The annual National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) conference brings professional organizers and productivity consultants from around the world together. If you plan on attending, register early as space is limited. It is held every spring in a different city. The weather can vary across the country and that will influence your clothing choices. But there are still some items you should always pack for a NAPO Conference.
The National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (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 the United States.
NAPO Conference Checklist
Packing the Basics
- Business casual outfits: Be comfortable and professional.
- Comfortable shoes: You’ll be walking indoors and out.
- Light sweater, jacket, shawl, scarf: Dress in layers; conference rooms are chilly.
- Umbrella and sunglasses: Hopefully, you’ll make it outside every day.
- Cash: When Venmo tips aren’t accepted or appropriate.
- KN95 or N95 masks.
- Proof of vaccinations and booster.
- Hand sanitizer: Use often, especially if eating at a self-serve buffet.
- Snacks: Nuts, jerky, protein bars, dried fruit, and some fresh veggies travel well.
- Reusable water bottle: Save money, save the planet, and stay hydrated.
- Earplugs and eye mask: For best rest block noise and light.
- Venue map: There’s an app for locating restrooms and cafes.
- Lotion and lip balm: Conference centers and hotels rooms have dry air.
- Breath mints: Not everyone has time to brush their teeth after lunch – conference seating is tight and elevators are packed.
Networking + Learning
- Business cards: You never know who you’re going to meet.
- Elevator pitch: Practice your 60-second introduction.
- Notebook: Jot actionable takeaways at each session.
- Pens + pencils: Pack a few extras to share.
- Branded stickers or luggage tags: Attach them to your tote bag and belongings.
- Phone + charger
- E-reader + charger
- Tablet + charger
- Travel surge protector
- Extra battery for electronic devices
Helpful Apps for the NAPO Conference
- Waze or another map app: Explore the area without getting lost or stuck in traffic.
- OpenTable: Easily make restaurant reservations.
- Sleep Cycle: A gentle but effective alarm clock.
- Dropbox + Evernote: Access all your important documents anywhere, anytime.
- Social Media: Download the apps for Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
- Airline App: Get flight updates and easily access your boarding pass.
- Uber or Lyft: Get to and from the airport and hotel.
- NAPO: Have all of the conference resources available all the time. (Note: The NAPO app is only available in the U.S. app store.)
Before the NAPO Conference
- Make reservations: Book your flight, hotel, airport shuttles, and dinner reservations. Keep all booking confirmations in a folder or in your calendar. Remember to add the address of the hotel and 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 what.
- 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 would like to meet.
- Plan to arrive early or stay late: Consider adding an extra day for sightseeing around the host city.
During the NAPO Conference
- Meet new connections and build relationships: Choose quality over quantity. Don’t just collect business cards; get to know your colleagues from around the world.
- Take pictures: Photos are fun and easy to share on social media and, they help develop relationships with new connections.
- Meet new people: Introduce yourself to those around you, especially first-time attendees.
- Manage your time: Leave room in your schedule to eat, rest, and return calls and emails.
- Toss paper before heading home: There’s a ton of excess at conferences. Review what you want to keep before leaving the hotel and recycle or trash what you don’t.
- Follow up immediately: Don’t let business cards languish on your desk for months. Make a plan to connect with those you met soon after returning home.
Learn more about the annual NAPO Conference at NAPO.net
Click on the free printable packing list below.
This article was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.