Conference Bag of Tricks

During a presentation to a large group of communicators, I was tethered to the laptop. The organizers had said they would have everything I needed, including a remote mouse. But they didn’t. Lesson learned. I now bring my own remote mouse.

If you’re speaking or organizing a conference, there are several items you should always have with you so that you are prepared for last minute hiccups.

Teri Ehresman, who is communications lead for the Idaho National Laboratory, has a big black box on wheels that she uses for events she organizes or when she is staffing a booth. What does it contain?

  • Roll of clear tape: “It comes in handy for a variety of unexpected tasks,” she says.
  • Roll of duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Box cutters
  • Power strip
  • Surge protector
  • Speakers for a laptop
  • Notebook
  • Sheets of white and color paper
  • Pens
  • Highlighters
  • Black marker
  • Business cards in a business card holder
  • Extra Fed-Ex forms (for shipping after hours)
  • Band-Aids

Corinne Geller with the Virginia State Police recommends carrying extra white board markers and AA batteries, as well as a Shout or Wisk stain stick. “There is nothing worse than something being dribbled or flicked on your shirt or coat just before getting up in front of a large audience!”

Finally, bring copies of your presentation in case the computer can’t load the PowerPoint presentation, the projector crashes, the laptop’s not compatible with the hotel equipment or the screen breaks.

What’s in your bag?