What to bring to a conference

I am headed to the Forbes Under 30 Summit this weekend. And as I am packing I am struck that I haven’t written a list about what to take to the conference. So here it is, a no-frills post about what to bring. And I think their value is self-explanatory. Be sure to check out the end of this post where I share some interesting questions you ask someone.

Social

A business card or easy link to your Linkedin/Portfolio

Hand Sanitizer

Prepare a couple of stories you can tell about yourself

Note-taking

A small pen

Notebook

Refresh

Gum/mints

Water

Deodorant

Aspirin

Technology

Laptop

Flash Drive

Cell Phone Charger

As a bonus, what type of questions should you be asking of new people to have meaningful conversations?
The goal is to get around the idea that you don’t have anything in common with someone who says they work on firmware with printers, and you don’t. These are my go to questions that allow me to find common ground with anyone…

What are you passionate about? When we are passionate about something we tend to talk about it more, so get right to the point with this one.

How did you find your way to your current industry? A different take on, ‘where do you work’? This provides you with other questions to ask based on their responses.

What is the first product you sold? They will choose to answer this question in a way that is meaningful to them. Maybe it was a lemonade stand when they were young, or their first enterprise product at a big company.

What is the most interesting story you have read lately? Now we are talking about things they do in their passive time, which is usually a lot more interesting. And also different from, ‘what are your hobbies’ or ‘what do you like to do in your spare time?’

The best way you can end a conversation is to realize you took a very humble start, created a comfortable environment and learned something new or important about another person without getting nervous.

If your first conversation doesn’t go well, then go to a new person and perfect your conversational craft. If you can LEARN to be more comfortable, the next day or the next time, you WILL have fruitful conversations.

If you would like to have a one on one conversation with me about networking situations let’s talk!