How to prepare and pack for ONA17

We’re getting into the final days of planning for ONA17. Have you started your packing list yet? We have! Here’s what we recommend you do to prepare and pack for your trip to Washington, D.C.:

Business cards: Networking is consistently one of everyone’s favorite parts of ONA events. Make sure you have lots of business cards printed up with your contact information so you can stay in touch with your new connections back home.

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Wardrobe: D.C. is very walkable so you’ll need comfortable shoes to explore the conference, the Midway and the rest of the city. Weather can vary here in October, so we recommend bringing layers: perhaps include a sweater, a light jacket and an umbrella in case of showers. Most of the events at ONA17 are fairly casual in dress code, but people tend to dress up for the Online Journalism Awards Banquet on Saturday evening. If you’re into outdoor activities, there’s a nearby running and biking trailand D.C. has a bikeshare network, so pack the appropriate gear.

Take-home insights: Bring your preferred note-taking technology for the information-packed sessions, whether that’s a tablet, laptop or pen and notebook (yes, you can go low-tech too!). Take a look at the speaker list and schedule before you leave and map out your can’t-miss sessions so you can arrive early and snag a great seat. You can also download the ONA17 appand build your schedule on the go.

Last-minute: If you forget something, there’s a CVS right around the corner from our host hotel, at the corner of Connecticut Ave. NW and Calvert St. NW.

That reminds us: If you haven’t been to D.C. before, we recommend taking a quick look at the city’s layout, which is divided into four quadrants: Northwest, Northeast, Southwest and Southeast. The conference hotel is located squarely in the Northwest quadrant, and that’s likely where you’ll spend most of your time. But it can be a bit of a bummer to accidentally end up at 555 Pennsylvania Ave. SE instead of 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, while everyone’s partying at the Opening Night Reception at the Newseum. It’s easy to figure out, but be aware of the directionals.

We can’t wait to welcome you to D.C.!

Meghan is a community builder with a passion for media and education. She is responsible for expanding ONA’s local groups in cities around the world and connecting local digital journalism communities online and offline, providing in-person and virtual support and identifying, training and supporting group leaders.