When did I become a walking Radio Shack? I have a laptop computer, a Blackberry, a cell phone, a Kindle electronic book reader, noise-canceling headphones (with rechargeable batteries), and a GPS - will the hotel even have enough outlets for me? And I consider each of these devices essential.
First and foremost, I hate to be out of contact – I always feel as if I’m missing something. Inevitably, no one calls or work progresses fine without me. But what if? The laptop and pile of “to dos” I’ve packed in the hopes that I’ll actually take some quiet down time to do some catching up. At a minimum I can try to avoid falling even further behind.
Kindle is my new best friend. I thought I’d miss the tactility of actually holding a book, flipping pages, the smell of ink. I don’t and not even a little bit. The convenience of accessing more than 300,000 books from anywhere with just a click to download is phenomenal! And the device itself is small and lightweight with an easy to read screen. Storing up to 1,500 books is itself amazing. If only I’d had a Kindle in law school I wouldn’t have the chiropractor bills I have today!
And perhaps the most essential electronic device currently residing in my suitcase? The GPS. It’s not as if I don’t know my right from my left, it just isn’t an automatic connection – I have to think about it. Combine that with a new city and a rental car and you have potential disaster, at least before the advent of the GPS. Now, a lovely British-accented gentleman guides me directly to my hotel with little fuss. The GPS is also brilliant for locating nearby restaurants, shops, gas stations, and the like. I never travel without it.
I know that it has become more and more challenging to keep electronic device use to a minimum at CLE events. Can you stop attendees from checking their emails? Surfing the web or playing solitare? We always ask attendees to turn off their cell phones and Blackberrys, but does this work? What tactics have been successful for other providers? I’d love to hear your feedback!