BADCamp is a great camp where you’ll learn a lot, collaborate often, and laugh even more. But you’ll also do a lot of walking and will be in a new environment. In order to have the most successful camp possible, we made a list of our best tips for BADCamp.
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1. Wear Good, Comfortable Shoes
In order to endure all the walking and steps, we strongly recommend wearing shoes that are comfortable and give you lots of support. You don’t want to miss out on all the fun stuff because you have to take a break to rest sore feet.
2. Bring a Laptop . . . and a Notebook
Sometimes presenters will ask you to follow along and try some of the cool things they show you. Or you’ll want to jot down notes, or share a tidbit to a friend via Slack. So having your laptop is key. But remember that sometimes getting access to an outlet to charge your laptop can be tricky. A notebook or notepad and a pen will let you capture those important nuggets while your laptop charges.
3. Bring a Water Bottle/Travel Mug
Water fountains and coffee/tea will be available. Bringing a refillable water bottle allows you to stay focused on what you’re doing, and get the most out of the sessions you’re attending. And, of course, using a water bottle is far better for the environment than buying bottles of water.
4. Bring Chargers for ALL your Devices and a Mobile Charger
There’s nothing worse than being out and about with a dead phone/tablet/laptop. Bring chargers for all of the devices you intend to use at BADCamp. If you use a battery-operated mouse (or wireless remote for presenting), remember an extra set of batteries. Even if you don’t end up needing them, you could find yourself with a new friend when you share those extra batteries with someone in need.
5. Bring Business Cards
Make it easy to connect! You will meet lots of great people, and will want to keep in touch with many of them. Get in the habit of giving out a card each time you meet someone.
6. Condense your Stuff
A lighter load is ideal for walking around between sessions. Plus you will want room for SWAG! Condense your backpack down as much as possible. Pro Tip: Get a small tote or even a Ziploc bag to stick all of your conference swag in. That way all of the stickers and smaller items are in one bag that you can stick in your luggage at the end of the conference.
8. Bring a Pair of Headphones
As much as we all want to be able to unplug from our jobs and just focus on the sessions, it’s not always possible. Sometimes you have to put your nose to the grindstone and get some work done. If you’re the type that needs to listen to some music while you work, or if you have to have a video meeting, bring along a pair of earbuds so that you can focus and not disturb others around you.
7. Invest in a Good Backpack
Getting a good backpack is a sound investment in your neck, shoulders, back, knees…really your whole body. Carrying around your stuff all day in a tote or shoulder bag is murder on whichever shoulder you choose as your victim. Find a quality backpack, preferably one that has a strap that connects the shoulder straps across your chest. This extra strap helps to distribute the weight more evenly across your upper body, keeping your neck and shoulders safe, and the straps in place.
8. Dress in Layers
October in Berkeley is beautiful, but as with most conference rooms, the individual room temperatures are unpredictable. Bring a hoodie that you can throw on and/or take off as the climate requires. The historical average for that time of year is in the mid 70’s (about 22 – 25 Celsius).
9. Plan Your Schedule
Are you coming to learn specific skills? Check out the training classes, summits and sessions available and create your own schedule.
Do you want to find a new employer? Check out the job board and sponsors area to meet awesome Drupal shops.
Who do you want to meet with while you are at BADCamp? Find out who is coming on the attendee list and reach out to connect. Magical moments are frequent at BADCamp.
10. Bring a Friend
While not required, having a friend tag along with you can make for a memorable BADCamp experience. If you’re road tripping to BADCamp, there will be photos, sing-a-longs, and weird roadside attractions that get to enjoy together. If you’re flying, it’s nice to have a travel buddy to keep you company while you’re waiting at the airport during the inevitable layover.
However, don’t use your buddy as a reason to shut out others. Go in with an open mind and you’re sure to find another new friend (or friends!) to also share experiences.