Countdown To Catalyst: The Definitive Conference Packing List

February 16, 2017

As we get closer to the opening keynote of Catalyst 2017, stay tuned to this blog for Catalyst stories, announcements and conference tips in our “Countdown to Catalyst” blog series.

This week, four-time Catalyst veteran Jessica Hearn from eBags shares her tried-and-true packing tips to ensure that everything goes smoothly during the jam-packed three days of networking, breakout sessions and everything in between.

This year will be my fourth attending the Catalyst conference, one of my favorite events of the year. ChannelAdvisor brings together some of the best minds in the industry to share trends, ideas and best practices that allow me to add a lot of value to my business. The fact that I’ll get to be in the same room as Martha Stewart this year doesn’t hurt, either! Aside from my “#1 Fan” t-shirt, here are a few other things on my packing list:

  •  Business Cards One of my favorite things about the Catalyst conference is the opportunity to network with professionals from all around the country. Having a few people to call up when something goes wrong (or right) to say, “Please tell me you’re having this issue too!” has been a real asset over the years. Be sure to bring enough business cards.


  • A Comfortable Backpack My first few years of Catalyst I brought a messenger bag, but it always seemed like I was a little lopsided after hauling it around all day. This year I’ll be toting my new favorite business bag, the eBags Professional Slim Junior Laptop Backpack.  It has just enough pockets to keep my business cards, battery and notebooks organized — but it’s still light and sleek, so I can carry it comfortably for long periods of time, leaving my hands free to meet and greet.


  •  A Plan of Action In addition to making new contacts, Catalyst is a great time to connect with account managers and prospective partners. Many of your contacts are likely attending, and ChannelAdvisor makes various meeting rooms available precisely for those types of meetings. I also find a ton of great information at the breakout sessions. Depending on how many members of my team are attending, we like to divide and conquer and then share notes when we get back home. 


  •  Portable Battery Since I’m always trying to pack in as many meetings and connections as possible, the days get pretty long. I’ll be bringing my portable battery this year to make sure my phone can keep up with me! My favorite pick is the eBags Lifejacket Quick Charge Battery.


  •  Packing Cubes As a true eBagger, I never travel without eBags Packing Cubes. These guys keep my luggage organized and help minimize wrinkly clothing. They’re the kind of thing I didn’t know I needed until I had them, and now I’ll never go back!

eBags would like to extend a 25% discount to any Catalyst attendees. Use code CATALYST at checkout*. Now is a great time to try out some new travel accessories or swap out you old carry on — it’s valid through the end of March. See you in Nashville!


*Some exclusions apply