A tech conference should be an enriching and educational experience. After all, it’s not often you get a multitude of tech experts, pioneering companies and visionary speakers under one roof. Preparation is the key to making sure you get the most out of a tech conference, so it pays to think about how you will maximise your time there.
If your chosen tech conference is fast approaching, you will have already booked your place, researched the speakers you most want to see and worked out your plan for the day. If not, take a look at our article on getting the most out of a tech conference to get started.
There are still a few things you should do to make sure you’re completely ready. Here’s how to prepare for a tech conference, logistics-wise.
What to wear to a tech conference
It’s always a good idea to consider your outfit ahead of a big professional event, especially seeing as many of us are now used to working from home in our comfiest sweats.
Tech is a hugely innovative and forward-thinking industry, so it doesn’t hurt to make an effort with your wardrobe so that you look at home amongst your peers. That said, it’s also a pretty casual and creative sector, so very formal or traditional business wear probably won’t set the right tone. There’s rarely (if ever) a tech conference dress code to stick to, so many people tend to go for clothes that are comfortable yet still professional.
When it comes to what to wear to a tech conference, smart casual is likely your best bet, such as dark coloured jeans (no rips or holes though) and a semi-smart shirt or t-shirt. Flat shoes may be better than heels, since it’s likely you’ll be on your feet and moving around the conference space for much of the day. Trainers are fine, as long as they’re clean.
If you’re still unsure, take a look online for event photos from previous years; these should give you an idea of the kind of outfits attendees usually wear. Of course, you can always ask the event organisers, who should be happy to help.
What to bring to a tech conference
Once your outfit is sorted, it’s time to think about what to take with you to the tech conference. You might think the only thing you’d need is your phone, but there are a few other items that can really help you make the most of the day once you’re there.
Hand sanitiser and face covering
Top of the list for tech conferences in 2020 and 2021 has to be hand sanitiser and a face covering. While the event organisers will no doubt provide hand sanitiser throughout the event space, it never hurts to have your own supply so you can ensure you’re always as safe as possible.
Likewise, you’ll be made aware of any face covering policy ahead of the tech conference you’re attending. We’d recommend taking a face covering regardless though, so that you have the option of wearing it should it make you feel more comfortable at any point during the day.
If you have them, it’s always a great idea to take a handful of business cards along with you. This may seem a little antiquated for a tech conference, but it’s easy for someone you’ve met to forget your name or company in a sea of new meetings. If you really want to impress, consider using a digital business card app to generate a digital version you can share with other people’s devices at the touch of a button.
Whether physical or digital, business cards enable you to pass on all the info new connections need in an instant, without having to scribble anything down on a napkin or scrap of paper. The last thing you want is them to draw a blank when they go to add you on LinkedIn!
Snacks and water
Make sure to check whether food and drink will be provided on the day, and if not, think about taking a sandwich along with you or seeing if there’s somewhere nearby you can pop to for lunch. Either way, it’s a good idea to take some light snacks and a bottle of water with you to keep you going. Don’t forget a packet of mints or gum too – bad breath is a major networking no-no.
Notebook and pen
If you’re planning on attending any talks or presentations during the tech conference, a notebook and pen is a must. Of course, you can take notes on your phone or tablet, but many people find taking freehand notes easier and less restrictive in the moment, especially seeing as you can sketch out ideas in any form you like without changing medium.
What’s more, taking notes on a device can easily be mistaken for texting or surfing the web, so old-fashioned notetaking can help you engage with the speaker.
Laptop and charger
It might sound at odds with the point above, but we’d recommend thinking about taking both a notebook and your laptop with you to a tech conference. You never know when there might be an interactive element or hands-on workshop that might require you to have a laptop to take part, so it can pay to be prepared. If you do take your laptop with you to the tech conference, don’t forget the charger!
Speaking of chargers, your phone charger is an essential for any tech conference. Many event venues will provide free charging zones to enable you to stay connected and online all day, so make sure you’re all set to take advantage.
Alternatively, you could take a portable phone charger with you so you can charge on the go.
A lightweight bag
With all of the above in tow, you’ll need a lightweight bag to carry it all around with you. A handsfree bag will suit a tech conference best, something you can wear without having to hold onto it, such as a backpack or satchel with a built-in laptop sleeve.
Make sure there’s extra room in your bag though; you’ll likely receive more than a few freebies, brochures and business cards throughout the day.
We hope these tech conference preparation tips help you get ready for what proves to be a fun and inspiring event. And, if your business is ever in need of event space for a conference, don’t hesitate to contact us here at The Brewery.
Our versatile, hi-tech and beautiful event spaces are a perfect setting for tech conferences, product launches, business meetings and more, right in the heart of London. Contact us to find out more.