5 Must-Have Conference Survival Items

Only *you* can support Hanger Management, and other health hacks.

It’s summer CONVENTION SEASON! Wall-to-wall speeches inside large convention halls, panel discussions in hotel rooms, and hours walking, standing, waiting or generally moving around buildings filled with amazing people and lots of recirculated air conditioning.

How do we stay healthy during convention season? Here are the 5 must-have items I’ve packed to get me through 16-hour days of staffing a convention:

Only YOU can prevent Hangry Outbursts, 5% remaining battery power and dehydration.

Item #1: Extra (Electric) Juice. Let’s start with the most important item: the mini battery recharger. I’ve made loads of new friends by having this handy. It’s nifty to be mobile, but all that tweeting of awesome zingers and panel insights will drain down your battery faster than Donald Trump needs to delete his account. (PS — try to get on the wifi if you can, or at least airplane mode when you don’t have to get on social media. You know, for work.)

Item #2: Extra Rest. I’m a fan of Natural CALM, an effervescent magnesium supplement. Sure, everyone else likes EmergenC or similar supplements to chase a hangover, but I’m still not convinced those dissolvable drinks do anything except make you drink more water (which, by the way, is important.) Drinking Natural CALM is a night-before trick that I learned while living out of suitcases for years. Mix it in a fourth to half a small glass of water and drink it about an hour before going to bed. It may help ensure a very restful sleep.

Item #3: Extra H2O (but not a lot.) While the amount of walking you do might feel like an urban hike, convention halls are not an afternoon in Glacier National Park. You don’t need to carry a full-sized water bottle. I carry a 14oz/400 ml water bottle with me in airports and at conventions to cut down on using plastic bottles. Typically, there are ample opportunities to refill, and I won’t weigh down my shoulder bag (or my bladder.)

Item #4: Snacks. I personally have to manage a lot of gnarly food allergies, so over the years I’ve just learned to pack my own snacks.

Hungry + Angry = Hangry. Totally a real thing.

Justin’s Classic Almond Butter mini packets and Go Raw bars are lifesavers for me. There are definitely cheaper snack items out there — go with what you love, that will hopefully not spike your blood sugar levels too much.

Item #5: Breath mints. How many times have you had to visit with a close-talker after a burrito lunch? Right? Also the Grumpy Cat tin is always fun. (I also have one that says “Jesus, I need a mint” with Blonde Jesus on the front. Thanks, Book People, for the minty irreverence!) If nothing else, it can spark a fun conversation.

BONUS: I always pack a scarf. Layers are an unfortunate aspect of convention halls — even when it’s 100*F/38*C outside. Gents: consider finding and packing a t-shirt weight hoodie if you’re not wearing a blazer (although generally it seems that women tend to suffer the cold more than the guys.)

Want more convention packing tips? Check out The Perfect Conference Suitcase. And please hit the RECOMMEND green heart so others can read about these important health hacks for convention season!

Like what you read? Give Tanya Tarr a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.