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I'm Andy Warren, currently a SQL Server trainer with End to End Training. Over the past few years I've been a developer, DBA, and IT Director. I was one of the original founders of and helped grow that community from zero to about 300k members before deciding to move on to other ventures.

Building My Event Bag-Part 4

Back to the list, what should go in this minimalist creation? Here’s what I have so far:

  • laptop (yes)
  • charger (yes – buy extra once laptop is fine)
  • usb cable (12” USB to mini)
  • pen
  • notepad
  • business cards
  • phone pocket
  • medicine pocket/container
  • presentation remote
  • usb flash drive
  • new bag
    • name on a tag and/or embroidered
    • bluetooth pocket for headset
    • sunglasses pocket (yes)

Pen and notepad. It feels like I should cross this off the list. If I’m taking serious notes I’ll use the laptop. For tiny reminders I can use my phone. Why do I need pen and paper? Right now I have a 5×8 disc based notebook I like, but I don’t need that much for a day. I’m thinking to go with a pen and a pocketmod notebook. It’s one piece of paper. (Off topic, I wonder about the possibility of providing something like this to event attendees to score speakers, take notes, etc). Feels like not letting go of my security blanket!

Business cards, absolutely. I try to keep some in my pocket, but on good days I go through more than I want to have in my pocket, so having a good stack in the bag gives me a reserve and make sure I always have some. How many? I think that will be based on space, but I’m guessing a 100 is about right.

Phone pocket. Maybe. I like having one place to put things, but it can stay in my pocket if needed. File that nice to have. Same for a place to put my bluetooth headset.

Medicine pocket/container. Having a couple aspirin and an antacid pill has saved me driving off site more than once to find a store. I carry a few other things in a travel bag, but I don’t need more than this for a day. I’ll probably size the container to the pocket once I get the bag.

Presentation remote. The new laptop will have Bluetooth,so I started reading reviews,thinking maybe I could find a good one that didn’t require a USB dongle (and that would use a AAA instead of something harder to find). That got me thinking some more, off to see what the Android world has to offer, and found ShowDirector. Tried the 5 slide preview and not bad at all. Forward/back, animation control, slide sorter. I’m curious if anyone has recommendations for others, but I think I’m going to go with some version of this. One less thing to buy/carry/lose.

Flash drive. I keep my presentations on Dropbox just in case the laptop crashes or disappears. If that happens I have to find a machine and get internet access. Generally doable. Delete the flash drive!

Here is the revised list. Now I need to work on the bag, and figure out what I might be missing or need room for sometimes.

  • laptop (yes)
  • charger (yes – buy extra once laptop is fine)
  • usb cable (12” USB to mini)
  • pen (yes)
  • notepad (yes, sort of)
  • business cards (100 or so)
  • medicine pocket/container (tiny, yes) 
  • new bag
    • name on a tag and/or embroidered
    • bluetooth pocket for headset (nice to have)
    • sunglasses pocket (yes)
    • phone pocket (nice to have)


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