Prepare for Tahoe Tech Talk Conference


The following is a guest post by Joseph Rogina on the upcoming Tahoe Tech Talk Conference September 30th – October 1st at Harrah’s.

The Tahoe Tech Talk Conference is less than a month away now and I want to make sure I’m prepared to get the most out of it. Thanks to @JenPwns for turning me onto the article “Things to Pack for a Conference” by Shawn Collins. The article was written back on August 5, 2009 and was a checklist for organizing and getting packed for the Affiliate Summit East 2009. A good read with most everything you would need for that conference, but we’re not going to that conference.

Together, we added some other things you may want to prep beforehand, as well as some questions we still had. Hopefully, this will help others, and if you have anything to add, please add it to the comments below as others may find it useful. This may seem a little over the top, but we wanted to get the most out of this experience. A simplified version of the checklist can be found here in PDF format.

Prepare today.

If you haven’t already, these are the things you may want to do right away. Even though the conference isn’t for a couple of weeks, these items can be done now, so you do not have to worry about them last minute.

Research the Speakers

The first thing we did was to follow the speakers on Twitter. I only know about half of them, so I wanted to learn about who I was going to be listening to. I also browsed over their sites and read a few of the articles they have posted.

Make Preparations to put your Day to Day on Hold

Shawn Collins recommended making preparations to put your day-to-day on hold. (Auto reply emails, voicemail, etc.) As this is only a short conference, I will just deal with emails/etc. after the conference and before the casino.

Verify Websites have Updated Information

We also decided that we didn’t want to pitch one thing, just to have something else live on our sites. I recommend going through and updating all your personal sites, Facebook, Twitter, or anything else you can think of with current, professional information. Try and Google your name/product/idea to make sure you haven’t missed something. (I completely forgot I had a LinkedIn account, for example.) Update avatars, designs, contact information, etc. Especially on your site that you are pitching if it exists. Have your 15 second elevator pitch ready to go. Don’t leave this until the last minute. You may even want to have some business cards made up, if you don’t already have some.

Don’t forget to grab.

These are a few items you will want to grab before you leave. Many of these may seem obvious, but they can easily be forgotten.

Pack Any and All Necessary Chargers

In Shawn’s article, he recommends your camera, phone, and their chargers. My phone is my camera, so I’m good there. I did confirm with the hotel that they do not have a charging station, so it is very important you have some way to charge these items. (Maybe someone that has stayed here before can confirm this, or has another option.)

Laptop and Accessories

You may also want to bring a laptop for use in the room, an external hard drive for storage, and some way to take notes in the conference. (I’d recommend Dropbox for backup and a notebook like in this Lifehacker article.)Remember an Ethernet cable, cable to transfer pictures from camera/phone, and maybe even a power strip. The hotel only has wireless available in the rooms, and that goes for $10.95 for 24 hours, so bring an air card if you have one.

Important Paper Documents

You will also want to grab all your important ID’s, credit cards, and documents such as your hotel/flight confirmations. Many of you will have access to these on your phone, but this is Tahoe, not Vegas. Don’t be surprised if they require a hard copy. Shawn also recommends in his article, to remember extra paper and pens for notes. Even though I have not stayed in this hotel before I’ve found all hotels to be rather generous with these items, as long as you don’t mind the hotel logo on them. If you wait, it’s less you will have to pack with you.

Once you arrive.

When you first arrive and check in, you may want to prep your room a bit before hitting up registration and the cocktail reception. Cash for drinks, snacks for the room, water, and your hangover cure of choice are a good idea. Pain killers, mints, and maybe even energy drinks. I like to confirm there is coffee in the room, as well as a nearby Starbucks or something.

You will also want to get the conference agenda, which will be available at the registration I’m sure or you can view it at http://tahoetechtalkconf.com. At the registration, you will want to remember any new people you meet. Speakers or otherwise. Lifehacker posted a good article on this. Shawn’s article also talks about planning out your goals, who you want to meet, and where you want to go. I’m not sure how this is accomplished, as I know who I would like to meet, but I don’t know the conference protocol for such things. He also talks of bringing courage. That’s what the cocktails are for, right?

After hours.

Remember, you’re in Tahoe at a casino. No need to wall off yourself in your room. Have fun and relax. Even if I don’t get anything out of this conference, I intend to make the best of it and have a good time. You will want to check into the night life around the area. If nothing else, a good place to eat dinner afterwards. The obvious choice is the casino, but that may not be for everyone. The hotel also offers the Vex night club and the Cliché bar and grill. What will you be doing?

Questions?

Some questions I personally still have, that some of you may be able to answer.

  • What if you have multiple projects/startup ideas? Should you concentrate on just one, or put together a 15 second pitch for each?
  • What expectations should you have going into this? Should you expect to get a chance to present your idea, or just gather information on how to take your next steps?

Hotel Contact Info

Harrah’s Lake Tahoe
15 Hwy 50, Stateline, NV
Phone Number: 775-588-6611 (Direct to hotel.)

The original post, Preparing for Tahoe Tech Talk – Complete with PDF Checklist, can be found on Joseph Rogina’s Blog.