Entering the realm of politics is an exciting time for young conservatives, and going to political conferences is one of the best ways to get connected with like-minded ladies. Whether the conference you are planning to attend is with YAF, ACU, TPUSA, or CBLPI, and many others, you should always be prepared, so that you can put your best foot forward. Here are some of the most basic essentials you need, from networking materials to wardrobe choices!

Before you leave:

Make sure you clean up your social media platforms. If you’re questioning whether something is appropriate, it’s best just to delete it. If you are doing any kind of networking, potential future employers might look at your social media, so you want to be careful about what you post. You should also update your LinkedIn if you have one. LinkedIn is a great tool, and many employers use LinkedIn regularly in their search for employees.

What you need at the conference:

Wardrobe:

1) Business professional clothing.

This includes skirts, dresses, and business pants. It does NOT include jeans. The Future Female Leaders store has some amazing pieces that are business casual, including the iconic elephant skirt!  

2) Comfortable yet stylish shoes

This includes heels, boots, and flats. I would avoid tennis shoes or anything more casual than what I previously listed. The shoes should be a neutral color that will go with multiple outfits. This can also save you some packing room.

Accessories:

3) Tote bag

A nice tote bag that will go with your conference outfits is also very handy. You may end up receiving a lot of merchandise from vendors, and there is nothing more uncomfortable than lugging it all around in your hands, so a tote or bag of some kind is essential.

4) Beauty & personal items

In your tote bag, it is important that you do not forget the basics of beauty and personal care. I recommend bringing a small pouch with things such as chapstick, lipstick, feminine products, phone chargers, band-aids, hair ties, and anything else you may need throughout the day.

5) Jewelry

I prefer to keep jewelry minimal, but some ladies like to express their personality through jewelry. Whatever you like is fine in that regard. For comfort, I recommend a small gold or silver necklace, earrings, and a bracelet or two.

Networking:

6) Pen and paper

You should always have a pen and notepad at conferences. Sometimes note taking is the best way to retain information from speakers. It is also helpful to write down people’s information who may not have a business card on hand.

7) Business cards

Business cards are absolutely amazing for networking! The fact that you have them says a lot about you. It is extremely easy for employers to remember you this way as well.

8) Resumes

If you know the conference you are attending is having a job fair, printing out a few resumes can’t hurt. This gives vendors a chance to see your qualifications and your face at the same time.

Miscellaneous:

9) A book by your favorite speaker

If you know your favorite speaker is going to be at the conference, you should definitely bring a copy of their book. If they have a moment of free time, they will most likely sign it for you.

10) Positive attitude

Bring a positive attitude. Be open to learning new ideas and meeting new people! This is perhaps the MOST important thing you can bring. Even with the best clothes, best resume, and best business cards, no one will want to hire you if you’re a zombie, so the best advice I can give is to be open.

Ellie H
CONTRIBUTOR