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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 SQLServerCentral.com 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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