Convention Packing Tips


There has been one of those synchronicities in the zeitgeist recently where everyone seems to be talking about attending conventions. Mur Lafferty brought it up on a recent I Should Be Writing feedback show. And I participated in a marvelously fun discussion on the subject over at The SF Signal.
I have already covered the pros and cons of attending cons, from my perspective perspective and career point. I have also ranted about proper attire. Here's Apartment Therapy on the subject of 9 Air Travel Must Haves. However, most of us drive to local cons which means packing space to use!
So, Gentle Reader, driving back from a writing date recently and listening to Mur, I realized I always travel with a Convention Survival Kit. I though you might like a peak at it . . .

I have several versions, all of which live in this American Touristor.


On the top level of the Touristor live the following.



Left ~ Sparkles!
~ octopus jewelry (I always want to have something on my person)
~ parasol protectorate jewelry
~ the infamous pen necklace *

Middle ~ Emergency Supplies
~ tea, both English Breakfast and raspberry leaf *
~ creamer (for emergency use only)
~ marmite of course
~ mints, I'm talking to people all day, it's only respectful
~ c-gummies for immune defense

Right ~ Business Good
~ utensils
~ card holder, with business cards, OLD drivers license (this is a trick from Faire - no one looks at the date and that way you have ID on you), and SFWA membership card *
~ notebook for panels *
~ spare pen
~ blank thank you cards, for program head or super cool person as needed

Long ~ Miscellaneous
~ fans
~ hat pins **
~ more business cards
~ lint brush
~ binder clip (because you always need one)
~ extra perfume (it's emotionally important to me to smell nice)
~ PP badge
~ Airship Ambassador ribbon ~ because Kevin is awesome!


Under that level are all my other travel needs. Adapted from years off to archaeological digs.

~ spare sun glasses
~ spare glasses
~ spare business cards
~ the shoe tote (a collapsible tote for transporting stilettos too and from convention center while I wear flats) useful for other stuff as well **
~ hairspray **
~ scarf for if hairspray doesn't work
~ wet-ones for a quick tidy on the road
~ spare cutlery
~ blister fixit kit
~ water boil coil **
~ umbrella **

* These migrate to my "If You Take Nothing Else" bag of I have to pair down for air travel.
** These tend to also come with me if needed for outfit and weather



Which brings me to this. This little kit is always with me. It's the one that gets popped into my carry on even if I'm only going overnight to a signing. If you take nothing else from this blog post, this is my "If You Take Nothing Else" kit for con survival, Gail style!

~ shower cap
~ ear plugs (never know what floor you'll be on, or your neighbors)
~ Airship Ambassador ribbon (did I mention Kevin's awesomeness?)
~ painkillers and a carbon pill
~ retractable badge clip (I hate lanyards, they always clash with my outfit)
~ seam ripper
~ tiny sewing repair kit (I wear vintage)
~ zit zapper (I wear makeup)
~ clear nail polish (I wear stockings)
~ another spare perfume (smelling good = very important, did I say that? Well it is!)
~ more blister care needs
~ bobby pins

This is in addition to my usual makeup bag, toiletry bag, hair needs bag, and hatboxes.


So there you have it, my convention survival packing. Of course, I shoudl never presume that you would take the same things, but perhaps I have tipped you off to a few that you might have forgotten. Here's the Domestic CEO on how to pack.

Gail from the future (August 2015) gives this glimpse of her 2015 Convention Attending kit.
The convention kit. L-R, T-B = promo postcards, pens for signing all books, special cards
to give away to kaffeeklatch, small notebook, name tents, newsletter sign up sheet,
business cards, book covers (first in each series), kit bag.

Speaking of conventions: here's an Interactive Convention Map.

Gail's Daily Dose
Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
How to Undress a Victorian Lady in Your Next Historical Romance
Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Sam blogs in his indomitable way, about coping with reviewers. I particularly like the bit about the fish. Funny boy, Mr. Sykes.

Timeless: Working copyedits.
Etiquette & Espionage: The Finishing School Book the First: Fourth draft turned in!
Secret Project PPA: Only a twinkle in my little eye.


BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT! Really, DON'T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven't read the other books first!

Book News:
Guest blog over on Full Moon Dreaming. Julie asks me, "Has your interest in steampunk affected the formation of your characters, what with Victorian mores and all? Can you speculate as to what they and their relative relationships would be like had they been born in another time, such as today?"

Quote of the Day:
"Therefore, the so-called 'Etnas,' or apparatus for quickly supplying boiling water, are most invaluable, and no lady traveller should be without one of these truly indispensable articles."
~ Lillias Campbell Davidson, Hints to Lady Travellers, 1889

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