10 Tips for ConExpo-Con/Agg Newbies

Next week will be my 8th consecutive ConExpo and I’m starting to get excited. Just thought I’d share some of my learned-the-hard-way advice for any of you who have never been before.

1. Bring lots of shoes. One set for day and one set for night, plus an alternate set. Comfort, not fashion, should be the rule. In 1993 I ended the week with heels that were a bloody mess. Never will I wear cute shoes at ConExpo again.

2. It’s dry and windy and smoky. Bring chapstick, sunscreen, lotion and eye drops. My go-to is medicated eye-pads that refresh and revive after late nights and long days. Speaking of eyes, don’t forget sunglasses and hats.

3. Water! It’s dry and windy and smoky. (Oh, I already said that). Stay hydrated.

4. Layers. The extended forecast looks pretty nice with wind picking up at the end of the week.  But I’ve been there when 70 mph winds came through and took down the Hilton sign, not to mention our dinky 10×10 tent; when it’s been cold and gray the entire time; and when it was so hot there was no mistake that you were in the desert. You can’t go wrong with layers of clothes.

5. Plan for the worst. It was either 2005 or 2008 that I came down with pneumonia. Bring your favorite over the counter meds and your insurance card!

6. Big Breakfasts and Power Bars are a must. Even if you are usually just a yogurt and banana kind of breakfast eater, this is one week where I promise you’ll burn the calories. Plus it holds you over when lunch is often not an option. Power Bars fit in your bag and make an easy, impromptu meal. When the food courts are 27 miles apart, making the time or the trip is often not worth it.

7. Over the shoulder bags are a pain in the neck, literally. Either bring a back pack or a cross body bag for your essentials.

8. This is the reporter in me…but a tiny, steno-style notebook that fits in your pocket is great for jotting down stuff you want to remember later. Or use the note pad on your phone. But I’m old school so I like pen and paper.

9. Make time in your schedule to get away from the booth. There’s lots of awesome equipment to see.

10. And if you are 7 months pregnant, just stay home. That’s what I should have done in 2002. Took me twice as long to get anywhere I needed to go and I was hot, and tired, and grouchy. Not worth it.

Can’t wait to see all of you in Vegas!