A month ago, we asked the ISTE Commons discussion group, followers of @ISTEConnects and our Facebook friends to share what items they were sure to pack for ISTE 2016. The ideas came pouring in. Here’s a rundown of what we heard from past ISTE conference attendees.
Pack light, but make room for these key items:
- Good, comfortable shoes
- Directions to hotel, convention center, local landmarks
- Power strips for sharing limited outlets
- Rolling brief case
- Flavor enhancers for the water
- Ear plugs to block out noise from roommates or neighbors
Have these essentials at the ready in your day pack:
- Battery packs and chargers
- ISTE water bottle filled to the brim (Every attendee gets one!)
- Snacks, such as granola or protein bars, chocolate, pumpkin seeds and nuts
- Layers of clothing for cold rooms, rain jackets for sudden downpours and something light for the hot, muggy treks to the restaurant or hotel
- Fitbit or other activity tracker (You’ll be amazed at how much you walk!)
- Pens, pencils and notebooks if you like a traditional approach to notetaking
- Tea bags, energy drinks or your favorite late-afternoon, information-overload pick-me-up
- Bag for your expo hall swag
- Business cards
Go device-light and app heavy
Try to limit yourself to one (or maybe two) devices to lighten your load and reduce strain on the network. A tablet or smartphone give the most bang for the buck in a conference setting because they are light, double as cameras and have more app functionality. Speaking of apps, here are some that attendees recommend installing before you arrive:
Bring your brave
Finally, make sure you bring your gregarious self and leave your timid self behind. “Be brave (and) talk to strangers!” advised Nancy Penchev on Twitter.
Many past attendees, like Susan Poyo, echoed that sentiment, saying the best part of the conference is meeting other passionate educators. “Try not to over schedule yourself. Pick a couple of "must sees" and then meet people (and) make connections.”
We’ve put together an entire guide of advice, tips, strategies and ways to get the most out of your ISTE 2016 conference experience. Check out the ISTE 2016 Survival Guide.