|Skyline of Ft. Wayne, Indiana|
In a month I will leave for FGS in Ft. Wayne. Yes, a miracle happened and I was able to pull off the trip registering on the last day for the early bird discount. Even better, I am squeezing in a visit to my extended family before the conference. Yay!
Potential family finds and a genealogy conference, what more could I wish for. Oh, and I am dragging my parents along for the ride. Yep, mom and dad will be attending the conference as well. This is going to get crazy!
Is a month out too soon to start thinking about packing? I have attended a couple conferences on other topics, but, like I have said before, never a large genealogy conference. There has to be something I just can’t live without right? On the other hand large conferences are pretty much the same so I should be able to rely on past experiences.
I have spent the last few hours trying to figure out how much I should stuff into my car. Oh…did I mention I was driving from Virginia? Yeah, 14 hours-ish on the road, meeting mom and dad in Indiana for family visiting, and then off to Fort Wayne. Wish me luck. Or even better buy me a drink at the hotel when I get in.
So…let’s dive into what I think I should bring. I will rely on you all to tell me if I am being a little too ambitious. Oh, and I will limit it to conference stuff only. I won’t bore you with what I am packing in the truck for on the road entertainment.
See you in Fort Wayne!
Sturdy large bag: Bigger than a purse but smaller than a duffel bag is what I like to bring. Something sturdy enough to put shopping in as well as carry everything I think I will need to have a happy conference.
Comfy shoes: I am all for being stylish but now that I am mumble mumble years old I can appreciate comfortable footwear. Some sort of loafer or sneakers will be in my bag for the trip.
Layers: Dressing in layers is always a must. While it might be sweltering outside you can bet that there will be at least one room that is a freezer inside. A light sweater or jacket will be with me.
Snacks: Having a few snacks on hand when you can’t get out for a real meal is a must have. Protein bar, some nuts, a piece of fruit, or anything that will give a boost of energy, but is small, is great to have. I also tend to carry some hard candy or gum just in case I need it after lunch.
Water: While my morning coffee is important I have become addicted to carrying a water bottle with me. Now that you can get bottles with built in filters I will have one of these in my bag as well. I can have water with me at any time and no worries about where the recycling bin is.
Electronics: Cords, cables, iPod, head phones, and etc. A techie girl has to have her toys in tow!
Schedule: I have already highlighted and dog-eared the FGS conference schedule that I picked up from my local society meeting months ago. However, my organization streak has not stopped there because now that I am actually going my spread sheets are out. I will have as much of my time planed out and arranged as possible before I get there.
Business Cards: A few months back I had a bunch of business cards made up with my contact information printed on them. They have come in handy at meetings and presentations or when I meet someone else in the genealogy world and I want to keep in touch. I hope that I can pass them out to new friends here too!
iPad: Do I need to say more?
Notebook/Binder: Yes, sometimes an old fashioned paper and a notebook/binder is the answer. I can keep my schedule (in plastic page protectors), important papers, contact numbers, itineraries, maps, and what not in one place.
Writing tools: Stylus for the iPad, pens, pencils, highlighters, colored pencils, you name it I will have at least one of it on me for making the written word happen.
Mailing labels: I use filled out mailing labels to save my hands and time in filling out things at conferences. They can be used to label your handouts, enter a contest, in a pinch as a business card, and many other things. It would surprise you what you can use a mailing label for. I put my full contact information on it as well as my social media contacts.
Laptop: I can’t leave home without it.
Thumb drives: For those lucky times when you can copy files directly onto drives instead of having to cart loads of paper home.
Strategy: A prioritized list of what I want to look for. I plan on visiting the Allen County Public Library (or sending my parents on an excursion) several times during our time in Fort Wayne. This means I need to spend the next month looking through their online catalogue and creating a game plane to make the most of my time there.
Folders: For those papers that I pick up. I can keep them separate by topic or family, whatever I need.
Cash: for the copy cards in case I really do need to make photocopies.
Camera: I never go anywhere, particularly a research opportunity, without my camera. Included in my bag are the cords to transfer images, extra batteries, and camera lens cleaner.