May 13th is slowly creeping up on us, and before we know it we'll be en route to New Orleans for the annual RT Booklovers Convention! We were all RT Virgins once, and we know it can be a little overwhelming packing for your first RT Con. So we asked seasoned RT veterans the biggest question we know is on your mind — what do you absolutely need to pack? Below are several fantastic suggestions via Twitter and Facebook to help put your mind at ease.
These are all amazing suggestions. Comfy shoes are a must, you'll be on your feet for long, fun-filled days! Definitely do not forget to pack your phone charger, so you can meet up with friends, and — oh yeah, check in on your family back home. Bringing along a bunch of pre-made contact cards for easy raffle entries (they should include your name, email address, cell phone number and address. Business cards or address labels work great!) and pre-made shipping labels addressed to yourself so you can mail all the books and swag you collect, will make your life way easier. (There will be shipping available on-site at the convention hotel, and USPS post offices nearby.)
Ah, caffeine. How would we survive without it? If you're an industry professional or an author attending RT Con, you will have to be "on" the entire time you aren't in your hotel room. With a packed schedule, you might need to make room in your suitcase for caffeine, bring extra coffee money or somehow fit naps into your schedule!
More great suggestions above, including extra empty suitcases if you don't want to ship books and swag back via mail. One RT veteran makes a good point — the weather in New Orleans will be warm, so pack seasonal clothing, though it's often chilly in conference hotels, so layering is a great idea!
Another great tip several people suggested: snacks! If you want a quick breakfast or something to munch on between workshops and you don't think you'll have time to grab food (or you want to save some money), bring foods you can toss in a purse or tote bag like granola bars, trail mix, fruit snacks, crackers, etc. This can help you make friends, too, if you're in a sharing mood. There will be tons of local food near the hotel, but you might just not have the time!
For more suggestions on what to bring, visit these Facebook and Twitter threads on the topic. If you've got a suggestion, leave it here or tell us on social media! If you're still anxious about your first RT Con, don't miss the RT Virgins orientation. And don't forget to plan your personal agenda on the RT Booklovers Convention website.