Sue Waters Blog

Help Required For Most Disorganised Traveler of The Year!

| 12 Comments

todolistLets admit it…I am a bit concerned! Tomorrow I am leaving for Melbourne to attend the Mlearn 2007 conference and we all know that unfortunately I am a TAD absent minded when traveling. So shocking that I deserve the “Most Disorganised Traveler of the Year Award!” (Mlearn conference is all about the mobile technologies and their use in education i.e. mlearning or mobile learning)

Since I will be away 8 days, I seriously need HELP! So this time to organise myself I decided the key was to write a to-pack-list (with highest priorities at the top of the list) unfortunately I did not plan on running out of room on the list!

My highest priority is to make sure that my readers and networks also gain from what I am learning from the conference — so I am planing to use online tools to remain connected and would love tips from others. Here is where I am at so far:

  • Live Blog or not? - Kate Foy has shared some great tips on live blogging at conferencesnot sure that I will live blog only because I personally prefer to read concise information. Am thinking I will use desktop application or Google Documents to write notes during sessions. The article she linked to gave fantastic tips for locating yourself at conferences so you do not annoy others with your computer.
  • Limit myself to max. one post per day. My thoughts are if I write more posts per day this can be overwhelming of my readers so I might be better putting information on my wiki?
  • Want to use Twitter to stay connected with my network outside the conference and to maintain connections with other participants. Would love tips on maximising the use of twitter at conferences!
  • What have I missed? Are there any other tools and tricks you have used or seen used at conferences that I should use?

While you are at it… you may like to give advice on other travel tips e.g. items I must pack or tips for meeting new people (without freaking them out)

Author: Sue Waters

Edublogs Support Manager @suewaters on Twitter

12 Comments

  1. Double, triple, and even quadruple check that you have the power supplies for each of your toys. I hate to tell you how many power supplies I’ve had to buy on the road.

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  3. I’ll be interested in hearing how you get on because I am going to a conference at the Gold Coast in November and want to be more proactive in my reporting of it than I usually am. The problem with going to conferences that are not ‘technology’ specific is that you often have limited internet access, especially wireless.

  4. I hope your all-terrain army truck is not on that list…

  5. Hi Sue
    My life is pretty much run via lists and I find you can’t beat pen and paper for these.

    Put a copy of the list of stuff you are taking inside your suitcase, so you don’t forget anything when you leave.

    I like your idea of taking notes on a wiki or via Google docs. I use a dedicated-conference notebook for this to do my (yes one a day I reckon) posts. I suppose I am in transition, but I like to have my scratchings to refer, cross-check, and for backup.

    I agree about checking re the electrical stuff, but don’t forget to take all the right connection tools (VGAs etc) if you are using your laptop. Get a bag and keep all your connectors, cables etc. in it. This saved me a lot of angst at the last conference.

    Make friends with the tech guys. This is really important if you are giving a presentation. Nice even if you aren’t. They tend to be the unsung heroes and appreciate recognition.

    If the conference organisers get it right and there is wireless broadband, it’s bliss, otherwise pain, pain at a conference like this.

    Take photos with your mobile and backup on Flickr for distribution and access if you are able to. I have a feeling you will probably be doing this anyway.

    Re Twitter, put your contact details on the conference noticeboard when you get there and ask other Twits to join in. I’m intrigued at how this will go for you. Do the same with your blogsite.

    Will there be a conference blog? Interesting potential if there is.

    Take a generous-sized handbag and think of it as your best travelling companion.

    Enjoy.

  6. My tips:

    1) Spare batteries for all devices, cameras, laptops, even phones

    2) If live bogging, use a destop tool (currently Ecto) as it will be faster than relying on the wifi that it overloaded with conference folk.

    3) post at the end of the session or the lunch / end of day. Don’t review the post much, its live blogging, its not a work of art.

    4) learn how to use flickr and use it to stoe your pics for use with a blog post.

    5) get a big crumpler bag. They last forever and carry everything.

    6) try and get side front of stage, not many people usually there and you get good pictures of the speakers and you don’t annoy people with your typing (like I do)

    7) twitter is really good if other people in the conference are using it. It can make for some very amusing back channel conversion

    8) Flexi Hair :)

    9) pen and paper

    10) business cards or the like

    11) if the conference has no wifi get a wifi modem card for your laptop. But beware this will drain the power of the laptop.

    12) laptop power supply and short extension cord.

    13) If you have room a four pack power board.

    14) all the USB cables for all devices.

  7. Don’t forget your hair dryer! I also like to take a travel candle, usually blood orange. Makes life smell good.

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  9. Thanks everyone for your advice on packing.

    Kevin
    Think I have the power chargers covered although thinking maybe need to buy extra battery for my MacBook? If so, not even sure how you change a battery on these things ROFL.

    Sarah
    Well there is definitely wireless in the public areas for free but they have said it is not available in breakout rooms. I have contacted them and explain reasons why they might reconsider this so lets hope and cross our fingers. But I am staying near the venue and am using a wireless hotspot in the hotel. So I believe this whole area is wireless so if there is no access via their network hopefully I will be able to access the same network as my hotel.

    Simon
    Now you have me thinking– I should have packed army truck. Please note I have been going into SL using my wireless plan and so far so good still have credit left!

    Kate
    Thanks for taking the time to create the detailed list for me and posting this advice on your blog. As we get involved with more of these conferences it is important that we are organised before we leave.

    I found my original post on Tips for travelers also helpful with packing. Have added a new Tip — do not watch emotional film on plane because it makes you want to cry — which is really embarrassing on a plane full of strangers.

    Am using my Mac bag to handle all my gear.. It is great it holds everything.

    Good idea about Twitter on noticeboard. They have now set up twitter account and have asked me to help out. ROFL I accidentally twittered from wrong account yesterday.

    I have sent email suggestion conference blog but have not heard.

    Gary
    Thanks for extensive list. I think my first stop this morning needs to be a Mac shop for another battery. Also probably need to grab an extension cord like you suggest. Because the battery on this Mac is not lasting long enough to run it all day and I definitely do not want to be using my PDA.

    Still not sure about the live blogging — yes I know get over it Sue. Twitter account has now been set up and I am helping with it.

    Flexi hair means less hairspray not sure if that is a good idea. Wish I had organised business cards for my websites before I left home… bummer

    Alex
    Good news is their hair dryer works well. Have not managed to convince Annelieske on need for candle.

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