Last weekend I was in New Orleans for Essence Festival supporting a client by publishing content to their social channels in real time. I had a production crew capturing content and other team members supporting the client in other ways. It was a fast-paced, action-packed weekend and we capture a ton of content. The image below is everything I had in my backpack all weekend. This backpack was like my survival kit – I lived out of it! Here’s a peek into how I prepared for the weekend, and tips for what it takes if you’ve got an upcoming event perfect for content storytelling.
- Sunglasses. I was going to New Orleans so the sun was OUT! You always want to be prepared if you are capturing content outside. Being blinded by the sun can be frustrating and distracting.
- Mi-fi card. Not having a good Wi-Fi connection is no excuse! You need to be able to publish content for your clients anywhere. This may be the second most important item I took. It really was a lifesaver when I was publishing content in the backseat of the car as my team and I were racing to the airport to catch our flight.
- Clipboards (that also work as great notebooks and folders). I used this to hold schedules, my to-do list, and to take notes during meetings. It was also my safe place to keep any piece of paper I was handed on the trip. You never know when you will need that piece of paper someone handed you the minute you arrived at your hotel.
- COMPUTER. the most important thing I took on the trip. You need this for everything! When you are publishing content for your clients you need a computer. Your phone can do amazing things and could work in a pinch -- but you'll stay better organized and find content publishing much easier on a computer.
- A clipboard with release forms. When you are capturing real time content for your client you have to be aware of asking people for their permission to be on your client’s social pages. Whether you're posting signs informing people they may be filmed or requesting individual releases -- you should be ready for either.
- Snack and water. I ran late for lunch nearly every day of this trip because I was too busy running around publishing and capturing content. You have to take care of yourself so being able to eat on the go is very handy. Plus, you have to stay hydrated, have I mentioned I was in New Orleans? You are on the go all the time so it is important to remember to stay hydrated.
- Pens/pencils/highlighters. I like to mark things off my to do list with highlighters so this was a must for my trip. I also lost a million pens. Since you are on the go you don’t have time to keep notes in the memos on your computer so I was constantly jotting things down.
- Chargers, chargers, chargers. I am going to group a few of these next things together. Make sure you have a charger for all of your devices. You need to be portable at all times. Anytime I was stationary for an extended amount of time I made sure everything was plugged in and charging up. That gold rectangle is a portable phone charger and it is a must, too. Last weekend I was with 50,000 people all trying to connect to wi-fi and use their phones. So it was a drain on everyone’s phone batteries. You don’t want to be held back from publishing because you need to find an outlet.
- Hand sanitizer/Deodorant. Being surrounded by a lot of people and working long hours can be a drain on your immune system it is a good idea to have hand sanitizer with you at all times. Sometimes finding a place to wash your hands is out of the question. Deodorant? Well, New Orleans in July? Yeah.
- Wallet. When you take a break for a bite to eat you definitely won't have time for a stroll back to the hotel for your wallet. Keep everything on you.
- Umbrella. You should always be prepared for anything especially if you are planning on being outside. Weather is very unpredictable and in most cases events will go on -- rain or shine.
- The backpack itself. This saved my life on this trip. By the end of my trip it felt like it weighed more than me but I used every single thing in it numerous times and was very happy with how prepared I was. My backpack has about a million little pockets. So, it was very easy to stay organized and quickly find anything and everything I needed. It is also waterproof and in my opinion very stylish. A plus, right?
- Oh and your phone! Don’t really need to explain why you need this because honestly would you go anywhere without it?!
Not pictured: Comfortable shoes! If you know you are going to be on your feet all day moving quickly from one location to the next I cannot emphasize enough how important comfortable shoes are!
This trip meant long days with me sprinting around capturing amazing moments and sharing them on behalf of the client -- and in the middle of hot, hot weather. But I was ready. And to get incredible content for impactful storytelling -- you've gotta be ready for anything.
What's in your bag?