference, too. You know those pesky holes in the wall that people hate giving up? Yes, I’m talking about outlets. There never seem to be enough of them anywhere you go, let alone at a huge conference. Pens and paper may need ink and trees, but by gosh, they don’t need electricity!
- A tablet or laptop: For some parts of ACCT, you might be better off with a computer. Some presenters bring digital handouts to their talks. Others might email you the worksheets before the workshop. Many of the vendors in the exhibit hall supply CDs or USBs with information that you can view during the conference. But, as I alluded to before, bring chargers! Don’t end up like Arnold.
- A bag to keep it all together: It’s easy to forget a backpack or briefcase. But you’ll need a good one of these to lug all your stuff from one exhibit hall to the next. The lighter and more comfortable your bag is, the better.
Pro Tip: Xola’s Luke Brennan says that the best way to keep all your devices charged, is to bring your own power strip.
The Schmoozer’s Must-Haves
It wouldn’t be a successful conference without some quality networking. But ACCT experts tell me that every year, someone forgets their business cards. Also, bringing too few is almost as bad as forgetting them altogether. Before you head to Palm Springs, make sure your wallet is brimming with your company cards.
Your second asset in the networking realm is your cell phone. It’s the jack-of-all-trades. You can take notes, surf the web, and grab someone’s digits all with just your thumbs. If you decide to put all your eggs in the cell phone basket, however, you might want to consider bringing along a portable, external battery.
The Survivor’s Ultimate Items
It’s going to be a long weekend packed with excitement. But you’re going to want some essential items to keep you going.
Start with the basics: food and water. Drinking enough water elevates your energy levels. When I go to all-day events, I never leave without a reusable water bottle in my bag.
As for food, you can’t always count on conferences to provide your favorite treats. I know that I get, well, rather “grizzly” when I’m hungry. That’s why I bring my own snacks to long events.
Once you’ve covered that, now you’ll want to bring the things that will keep you cool, calm, and collected. For me, that starts with a good pair of shoes. You’re going to be standing, walking, and who knows what else. This is a challenge course conference, after all.
After taking care of my soles, chapstick is always next on my list. Don’t let the name fool you, Palm Springs is a desert. Dry lips are public enemy #1 at any conference. They not only make you feel uncomfortable, but also anyone else that watches you talk for too long. Don’t leave the house without some lip therapy!
While we’re on the subject, you might want some gum or mints in your arsenal. We’ve all had a conversation with someone we wish would just stand back an extra foot or two. You’ll be talking to dozens of people over the weekend–and you’ll be a lot happier about doing so with some minty aids.
Palm Springs, Here We Come!
And with that, you’re all set. Happy packing, we’ll see you in February! Keep tuning in to Xola University for more insights and tips about ACCT.