In What I Bring to Networking Events and Conferences, I gave you my list of critical accessories for every professional event and conference that I attend. In this followup, I mention items that I’ll often bring along as well, and more.
Not so much for the event itself, more for the commute to and from. Although if you do need to listen to some recorded audio e.g. from the dictaphone you brought with you, this will be the only way to do it discreetly in a large, noisy room.
Event entry ticket
A must for most conferences, less so for most networking events. But if your ticket needs to be printed in advance, don’t wait until the last minute.
Purell or handwipes
No paranoia here, but if you get sick easily or if you are sick already, you might want to keep some hand sanitizer close by so that no one catches anything needlessly.
Toiletries or cosmetics
Not an issue for most men but critical for most women. Always be prepared.
Because no one likes sandpaper handshakes. Use a local product in case anyone asks why your hands are so smooth.
Use it to take great pictures to post online after the event, letting people tag each other while thinking of you in the process.
Also, for short evening events or seminars, consider recording video of all speakers – including yourself – for your own purposes or in case no one else does so, which often happens at less formal meetups. Plus, you might just be the backup camera if the main one proves not to be up to the task.
Camera travel tripod
Look to have a small tripod that can attach your camera to non-conventional places so you can get the best angle. The tripod for my old Flip Ultra HD has 3 legs that can grab onto a pole.
Great for showing off your work whether that means demoing software that you’re working on, or showing video of something you had a hand in creating.
Typically a Bluetooth keyboard, super handy for taking notes or social media sharing on your smartphone or tablet when you don’t feel like lugging a full laptop.
Sometimes though, an external keyboard + smartphone/tablet is no substitute for the real thing. If you do bring a laptop regularly, you’ll probably also want a protective case, mouse and power pack.
One of my networking secrets. I can’t count the number of times someone else has struck up a conversation with me because I had a powerbar plugged into the only visible outlet in the area.
Because you might need them for all the other event-critical electronics you’re schlepping along, such as for the dictaphone or smartphone (if the battery is removable).
Water and/or food
Most events will have some food and drinks, so you probably won’t need to bring your own. However, I’ve been to events where they’ve run out of food, or ran out before I was able to break away from networking, or the food was something I couldn’t eat for dietary restrictions or other reasons. In which case I was sure glad to have something with me, even if it was just a piece of fruit.