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Must Have Conference Toys… I Mean Tools.

You have your name tag hung around your neck and you’ve found the perfect table with a good view of the podium, eavesdropping proximity to the A-listers and quick access to the coffee table. 

You reach into your bag to setup and…

It’s not there!

You check again. You search every pocket. You dig around the bottom of the back. You look around nervously, while patting your coat pockets, and you do the entire search again.  Then you mutter:

“OMG, I can’t believe I forgot my…”

What is the one must-have item that you bring to every conference. Or, almost every conference?


  1. Mick
    Mick October 23, 2008

    Condom. 😉 I go to good conventions.

  2. Sonia C
    Sonia C October 23, 2008

    …Business Cards

  3. leona hobbs
    leona hobbs October 24, 2008

    I don’t leave home for a conference without my MacBook Pro. (Shame on conference organizers who don’t provide wi-fi for attendees.)

  4. Alexa Clark
    Alexa Clark October 24, 2008

    @Mick – you must!
    @Sonia – good point. I usually don’t notice I’m missing those until the end of the day, and the advent of social networks (and wifi) have made them less critical for me.
    @Leona – I hear you! WIFI & coffee are the two things I reach for first.
    While I’m rarely seen without my camera or laptop, I’d have to say my new Must Have for conferences is my cell. I can tweet, blog, take photos and follow the back channels with it. And of course make plans for cocktails after the conference.

  5. Eden Spodek
    Eden Spodek October 24, 2008

    A dongle to connect your laptop to the projector. This may sound like a no-brainer for presenters but it happens all the time especially for Macbook and Macbook Pro owners. We’re thinking of having some extra on hand at PodCamp Toronto just in case.

  6. Alexa Clark
    Alexa Clark October 24, 2008

    @Eden – those no-brainer things are always the most critical when you forget them! Especially if you are standing at the front of the room.
    Any other Must Have items from organisers & presenters?

  7. Jenny Bullough
    Jenny Bullough October 24, 2008

    This sounds very old-fashioned but… A pen. So I can make notes on the deck (easier to remember context) during presentations, and jot down notes on the many business cards I collect when making new contacts at mixers and networking events. It’s much easier than trying to remember the context of a conversation when I’m back at the office.

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