This is my second year attending Creative South, an amazing tiny con for creatives based in Columbus, GA. Last year I had not idea what to expect and since I was packing now I figured it’s a great time to share some packing tips!

Relax Before You Go

I’m a bit of an introvert so I find that getting a lot of rest in the days before helps keep me from being a cranky beast. I also try to things that will recharge me mentally so I don’t get as burned out during the con.  Relaxing things for me including drawing, getting into friendly twitter battles with attendees, and updating my social media info.  Diane, the nicest person I have ever met, has great tips on this.

Get Familiar with the Area

I love to plan things, even if I change my mind later on what I will do. I spend some of my preparation time checking out Accuweather.com for likely weather patterns, bugging friends on twitter for food spot recommendations, and checking map routes. And yeah, I’ve had my hotel booked for over a month. I’m actually staying at two different hotels this year, but that is a long story. Ask me if you run into me at the con. I’ll be the goofy woman with purple hair and shark stickers.

Oh Yeah this Post was Supposed to be about Packing

Here is my packing list must haves:

  • Sunscreen (For those times I’m walking from building to building). I like Eucerin Daily Protection for my face. It is very lightweight and not smelly.
  • Rain jacket/light coat with a hood – I scored a nice Columbia jacket on sale at Cabelas this week.
  • Comfy shoes for walking around
  • Allergy meds – stuff is blooming this time of year
  • Sleeping aids especially for Friday night when half the conference is partying in the hotel room next door to you
  • A blank notebook/sketchbook or two (I did not pack enough – I needed lots of paper)
  • Pens and pencils
  • A spare charger if you are bringing any devices. (Pro tip: this is a great way to make friends! Share your charger with others!)
  • Fun money to spend on all the awesome vendors. I snagged some great holiday gifts for friends and family while supporting people I admire. Win/win.
  • If you are competing in Typefight this year, keep a copy of the rules where you can refer to them and get those textures and other supporting assets ready to go. Actually why am I helping people I am competing against this year? I must be really awesome (;))
  • Your favorite toothpaste and floss. If you forget anything though, there is a corner grocery near Springer Opera House that has all the necessities and is open late hours.
  • A willingness to jump in and try new things. Try a workshop, participate in a dance off, introduce yourself to five new people.

Nice to have:

  • Twitter account for sharing with others and connecting with fellow attendees, getting updates during con
  • An Instagram account to post ideas, enter contests and connect with others
  • Tablet or smart phone to view the schedule, make notes, and capture fun moments
  • Something to trade with other people you meet like stickers or temporary tattoos (I have some fun awesome shark stickers to give out this year)
  • A go-to karaoke song (Mine are “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “Love Shack”)
  • A fun shirt or other conversation starter to wear (I wore a couple of shirts I had designed for work last year. It really helped me get over my attack of the shys)

 

I mention Twitter and Instagram accounts since connecting with people right when you meet and want to exchange contact info is so much easier. I like to connect faces and names and the type of creative work they do. It helps my memory since I am a visual person and have to see things to file it away properly.

Lastly, all of us are at Creative South to learn new things, be inspired by each other and meet people. Don’t be intimidated by how famous someone is. Just walk up to them and say hi. Ask if they have tried any interesting places to eat or how they are liking CS so far. I get a little star struck sometimes too but we are all people so take a deep breath, breathe it out and tell ’em Lee the Atlanta Outlaw sent ya.