Packing for a business conference trip is a big deal, especially if you’re flying. How do you fit everything you’ll need for your travels into a small suitcase? Do you really want to load up on more luggage (and pay the extra fees), or can you downsize your must-haves?
Of course, the answer depends on how long you’ll be gone. Post-COVID statistics show that business travel is on the rise. With this spike is an increase of nearly 6% in these travelers’ average length of stay.
No matter how long your trip is, there are a few essentials you should always add to your suitcase. As you pack, keep your focus on comfort and productivity, and prepare for success by making room for these five conference essentials.
1. Your Water Bottle and Thermos
You’ll be in a seminar all day, and staying hydrated will keep you focused and overall healthier. You may need a few extra bathroom breaks, but you’ll avoid dehydration and the side effects that come with it.
Staying hydrated can also help you prevent common travel issues, such as headaches, nausea, and insomnia. If you want to stay productive and at your best cognitive ability, keep your water bottle near you and sip from it all day.
Some people need their daily cup of joe to jumpstart their wires. Having a thermos makes it a breeze to brew your pot in the hotel room and take it with you to your conference.
If the hotel provides hot beverages in the meeting room, you can always refill the thermos later. Keep in mind that coffee doesn’t replace your body’s need for good ole H2O.
2. Business Clothes
Making a good impression starts with your appearance. Pack wrinkle-resistant business attire, or use the iron in the room to press your slacks and blouses.
If you want to pack light, bring versatile items that can be used in multiple outfits. For instance, khaki pants pair well with white button-down shirts and blazers and can be worn more than once with different tops.
Choose your shoes carefully and pick footwear that you can use at the conference and with your leisure outfits. High heels or other uncomfortable shoes aren’t always what you’d want to wear if you’re invited out after the meeting.
3. Your Contact Info
A major part of business conferences is the networking aspect. You’ll be meeting new people with connections to your industry, and you don’t want to be caught empty-handed if they ask for your contact info.
How will you provide your info to these new contacts? Some people use business cards, while others have QR codes that the other person scans and stores on their phone. Whatever your preference is, have this info updated and ready to share. Keep a folder to store the names and numbers you collect until you can safely add them to your digital contacts.
4. Casual Outfits
Your trip may be business-related, but you’ll have some leisure time in there somewhere. Pack some casual outfits that you can wear almost anywhere, like jeans, a t-shirt, and sneakers, for these occasions.
If you think you might want some fitness time, bring your workout clothes. Your hotel may have a pool where you can swim or lounge and relax. You’ve worked hard; pack a bathing suit or shorts and enjoy your downtime by the water.
5. Your Electronics
What do you use to take notes during meetings? Bring those items, plus the related chargers or extended batteries. You could bring your travel printer and other electronics, but chances are, the hotel will have devices you can use in a pinch.
Throw in your cell phone charger and a portable backup, just in case. If you’re going to be in a car, don’t assume the vehicle will have a USB port. Grab a car adapter to be on the safe side.
If electronics aren’t allowed or convenient, a simple notebook and a few pens and pencils always work!
It’s easy to overload your mind (and your suitcase) with everything you think you’ll need for your business trip. But you’re not the only conference attendee traveling, and the hotel and event organizer will have backup necessities on-site.
The rest will fall into place for your convenience if you bring these five must-haves.