Prepare for World Workplace: 10 Things Everyone Forgets Before a Conference
We all know that IFMA's World Workplace is just around the corner! While you're busy getting everything settled at your office before you leave, don't forget about planning for your time in San Diego. Remembering what to pack, to check the session schedule and knowing how to get to the venue can sometimes slip your mind when you're stressed about getting everything organized at home. We've highlighted the most frequently forgotten "items" people may miss checking off their lists. Before you set off for the west coast, run through this list just as a precaution so you can enjoy every second of the year's best workplace event.
Remember to Pack These...
While it's a good idea to pack common medicine such as pain reliever or allergy pills, what's really important are your personal prescriptions, including contacts. These are much harder to get if they're left at home.
You're going to be walking, quite a bit. Probably about 15,000 steps per day. To put that in perspective, the average office worker only takes 4,000 steps per day. Sorry, but those cute new heels are not going to cut it. Bring comfortable, yet professional shoes you've already worn in. It's also a good idea to bring a few changes that go with multiple outfits, it's best not to wear the same shoes two days in a row. Have sensitive feet? Pack some blister pads just in case.
You're going to be in the conference hall most of the day, and outlets are a hot commodity every year. Avoid fighting for a plug by bringing your own portable charger for your phone. Even if your smart phone has a good battery, app usage, checking email, and taking down new contacts can wear out even the best phones. Just remember to actually charge the charger before you leave!
Oh the people you're going to meet! So many new contacts and LinkedIn connections, but how can you be sure they remember you if you leave your business cards at the office? Exactly how many should you bring? Fifty should probably be enough, unless you're a super-networker. Pack them in a case so they stay fresh and crisp through your travels.
something to read on the plane
We've all been there, airline internet is too expensive, your iPad dies, and you're stuck reading the dull magazine in the backseat pocket to entertain yourself. Plan ahead this time around! Check out our resource page for some industry-related ebooks you might enjoy, like Stay Ahead of the Technology Curve. Or print a few pieces from IFMA's Knowledge Library. We promise you'll thank yourself later when you feel as though you've spent your time in the air being productive.
make a hit list
There's so much to see, so many people to meet, sometimes you run out of time before you can fit it all in! Do yourself a favor and prevent having to use valuable time combing through the schedule by making a top 5 "hit list" before you leave. This could be people you want to meet, speakers you just can't miss, or booths you're dying to visit. We sure hope you'll include us in your list (we're booth 1041!). You'll feel much more prepared knowing these five items are your top priority.
set an out of office email
You organized everything at your facility for your absence, but what about your email? Prevent people from getting irritated at your lagging response rate by letting them know where you are and when you'll be back. It's also a good idea to include an emergency point of contact in your response, just in case someone needs to get in touch with the right person immediately.
pick your schedule ahead of time
There are hundreds of sessions this year, including everything from emergency facility planning to integrating technology into your workplace. Don't miss your favorites by sorting through the list ahead of time. Also, be sure to check out our co-founder's speech on Thursday the 6th from 8:00-9:00am in room 7A. Elizabeth will be covering Tech Stories from the Frontline, we hope to see you there!
divide and conquer
If you're lucky enough to be attending with a coworker, or even a friend, maximize your power of two by dividing and conquering. Have a list of your must-see sessions and be sure not to both attend them. You may be lonely in your sessions, but this will encourage you to meet new people! You'll also have plenty of time to socialize with the person you attended with during happy hours and after-conference events.
see how much your airline charges for internet
This isn't as important as the others on our list, but always good information to have! If you plan on trying to get some work done on the plane, be sure to check with their internet policy. Prices vary widely across the board, and some charge a one-time fee and others charge by the hour. Here are a few for popular airlines. Virgin American United Southwest Delta
This year's World Workplace conference is sure to be a special one. Let's all make the most of it by planning ahead, so we can enjoy ourselves while we're there. Come by our booth during expo hours and say hello. We would love to meet you in person. You can also enter to win one of our giveaways while you're there. Safe travels and see you in San Diego!