Drupal Training, Consulting, & Development by Doug Vann

Top Ten Things To Bring With You To DrupalCon Portland

Sat, 2013-04-27 11:46 -- dougvann

I'm a Trainer at DrupalCon Portland

Are you going to Portland for DrupalCon 2013?

You're about to enjoy 3,000 PLUS ppl getting their Drupal on! This will be my 6th year at DrupalCon. 
I've devised this TOP TEN list of THINGS TO BRING, from the experiences I have had. Let me know if this comes in handy! I'll be happy to add to this list if you have something to contribute! ;-)
 

[1] COMFORTABLE SHOES
Seriously!
You're going to be doing a LOT of walking wether it's in the convention center OR in town.
If you buy new shoes BREAK THEM IN BEFORE you leave.
Also, consider some comfortable inserts for your shoes. 


[2] MOBILE POWER PACK

Don't find yourself stuck with a dead mobile phone. I use the Motorola Universal Dual-Charging Portable Power Pack [pictured right] Don't count on having access to a power outlet at the event to keep your devices charged. I leave the power pack plugged into my phone either in my pocket or in my bag. I'll typically do this after lunch so that I have plenty of power for the evenings.


[3] BUSINESS CARDS
And PLENTY of them!
Maybe you don't own a business or run a big freelance operation, but either way, you need something to give some one to remember you by. You're going to meet a lot of people and some of them you will want to keep in touch with. Do yourself a favor and get in the habit of giving out a card when you meet someone. Just get your name, number, web-address, email address, what your skills are, your twitter handle, LinkedIn url, etc. Make it easy for people to stay connected to you! 


[4]GOALS
Make a written [or typed] list of what exactly it is you want to accomplish while at DrupalCon. Do you want to learn some very specific skills? Do you want to understand the mobile web better? Do you want to exchange cards with representatives of higher-ed organizations? Maybe you want to spend time at the booths of each Drupal shop and checkout employment opportunities?
Whatever it is you want to do, MAKE A LIST and check it each and every day of the event. 

[5] YOUR HIT LIST!
Who do you want to shake hands with while you're there? A famous podcaster or module maintainer? While I don't want to promote stalking or anything... It is reasonable to take advantage of the fact that we're all in the same place for a couple of days.

Make a list of some of the people you want to THANK for their tireless work to make Drupal awesome. Don't hesitate to walk up to the people you admire and appreciate and say hello. There are no ROCK STARS in Drupal! [OK. I guess there really ARE!] But, regardless, you should feel very comfortable reaching out to any one. If you need to, ask someone you know to introduce you. I'd be happy to do that for anyone! ;-)

[6] PEN & PAPER
Don't underestimate the power of the written word.
You're going to have times where you want to write something down without booting up a mobile app or your laptop.
You're also going to want to write something down on your business card before you hand it out OR write something on someone's business card when they hand it to you. 

[7] YOUR STORY
Every one has a story. Be prepared to share some of yours. You will certainly be asked some or all of the following questions:
What do you do with Drupal?
When/How did you discover Drupal?
How long have you been doing Drupal?
How have you contributed?
What brought you to attend DrupalCon?
 

[8] CURIOSITY
I don't recommend bringing a multi-million dollar Mars research robot with you, but you should bring some good ol' fashion CURIOSITY to DrupalCon
You're going to be surrounded by immense talent and knowledge covering more topics and areas than you can digest in the short period of the event.
I encourage you to wander off into uncharted territory and expand your horizons! 

[9] WARDROBE
This may sound like a no-brainer, but here are some tips.

Bring more than you think you need. You may discover that you want to change between the day events and the evening events.
Pack some options. You may discover a group that wants to hit the beach, or go hiking, or go swimming, or go dancing.
Seriously... I can't tell you how many events I've been to where amazing opportunities pop up to have some fun! Don't let your wardrobe hold you back! 

[10] ROOM FOR SWAG
OK. I know I already have you packing upwards of 200+ pounds of stuff for DrupalCon but there's just one more thing to consider.
You're going to get a LOT of free T-Shirts AND there will also be opportunities to buy some stuff as well. So PLZ PLZ PLZ plan on a cary on or extra room in your bags for SWAG!

There you have it! I hope this helps you out. 
I look forward to your feedback! :-)