Many who attend or coordinate trade shows spend a lot of time on the road, and they want to work seamlessly regardless of physical location. Here are five gadgets to make sure you have on your trade show packing list or along for your next business travel.
1. Personal Wi-Fi
Hotels and airports are famous for gouging visitors on internet connectivity fees. Most wireless carriers now sell Wi-Fi hotspots that provide on-demand internet wherever there’s a cell signal. For the same cost as a day of connectivity in some hotels, you can have a month of personal internet in your briefcase, and in a pinch you can also use it as your home internet. And, it’s a personal connection, so there’s less concern about lurkers peering in on your browsing habits.
2. Backup Battery Packs
With so many devices powered through a USB port, it’s now possible to bring backup power to your phone, Wi-Fi hotspot, tablet, portable speakers and a host of other devices with one single battery. This is essential for your trade show packing list, because after taking photos and entering new contacts, your phone may be running out of power mid-show.
Tablets are well-equipped to handle most business needs among office applications, email, PDF viewing and images. Instead of drawing lines between brands, pick your favorite and optimize it for your business use. Make sure that you (or your IT person) have everything seamlessly connected between your notebook, desktop and tablet. Make sure that email shows up immediately and in the right place. And perhaps most importantly, make sure that you have the right apps for the task at hand.
4. Noise-Canceling Headphones
Bose paved the way for digital noise-canceling headphones in the consumer marketplace, and now with some competition, costs have gone down. For a more thrifty approach than the top brands, consider the in-ear headphones that act as earplugs as well as speakers – without the noise-canceling circuit they can costs as little as ten dollars.
5. Power strip and charging cables
You never know when a weather event may cause drastic delays at the airport, causing all the power outlets to be taken and your laptop quickly dying. Bring along a small power strip and folks will be happy to share the power and let you plugin. Charging cables are one of the #1 forgotten items during travel, so make sure you have yours packed and ready to go.