An airport with a plane on the runway.

Tech Lovers Conference Packing List

Author: Samantha

CIDDL is gearing up for the Council for Exceptional Children’s Convention in Louisville which means we are gathering all of our favorite tech to bring to the convention. CIDDL will have a large presence at the Tech Playground at the conference, which means we’re bringing all of our fun tech for you to try! And, when tech lovers and experts come together, you know they have to make sure they have all of their goodies and gear to use, show off, and collaborate with.

Here’s a list of our 10 travel must-haves in no particular order. 

  1. Popl- Business cards are so last century. Electronic options like QR codes are fun but where do you store them? Enter Popl. These little dots stick to the back of your phone and allow you to create a digital business card. What’s best is that you just have to wave it over the phone of the person you are connecting with and your information automatically populates on their screen. It’s super user-friendly, customizable, and works with both Android and iPhone, without the other person needing an additional app.
  2. Dongles- Believe it or not, this is the technical term for the adaptors that allow you to plug an HDMI cable into a laptop without an HDMI port or read SD cards. These devices come in all shapes and sizes and offer a variety of ports from a simple USB-C (like the Macbook connector) to HDMI connection or more complex adaptors with ethernet, VGA, USB, SD card, mini SD card, and more ports. Most CIDDL staff carry multiple of these because you never know when the one you love will stop working, or when a friend will need to borrow one. 
  3. The Dongle Case- Obviously, you can’t carry your dongle without a proper case. The importance of a case for carrying your accessories and cords cannot be overlooked. Beyond looking cool having a carrying case just for your dongles and cords, it helps keep them organized and easily accessible. Don’t have a case or aren’t loving your current one? Be sure to stop by the CIDDL booth and pick one up from us!
  4. Backup Battery- Traveling all day means that your phone will get a lot of usage. Some airports and planes do not have easily accessible ports to charge your phone when you get the dreaded 10% warning. Either the plugs are hard to find or you can’t locate your little box to plug your cord into. And, once you get to your conference, your phone is an active participant, allowing you to connect to presentations, locate your next session, and share contact information with new collaborators. Nothing is worse than having to find a plug and sitting awkwardly on the floor waiting for your device to charge, while you are tethered to the wall. Back-up batteries provide peace of mind that while you are traveling, or spending your day at a conference, you will never be without your phone or tied to a cord attached to the wall. 
  5. Extension Cord- Why an extension cord? Because they are always hard to find when you need them. Hotels never seem to have enough plugs to charge all your things and your booth is always just a smidge too far from the nearest port. They don’t take up much space in your suitcase and allow you to worry about one less thing. 
  6. Clicker- Along the same lines as a dongle, you will be hard-pressed to find a tech enthusiast who doesn't have their own clicker (or multiple). If you are presenting, bringing your own clicker means that you are familiar with the device, which can ease some of the stress. If you aren’t presenting, well, you never know when someone might need one and you can lend them yours. This could be the start of a beautiful friendship. 
  7. Airtags- Lost luggage is a real problem for anyone. It’s something most don’t even like to think about. Investing in luggage trackers, like Apple’s Airtags, provides travelers with some sense that they know where their belongings are. Airtags can also be attached to your dog’s collar, your backpack, or even your parachute if you are into skydiving. 
  8. Devices and Chargers- It sounds funny to include devices and chargers on the list, but oftentimes these are overlooked. Pack your phone charger and laptop charger in your carry-on if you are flying. In fact, bring an extra charger for your devices, just in case. There is nothing worse than having your charger die on you and having no backup plan. 
  9. Luggage Scale- Though not the most “high tech” of items, luggage scales are a great little tool to bring with you to ensure that your suitcase is within the weight limits, especially when you leave the conference with all your new swag. You don’t want to get to the airport and have to shuffle your belongings around because your checked bag is 3 lbs too heavy!
  10. Headphones- Whether you like Airpods or Beats or some other brand, headphones are one of the most important and basic things you need for travel. Planning on watching inflight entertainment? You may want to pull out those wired ones that are buried in the back of your desk drawer. Don’t forget to charge your carrying case if you choose a wireless pod option. 

Are You Joining Us?

These are just a few of our recommendations for tech that we won’t travel without. We’d love to hear what you would add to the list. Tell us in our community! Also, if you are going to be at CEC, come say hi! We would love to talk tech with you!