International Conference Preparation: I’m off to VivaTech 2018!

Artificial Intelligence ,Augmented Reality ,Blog Posts ,Conferences ,Events ,Software ,Tech News ,Virtual Reality
May 21, 2018

It’s been a while since I’ve regularly blogged, but I hope you’re ready for an influx of posts because it’s that wonderful time of year – time for Viva Technology 2018 in Paris! Curious what Viva Tech’s all about? Check out my recap posts from last year’s conference, including the can’t-miss review of the Icaros VR flying machine and some great thoughts on voice as the new UI paradigm.

This year, I’m especially excited to learn from some of the most forward-thinking individuals and company leaders on topics around privacy, big data, analytics, blockchain, AI, and, of course, VR – especially in the wake of GDPR and congressional hearings around how today’s technology holds responsibility for culture and society around the globe. But, before that all begins in just two short days, I have to get there first – so today I thought I’d share how I’m prepping for Viva Tech, and international conferences in general!

Conference Prep

Of course, with any travel, there’s a packing list to be had, but this year, I also wanted to be prepared for Viva Tech with some graphics and images ready to go. My prep list included a Trello board for pre-conference tasks, making an assortment of graphics to go on Instagram and Twitter, and picking my conference schedule out.

I use Google Keep (left) for item lists and Trello (right) for tracking tasks

For graphics prep, I use Canva.com to make designs that I can use for social media. Of course, I can’t pick out everything ahead of time, but having templates helps me stay on track with what I want to post and organize my thoughts before even getting to the conference! This is my first time trying this out, but I can already tell it will be a great addition to my workflow. If you haven’t used Canva before, I highly recommend it – it’s an online tool that has a variety of templates, images, and fonts that you can use to customize your own images!

A preview of the social media templates and items that I’ll be using to document talks and sights throughout the event!

I also made sure to pick up the conference app – I find that for large events, these are the best way to schedule and track sessions that I’m interested in. There’s so much to see (last year, there were 68,000 attendees!) that it’s important to know these going in.

Packing List

While I don’t travel as much as I used to, my packing plan tries to aim to be as lightweight as possible – I almost never check bags (I’ve made it three weeks on a single carry on before) and I’ve recently tried to get as hands-free as possible. I picked up a new mini sized duffle bag from Amazon for this trip, which is a quick two and a half days, and will be taking a small backpack to pop under my seat with everything that I’ll need for the 11 hour flight.The reisenthel duffle that I picked up for my clothes – $45 on Amazon

Clothes, Toiletries, and Shoes

The duffle bag that I’m taking is just big enough to fit my essentials for a two day, two night trip to France for a conference. In the duffle bag, I’ve got:

  • A pair of dressy low heels (black)
  • A pair of white jeans
  • Two black sleeveless tops
  • One white shirt
  • A pair of gym shorts
  • A t-shirt
  • 4 pairs of underwear
  • A power converter (three outlets and USB ports – I have this one)
  • Toiletry bag with makeup
  • Hair brush

Tech Goodies

I’m going to Viva Tech to blog and tweet everything that I get to see, so my travel this time around was built to be able to get drafts typed up fast and quickly snap photos of what I saw. This bag also has all the things that I need to stay occupied on the plane, which is refreshingly light thanks to my Kindle!

  • Kindle
  • Chromebook & Charger
  • Passport & Wallet
  • Cables and external battery pack
  • Sunglasses
  • Noise cancelling headphones
  • Snacks & bottle for water

For the plane, I’m wearing pair of black patterned leggings, a cream colored tank, and a gray structured blazer-cardigan type combo with a pair of brown sandals. It’s going to be beautiful weather this week in Paris – we’re lucky with the weather!

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this is everything I’ll need for my quick trip over to France – if you want to follow along, be sure to follow me on Twitter and Instagram! If you’re attending, let me know and let’s say hi! Am I forgetting anything? What are your must-haves for conference travel?

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