Packing can be a tedious, time-consuming task for even the smallest trip. There are many items such as toiletries, clothing, and plane tickets that are important to remember. Then there are items that will prove essential once you arrive but may not be on the top of your list whilst packing.
Backpack/Purse: You’ll need a vessel to hold all the items listed below. Make sure it is roomy enough to carry these essentials, but small and lightweight so that it’s not hard to tote around for a full day.
Notebook: You’ll be attending plenty of sessions with valuable information to remember, so write it down! Carrying a small notebook on your person will allow you to take notes, jot down meeting times if needed, and keep important reminders. Notebooks will be handy on the Expo floor as well if you want to keep a list of names of people you meet at each booth and their title if business cards are not available.
Resume: Bring multiple copies of your resume. You never know when a casual conversation could turn into an interview opportunity. Having your resume on hand allows whomever you’re talking to or interviewing with to quickly assess your background and skills. Make sure to save an extra copy to bring over to the resume doctor, booth 1041 at Stage Expo!
Business Cards: Make connections! You can never have enough business cards, so bring a stack. Hand them out to any and everyone because you never know whom they’ll be shared with! Business cards are vital in the networking process.
Walking Shoes: You will cover a lot of ground at USITT, especially at Stage Expo. Wearing comfortable walking shoes will make your experience more enjoyable and allow you to keep your stamina up. If you’re attending a formal event at the Conference that requires dressy footwear, consider packing a pair of comfortable shoes into a backpack or purse to change into after the event.
Sunglasses/Sunscreen: South Florida is enveloped by sunshine … so protect your eyes and skin! You’ll spend a lot of time outdoors at USITT 2018 viewing the outdoor stage, walking to the beach, and exploring the host city, so be prepared. We suggest a sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30 and sunglasses with UV protection. These will give you the most coverage and the best protection. You don’t want to spend your time squinting, damaging your eyes or getting a painful sunburn, so remember those sunnies and sunscreen!
Portable Charger: The last thing you want during a jam-packed Conference day is a dead phone or iPad. Bring a portable charger with you in case a wall outlet is nowhere to be found. These will come in handy if your phone is at 10 percent battery and you have your entire day planned in the USITT App!
USITT App: Download the USITT app and turn on push notifications for important information during the conference. The app also gives a full list of exhibitors and their booth numbers as well as a session list so you can see important information on the go. Set up your schedule within the app to eliminate carrying around long print outs of lists and room numbers. It’s all available at your fingertips. Download it here.
Map of Area/Convention Center: Carry a map of the convention center as well as the surrounding area. This will help when planning a meeting spot with peers and for general travel while at the Conference. These brochures and maps also feature great dining and entertainment suggestions. Brochures and maps will be available at the lobby level in the conference center, and hotels.
Elevator Speech: Create a 30-second introduction speech. This will be valuable when networking with exhibitors on the Expo floor. This speech should include topics such as who you are, your profession, your goals, what you are looking for, and what interests you. This will allow exhibitors to get a feel for what you’re looking to get out of the conversation without going into too much detail.