Last weekend I attended the Problogger 2015 conference on the Gold Coast. The conference itself went for two days and there were other networking sessions in amongst the formal program. I stayed for three nights and had an amazing time. It was hard and strange to leave my family for three nights (longest stint ever) but this was no ordinary work conference. There were over 700 bloggers in attendance and the atmosphere was so positive and energetic. Can’t wait to put into practice what I learnt but that is not the topic for today
Packing for a conference requires serious planning and skill. I’m sure if you do it regularly, you would become well accomplished in this. However I hadn’t been to an interstate conference since 2010 when I was pregnant with my first son and my packing at that time consisted of two black maternity tops, maternity jeans and a cardigan. This conference was slightly different. I needed five outfits and I wanted to achieve the holy grail – stylish and comfortable (I’m a style blogger – I’ve got to try to look stylish ahhh the stress!).
As well as planning out meals for the family before I left, I spent a fair bit of time planning my exact conference outfits because I didn’t want to be stressed with decision making each morning and my suitcase only holds so much! Overall I was really happy with what I wore. Here are some key tips I found helped me:
- Consider the dress code – is it corporate or casual? If there isn’t one, go with smart casual and bring a blazer so you’re covered either way.
- Plan out each day’s outfit in detail. From shoes to earrings. Plan it all.
- Wear comfortable shoes. For me, this was flats or ankle boots with a low heel. While you do spend a fair bit of time sitting down, you are likely to stand up for morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. If you go on for dinner, you need to maximise comfort.
- Check the weather at your destination and be prepared. I was planning to wear tights on Day 2 of the conference but it was so warm on the first day that I decided to go with bare legs. Incorporate flexibility where you can.
- If there is an evening event, check whether it will be indoors or outdoors and plan accordingly.
- Try to bring a jacket / blazer / cardigan that goes with the majority of your outfits. Saves space and time.
- Take a neutral handbag that goes with all your outfits. A style that allows complete hand and arm freedom (like a cross body bag) is very useful when you’re trying to juggle a cup of tea while handing out a business card.
- Will you have time and will you realistically go to the gym? If yes, take your exercise gear (roll it up to save space).
- Show a little personality – colourful earrings or a bright scarf are fun ways to add interest and feel good.
So here are my outfits from the conference.
It was really cold in Sydney the morning I left so I needed the scarf and jacket! I’m wearing slim utility jeans by Rockmans, striped T-shirt (which was handy when I arrived on the Gold Coast), denim jacket by Refuge Denim, Betts boots and Kmart scarf.
I was really comfortable in this outfit and after a long and slow shuttle bus ride to the hotel, I had to race to the orientation session so I just stayed in this outfit which worked out fine.
For the first full day of the conference, I went for comfort with these soft jeans by Topshop and flats from Sandler. I wore this gorgeously bright Drax top by Philosophy Australia which was perfect for the warm day outside but also kept me warm enough indoors in the air conditioning. I added the statement necklace for a bit of fun.
The theme of the party was “Shine” and don’t these girls look fabulous in their glitter and sparkles!
I wore a beautiful top by Kelly & Port with amazing beading on the front. Here’s a better angle:
On the bottom half I’m wearing a dark denim pencil skirt, black tights and the same black ankle boots from the day before. I needed my blazer for added warmth as the event was outdoors by the pool and it got rather chilly when the sun went down.
For the second full day of the conference, I wore this Sunny Girl tunic dress (super comfy and the print took the attention away from any crushing and creases), my grey Cotton On blazer and yes the same Betts Shoes ankle boots. I also packed a pair of grey tights for this outfit but didn’t end up needing the extra warmth. This blazer was probably the most useful item I took. Went with everything and looks a little bit smart. For more blazer ideas, check out this week’s moodboard (lightweight jackets).
This outfit took me from breakfast to conference to drinks to dinner to dancing. Thank you outfit. Here’s a pic of me in conference action. You can also see the handbag I used each day. It’s pretty bright but the cross body style was perfect for the conference.
And that’s a wrap. I think I followed most of my own advice except for the fact I took three jackets
Have you been to a conference recently? Do you travel for work? What tips would you add?