Lots of folks are coming down to Mexico City next week for the Open Government Partnership's biannual summit. It's going to be an amazing event, with nearly 2,000 folks, a load of inspiring speakers and panels, and some famous political leaders and civil society pioneers in attendance. I can't wait.
But on more practical matters: what should you pack for such an important gathering? Besides the obvious things (clothes, a toothbrush, taser) here are a few tips from one OGP veteran. It's a free country, of course, but skimp on these at your own risk.
- Stickers. Stickers of what? It doesn't really matter, does it? Because if you have custom stickers of anything, you're obviously an important person doing serious (or cool, or both) work that's worth talking to. Sticker-less? You might as well be invisible to humanity.
- QR codes. Why? Because QR codes. Don't question it.
- A personal hot spot. I brought one to the summit in London in 2013 and it was a lifesaver. You know what Wireless Access Points never handle well? Being hammered by 1,450 people simultaneously in a plenary.
- Exercise clothes. That's a joke, obviously. Stop pretending you're going to get up early to break a sweat. The only sweat you'll be breaking is walking off last night's mezcal on the way to a morning plenary.
- Printed reports. Another trick question. You know who has two thumbs and doesn't want to drag your thick-stock glossy report home on an international flight? This guy. Related: no one is going to read those 80 copies of your report that you leave out randomly around the conference venue. Save yourself the weight and the cost of lugging them to Mexico.
- A sense of humor. People I want to hang out with at the summit: people that take their work seriously but not themselves. People I don't want to hang out with: pretty much everyone else.