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The annual NAPO conference-retreat brings professional organizers and productivity consultants from around the world together. Every year it is held in the spring in a different location. If you haven’t reserved your spot yet, do so now as space is always limited.

NAPO Conference Packing List

NAPO was founded in Los Angeles in 1985 by five professional organizers: Beverly Clower, Stephanie Culp, Ann Gambrell, Maxine Ordesky and Jeannie Shorr. The Los Angeles chapter, NAPO-LA, remains one of the largest chapters in America.

Essentials

  • Business casual outfits: You want to be comfortable while still looking your best.
  • Comfortable shoes: You’ll be doing lots of walking.
  • Light sweater or jacket: Dress in layers and prepare for some conference rooms to be cold.
  • Umbrella: It’s best to be prepared.
  • Cash: Keep small bills for tipping.

Comfort

  • Snacks: Stay healthy with fresh fruit and nuts.
  • Earplugs: Get your rest no matter how noisy your room is.
  • Venue map: Locate the restrooms and avoid getting lost.
  • Vitamin C: Protect yourself against colds and other germs.

Networking + Learning

  • Business cards: You never know who you’re going to meet.
  • Elevator pitch: A 20-second snapshot of you and your business.
  • Flyers: Promote upcoming events and offers.
  • Notebook: Jot notes at every session.
  • Pens + pencils: Pack a few extra to share.
  • Greeting cards: Send thank you notes before you get home.

Tech

  • Phone + charger
  • Kindle + charger
  • Travel surge protector

Helpful Apps

  • AroundMe: Quickly locate the nearest restaurant, coffee shop or ATM.
  • OpenTable: Easily make restaurant reservations.
  • Sleep Cycle: The gentle, but effective, alarm clock.
  • Dropbox + Evernote: Have access to all your important documents
  • Social Media: Download the apps from Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
  • Your Airline’s App: Get flight updates and use your phone as a boarding pass.
  • Uber or Lyft: Get to and from the airport and hotel.

Before You Leave

  • Make travel reservations: Book your flight, hotel and car rental. Keep all booking confirmations in a folder or in your calendar. Remember to add the address of the hotel and flyer or hotel loyalty information.
  • Set goals: What do you want to accomplish by attending the NAPO conference? Who do you want to meet?
  • Check Twitter: Use the conference hashtag to find out who’s talking about it.
  • Review conference materials: Attend sessions that will strengthen your business and close your knowledge gaps.
  • Check LinkedIn: Find more information on speakers and other colleagues you’re interested in meeting.
  • Arrive early or stay late: Consider staying an extra day for sight-seeing around the host city.

At The NAPO Conference

  • Meet new connections and build relationships: Choose quality over quantity. Don’t just collect business cards, get to know your colleagues.
  • Manage your time: Leave room in your schedule to eat, rest, call family and check your email.
  • Follow up immediately: Don’t let business cards languish on your desk for months. Follow up with your new connections as soon as you return home.
  • Toss paper before you leave: There’s a ton of paper at conferences. Review what you want to keep before leaving the hotel and recycle what you don’t.
  • Take pictures: Photos are fun to share on social media and could help develop relationships as you follow up with new connections.
  • Meet new people: Sit in different seats at every session and introduce yourself to those around you.

Learn more about the annual NAPO Conference

Click on the free printable packing list below.  Or pin on Pinterest. 

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    1. Great list! I like to bring a reusable water bottle, silicone reusable bags for snacks, hand sanitizer or a mini disinfectant spray (Thieves spray is a favorite of mine), & mini first aid kit.

    2. My favorite trick is getting everything into a carry-on and personal item. It irks me to pay for checked luggage, so when I can’t fly Southwest and check bags for free, I plan such that I can get everything I need into luggage that I can take on board. For people who want to know more about this, check out my ebook: How to Pack to Avoid Luggage Fees. It’s available on Amazon, iBookstore, and Smashwords (which has it in multiple formats).

    3. Hi Geralin! Can’t wait to see you at conference!
      Your Facebook post asked what else we’d add to your list:
      1. Clothes pin (or safety pin or binder clip) for making sure hotel black-out drapes meet in the middle and stay shut. Along those lines, electrical tape for covering annoying electronics lights in the room
      2. 3-way outlet for charging electronics when all the outlets are being used, say during an airport delay, or when your hotel is old and provides few outlets.
      3. Breakfast buffets are hit and miss. I need protein for breakfast and sometimes the eggs go fast. So I just bring protein shake mixes and a shaker bottle. Add ice from the machine in the hall. Eat before I go, or supplement what I ate later.

      • Hazel & others, if you forget clothes pins to close the curtains, it’s may be possible to use a pants/skirt clothes hanger. Turn it vertical and clip it to the curtain.

    4. Great list Geralin – I will use your tip to review conference material before attending to assure the best conference experience possible.

      I also like to bring:
      1. Something that I love that helps me take care of myself – often it is bubble bath bomb from Lush
      2. A set of 3 or 4 goals for the conference so when presented with several of options I can refer to the goals I made during a less hectic moment
      3. Some healthy snacks so I am less likely to choose a sugary snack

      I am looking forward to seeing you next month! Katherine