By Melissa Coates
(cross-posted from the SQL Chick blog)

I'm seriously super excited for the PASS BA Conference coming up the first week of May. Last year I wasn't able to go, and I was a very sad girl. So instead of living vicariously through tweets and blog posts, this time I'll be there. Here's my quick list of what to bring with ya...

Enthusiasm and energy. If you're traveling far, the time change is harder on some of us weaklings. I know I'm not flying halfway across the world like some people, but since I'm an early-to-bed person anyway, that means I'll want to go to bed at dinnertime while in California. So for me, this means consciously focusing on eating well and sleeping just enough to keep the energy level up throughout.

Guts. Don't be shy to walk up to someone you recognize and say "Hi." It doesn't come naturally for most of us, but the effort is worth it. I know SQL people from all around the world now because I've met them at conferences like this - that is just truly incredible when I think about it.

Learning objective(s). I like to give a bit of thought as to which sessions I'll attend ahead of time - it helps me think through what I want to learn more about.

Tablet. Electronic or paper, if you're the type who likes to take notes. I do like to jot down notes. I've read some notes of mine that I just don't remember taking - and learned something all over again! Since we can't actually retain everything we hear over the course of 2+ days, it just makes sense for me. I like OneNote for this purpose - usually I'll type, but sometimes I'll also draw with a stylus. Don't forget the plug-in for it, too, if you're going electronic.

Phone charger. Just in case.

Small extension cord. Seats on the perimeter of the meeting rooms go first because of the outlets.

Business cards. In case you meet someone you would like to keep in touch with, you may want to have some cards with you. I always seem to fumble around for them, so I'm going to try to have them handy in a pocket.

Sweater or jacket. Yeah, yeah, I'm always cold. 

Ibuprofin. If sitting in those uncomfortable chairs gets you like it gets me, having a little stash of ibuprofin (or whatever) sure is helpful.

Tissue. If you suffer from allergies, those little travel pouches of Kleenex are handy.

Small(ish) bag of stuff. For me, having a very small bag of my stuff is important. I refuse to lug around a heavy laptop bag anymore! For me, this means no extra purse, just one small bag.

Well, now there will be no mystery as to what I'll have with me at the conference. See you there!

P.S. The Charlotte BI Group has a discount code if you haven't registered yet - it's BA2M3R.