how to attend a conference
I went with some colleagues to a conference this weekend and I thought I would offer some tips for those who have never been to such an event. After all, there is much more to travelling for work than you might think and it’s best to be prepared.
Here are some steps you can take to ensure that you have a successful and rich experience.
*Note* I was only at the conference for about 31 hours so adjust these suggestions accordingly.
1) Wake up at 4:15am to the sound of your phone ringing, not your alarm clock as you had expected. It’s your cab driver telling you he’s at your house. The next couple of hours are a blur, as you have broken every law of physics and probability in order to make your flight, and don’t worry about double checking your bag. Everything is probably in there.
1-A) Buy a toothbrush and other forgotten sundries at the airport of your connecting flight. You should have checked your bag.
2) Upon arrival at said conference, don’t go straight to your hotel room. Instead, take all your stuff with you to a workshop and grab any random sack lunch off the table on your way. Don’t worry that you’re not a gluten free vegan. There’s probably a piece of fruit or, if you’re lucky, a pot brownie in there.
3) Lose your wallet with all your taxi receipts and cash.
4) Less than 36 hours later you arrive back in Baltimore thinking that you’re almost home. This is particularly important because you woke up with a sore throat and headache, and now you have a fever.
5) Your 5:40pm flight is now 6:25, then 6:45, 7:00, 8:10, 8:40, 9:00. You ask the nice man at the gate is they will let you sleep in the barn if your flight is cancelled. No. You cry.
6) Now you feel as though you’ve been held against your will with no end to this ordeal in sight no matter how hard you pray. So like any good Episcopalian you go to the bar. If the bartender asks you if you want a double because you’ve clearly been crying, just tell him to put the bottle on the bar and walk away.
7) You arrive home 5 hours later than you were supposed to, sick, tired and cold. It’s okay though because the conference was great and you work with some amazing people.