packing: Professional Conference or Training in the Summer

July 24, 2015

My top three tips for packing for a training or conference:
1. Pack light for your personal item, toiletries, and technology. Take the minimum, and only take what is necessary. Use lighter devices and multitasking products to save space and weight.
2. Pack clothing that can multitask: casual dresses to use as swim suit coverups, jumpsuits or dresses as business casual and cocktail hour wear, tennis shoes to work out and walk around in,
3. Pack clothing that fits into a color palette and can be mixed and matched to make various outfits. Think in terms of plane, daytime, and evening. Your daytime business outfits should be stand alone outfits that you planned ahead of time, because then you can save time and avoid deliberating on what to wear in the morning. Your evening outfits can be created by a few mix and match casual pieces, that can be combined with your flying outfit.

To pack for a five day business trip, where I traveled two days and spent three days at a business conference, I used a carryon suitcase, vintage Coach leather tote bag, Coach wristlet wallet, and smaller organizing pouches. If I could do this trip again, I would also pack a medium sized bag for evenings to bring my camera and wallet on excursions.

For flying, I always prefer to wear pants, a tank, a sweater, and a scarf, no matter the season. I hate being cold, and find airplanes are always cold. I can take off the sweater and scarf upon arrival. Smart items to bring along: notebook, magazines, iPad, wallet, empty water bottle to fill up after passing through security, and a small pouch with necessities like tissue, gum, and lip balm, as well as a pencil case to keep pens from escaping into the bottom of your bag. Things I wish I hadn't brought: my laptop computer and heavy books, as my iPad was enough for taking notes and reading.

I was unsure of what the temperature would be like at the conference. Basically, what I learned is that most trainings and conventions are going to be air conditioned. The conference that I just attended was at a hotel, and many trainings are hosted by colleges. So, err warm for your outfits- I was happy with sweaters, long sleeves, and scarves. I also appreciated that my jumpsuit did double duty and I wore it for a more formal dinner with evening makeup and earrings as well as to sessions with casual sandals and layering.

It's a great idea to have day and evening outfits, with the evening outfits being more casual. I packed a dress that could double as a swimsuit coverup, and shorts that could pair with my tops. I also brought clothes to work out in. The place you stay will probably have exercise equipment, and running around a new city is a great way to get your bearings. Bring your swimsuit, just in case. 

In general, trainings and conferences are such a great opportunity. Getting to fly to a new city and explore it in the evenings is also a great opportunity. I hope you find these tips helpful for packing and maximizing what you bring along with you!

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