6 Haven Conference: What to pack for a Blogger Conference

Back when I was packing at 11pm the evening before my flight (procrastinate much?), I distinctly remember how frantic I was to try and remember everything I could possibly need for the conference ahead of me. Shoes, clean undies, toothbrush, that should be good. Pssht. Who needs the little stuff?

Uhh when you’re brushing elbows with celebrity bloggers and some of the most creative people out there, you may need a bit more than fresh unda-pants. So here’s a list of stuff you should bring so you don’t forget things (like I did).
Clothes- What to wear
  • Business Casual/fashionista/pretty clothes
  • Sundresses
  • Cocktail Dresses (at least two) + shoes
  • Comfy Shoes
  • Swimsuit
  • Cute PJ’s 
Everything I read had said to wear comfy shoes and clothes. While this is very true (an itchy but beautiful shirt just gets in the way of conversation), also bring a cocktail dress or two and pair them with cutsie shoes. You never know when you’ll get to dance the night away. The opening reception was a bit on the dressier side, but my maxi dress fit right in.
Now, did I fit right in? Well you be the judge.

While on the subject of dresses, next year, I’m just going to cram my suitcase with sundresses and leggings for the entire conference. They’re the perfect solution for the over/underdressed debate (in my opinion).  Some of my dresses are even come-get-your-hands-dirty at Miss Mustard Seeds Painting Class appropriate.

This year the hotel didn’t have a hot tub (such a shame) but if I would have planned better I would have squeezed time to take a dip on the roof top abode.
You can’t really tell from the photo but our pool (on the bottom) is about 10 stories up.

Ok so for those of you nudist sleepers or prefer to snooze in oversized shirts, remember to go out and buy or dig to the bottom of your drawers and find some cute pjs if you plan on having roommates.

General gear
  • Notebook
  • Good pens
  • Envelope
  • Business Cards
  • Binder Rings
  • Hole Punch
  • Conference bag
  • Water bottle
  • Suitcase + bungee cord 
Nothing beats a notebook for quick and convenient, Target usually has some really cute (and cheap!!) ones mid-summer for their back to school days. Sure the sponsors/vendors all send you along with their pens, but your favorite already-broken-in smooth pen just doesn’t always compare.

It is a business trip, so pack an envelope to track your expenses.

Don’t forget your business cards. Pack them in a box if at all possible to keep them from getting crinkled in your suitcase. If you forgot yours or scored a last minute ticket, make sure you find a way for people to contact you… like I had Sarah do.
Unless you come across my business cards, binder rings are great to keep your business cards organized. I found it easier to separate into categories like vendors vs. bloggers.
As far as the hole punch, I have to tell ya, the hole punch was a pain to find. All the stores I visited were SOLD OUT; hmm maybe it had to do with that thing called back to school…

This year the Haven Coordinators came up with a really neat pouch to hold your business cards and ones you got from everyone else. If you’re anything like me, it just wasn’t big enough for my #seaofbusinesscards

If there’s ever a good excuse to go out and purchase things it’s for Haven.
Like for real. I splurged on this bag from Anthropology. It was perfect. It held all my junk (business cards, swag, DSLR) all day, without fail.

Water bottle, when you’re speed dating getting to know everyone, you’re going to talk A LOT.

Last but not least, you WILL get a lot of swag. Like A-LOT.
It’s hard to tell from photos but that’s my large suitcase.

Here are some Swag Management tips (just for kicks):

1. Book your flight on southwest.com (no they’re not sponsoring me) for the bags (2) fly free dealio. Even if they send you to another carrier since you booked with them, you’ll get the deal.
2. Nestle your small suitcase inside your big suitcase for your flight THERE. Less bags to carry when you’re rushing to your flight.

3. Throughout the conference, fill your large suitcase with all your goods.

4. If you have too many bags, like me, fasten the suitcases with bungee cord like so (thanks Scottie):

Electronics
  • Cell Phone
  • Chargers for all your electronics
  • EXTRA Batteries. Buy them for your camera, cell, and any other item you bring.
  • Chargers
  • DSLR camera
  • Chargers
  • Tablet + mouse (I forgot mine, what a pain)
  • Chargers
  • Surge protector
Cell Phone- self explanatory.  I will say: I used mine for EVERYTHING. Vendor giveaways, locating your roomies, snapping selfies in the fancy elevator, sending self reminders, etc.

Bring your stinkin’ charger. Pack it. Double check. Then Triple check. Why?! because no one likes to share when we’re all power hungry and Instagram-ing the hotel carpeting and schmancy chandeliers, mmk.

Now that you know to bring your charger, pack extra batteries. I ended up buying two extra batteries for both my camera and cell phone. As in two batteries for my camera (like this), with a battery grip (like this), two for my cell phone (like this).

Tip (thanks Chris): number them like so:
When you go to use them, use them in order so you can track which ones are require charging. EX. Beginning of the day started with #1, changed #2 @ lunch, dinner you inventory the batteries. You need to charge 1 and start with #3 by morning and charge #2 throughout the day. Apple users, well your outta luck. Just kidding- they make these super convenient cell phone cases that extend the life of your battery.

Even with the extra batteries, my cell phone could barely keep up. Remember it takes a couple hours for the batteries to fully charge.

Next year I vow to use my DSLR more often. Don’t get me wrong I used it plenty, but it was awkward to manage alongside all the swag, business cards etc.

I saw many, many bloggers taking notes with their tablets throughout the sessions. I used pen and paper because I remember everything better that way. I got the most use of my tablet back in the room when catching up on all things social and sharing the latest youtube clip with my roomies.

Accessories/Misc
  • Headbands/Hairties/etc.
  • Jewelry
  • Sunglasses
  • Makeup
  • Sunscreen
  • Toiletries
All pretty self explanatory. I do recommend placing any liquids, either checked or carry-on, inside a Ziploc/plastic bag (you know besides the TSA Rules) to prevent exploding shampoo from ruining your clothes.

I’ll leave things like specific make up to the experts because I’m an eyeliner and go girl. I will say find makeup for the elements, foundation can drip and make ya look like you’re melting in Hotlanta (here’s a source I found for ya).

One last tip: paint your toes or get a pedicure, it’s time to show off your cute creative side and spoil yourself one more time.  Go on, you deserve it for working on your blog so hard!

Did you attend Haven or travel a lot? If so, did I miss anything super important to pack? Were there ‘duh’ things on the list that you also failed to pack? Have you ever forgotten some big ticket items on a vacation/business trip?


P.S. I was not paid or perked from any of these vendors; I just happily picked up the necessities for the conference.

Preparing for a blog conference or event of your own? Be sure not miss:
Prequel: get your cords organized and label your stuff because your new bff roomies won’t want to fork out money to ship it to you.
4- What I learned from all those Classes at Haven (Part 1 & Part 2)
6- THE Haven Experience (Part 1 & Part 2)

Check out more blog event tips from my experience at the Maiedae Mixer

6 comments:

  1. Great post!! I totally agree with everything you said!!

    Another handy tip: Rolling your clothes instead of folding and you get almost no wrinkles.

    What do you do if the SWAG you acquire doesn't fit in the suitcase you brought? When do we see the video of our fabulous contraption?! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yeah the rolling trick! I do that with all my camisoles, otherwise it's tons of wasted space.

      Oh that lil 'ol video, I got PLANS!! Haha soon my friend!

      Delete
  2. The best type of business card for a DIY conference is a DIY business card, amiright? ;) Thanks for the shout out!
    -Sarah

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep DIY on the fly, pure genius!!

      Delete
  3. Trisha...it was great meeting you at Haven! I hope you've had a super weekend....and a great week! Blessings.......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Daune!! It was very nice to meet you as well. Thanks for stopping by!!

      Delete

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