Preparing for The Justice Conference

31 Jan

I started shopping yesterday for our cross-country trip to Philly for The Justice Conference 2013. I was picking out little miniature shampoos and such (all TSA approved because I’m determined to carry on my bag!) and it made me think back to our experience last year and what I learned for this year.

I compiled a list of tidbits, pointers and suggestions I took away from last year’s conference, in both traveling as well as attending the conference. Please let me know if you have other suggestions to share!

1. Pack Kleenex. We were all a blubbering mess at the conference hearing sad stories, happy stories, stories of hope and redemption and we cried through it all. I think we were always stuffing napkins in our pockets. This time I bought several mini packages of Kleenex to fit easily in the suitcase.

2. Don’t wear eye makeup. See post No. 1. I normally wear contacts but am thinking I might wear my glasses so my eyeballs aren’t dry, red and irritated by the end of the day.

3. Don’t assume your travel companions are going to pack toothpaste. Three of us traveled together to Portland last year and we all assumed one of us would bring toothpaste, which none of us did. It also  happened to be the state wrestling tournament that weekend and the high school wrestlers staying at our hotel also forgot to pack toothpaste because the hotel front desk didn’t have a tube to spare. I think someone on our hotel floor ended up giving us some toothpaste. I am definitely packing toothpaste this time.

4. Pay attention to interstate signs. Luckily this year we are flying and using public transportation, but last year we drove the 2 1/2 hour drive south to Portland (key word SOUTH). We left the conference late Saturday night and were so jazzed about the weekend and our new goals and ambitions we hopped right back on I-5 south when home was definitely north. Before any of us realized we had added about 30 minutes to our travel time.

5. You’re going to want to write stuff down. I bought a small notebook I could feverishly record notes during the pre-conference sessions as well as the main conference sessions. After the conference I re-wrote my notes so when I looked back on what was said I could actually read my own handwriting.

6. Don’t be shy. There are going to be A LOT of people crammed into one location. They all have different stories but they all share a passion in the pursuit of justice. When you’re sitting a table eating lunch strike up a conversation with the people at your table. Find out where they’re from, what they do, what they’re passionate about. You will find connections and you will also learn about things you didn’t know about.

7. Bring business cards. You’re going to want to stay connected with some of the people/organizations you come across. Start ordering now and they should arrive in time for the conference. There are some really good online deals to order a box for about $10.

What did I leave out? What would you suggest to someone who is attending their first Justice Conference?

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One Response to “Preparing for The Justice Conference”

  1. thesocialeater February 15, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    Thank you for this! I’m just writing my packing list now. I’m SO excited about the conference!

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