The Ultimate Conference Packing List

Packing for a conference is a BIG. DEAL. Less of a deal if you’re a dude, I suspect. Still, if you’re new and wondering what would be good to take along, or a seasoned vet who just needs a list so as to not forget something, maybe this post will help you.

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You should have no problem copying and pasting the list below into a word doc to customize and print. Yay!

While some authors showcase their incredible fashion sense at these events, others dress strictly for comfort. So, decide what you’ve got on your conference plate and select the appropriate attire.

If you’re pitching to agents or editors or presenting, dress for success. I vote you dress this way no matter what. Nice jeans and funny writing t-shirt? Go for it if you feel it’s best for you! Every conference has a certain feel, as well. Some are far more laid back and others are very business. Pack outfits for both if you’re not sure.

And, as a side note, I for one would rather always be over dressed than under-dressed.

Dudes, cut this list in half three times over, then add some jerky and Zombie Apocalypse gear, and I think you’ll be set.

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The Ultimate Packing List for a Writing Conference

Actual Clothes
♦ Shirts/Blouses/Tops
♦ Pants/Skirts/Slacks
♦ Socks
♦ Sweater/Jackets/Blazers
♦ Underwear
♦ Shoes/Gel Inserts
♦ Jewelry/Ties
♦ Extra fancy outfit for Galas/Award Ceremonies

Extra Threads
♦ Pajamas
♦ Work out clothes/Swimsuit
♦ Pillow/Neck Pillow/Snugglie–haha, but seriously
♦ Light Sweater (Conference rooms can be cold, then really hot)

Personal Toiletries
Because of the personal nature of these items, it’s tough to make a complete list, so I’ll just say this:
♦ Contacts! Solution!
♦ Toothbrush/Paste
♦ Makeup
♦ Hair supplies
♦ Deodorant

The Corner of Happy and Good Idea!
♦ Prescriptions
♦ Pain Meds (For headaches/sore feet)
♦ No-doz/Sleep Aide, depending
♦ Anti-diarrhea
♦ Heart burn
♦ Anxiety meds, if needed
♦ Extra fiber (Travel much?)
♦ Tissues
♦ Band aides–paper cut! Blisters!
♦ Moleskin, because blisters!
♦ Eye mask/Ear plugs
♦ Hand sanitizer/wet wipes/stain stick
♦ Hand lotion
♦ Lip Balm

The Write Stuff
♦ Pen/Pencil/Highlighter
♦ Notebook
♦ Laptop–Seriously. Bring it.
♦ Charging chords/mouse/thumb drive
♦ Business Cards
♦ Earbuds
♦ Money for the book store!
♦ Camera
♦ Phone/Charger
♦ Printed Copies of materials needed, like queries
♦ Books you own already that you’d like to have signed, if the author is attending
♦ Extra suitcase, if you buy a lot of books in the bookstore and need to get them home 🙂
♦ Print out of hotel reservation
♦ Email important documents to yourself to ensure you have copies
♦ Consider attaching a business card to phone/camera in case it gets misplaced
♦ Drink plenty of water

The Foodie Necessities
♦ Water Bottle
♦ Personal Snacks/Chocolate/Candy
♦ Beverages
♦ Gum/Mint
♦ Breakfast items to put in mini fridge (Classes start early!)

Miscellaneous
♦ Dress purse for fancy night out
♦ Cash for tips, vending machines
♦ Umbrella
♦ Extension cord (Esp. if you’re sharing a room…4 women, one bathroom)
♦ Extra hangers for hanging all your nice clothes in the closet
♦ Pins/Stickers you might have for lanyard
♦ Sharpie marker and tape for labeling shipping boxes
♦ A mini-wheeled cart (if you need to transport promo or books around)
♦ Kindle, if you prefer it over the app on your phone

You can bring whatever you’d like to the conference, but you’re also going to do some hiking even if you stay at the hotel where the conference is being held–so think like a backpacker. Consider what is truly needed rather than what isn’t, and leave the rest in at home or in your hotel room. Keep in mind that there is likely to be some swag, and that some conferences may provide a tote bag to carry papers and such around with you.

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What have I missed? Leave it in the comment and I’ll add it to the list!

Okay, one last gif for those of you who’ve come to expect it. (You know who you are.)

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