Countdown to Conference: AOTA Conference Essentials


Wondering what to bring to the AOTA Conference? Look no further! Check out the infographic above and read below to find the essentials for AOTA conferences and other events.


  • Phone/tablet + charger. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to take a photo with the AOTA President, send a snap of the Keynote ceremony conga line, or make a reminder of a useful resource from a conference presentation. And be sure to set up a “find my phone” or location service in case your device goes MIA. You’ll also want to bring a charging cable and wall plugin for when your battery eventually starts to die. Finally, AOTA typically has charging lockers available, but purchasing a power bank can make it easy to keep your devices ready all day.
  • Business cards. Conference presents a unique opportunity to meet students, clinicians, educators, researchers, entrepreneurs, employers, and other people who can become a part of your personal and professional network. Come prepared with a simple, easy to read business card to share.
  • Notebook/pen. Although we’re in the digital age, having a sturdy notebook and pen handy will allow you to jot down a quick note, write questions to follow up on, or flesh out your future conference presentations!
  • Credit/debit card (or cash). Whether you’re grabbing a snack on the go or buying a new therapy tool at the Expo, having cash or a credit card on hand can save you the hassle of trying to find an ATM in the cavernous conference center.
  • Jacket/sweater. Most conference centers are always chilly – add a blazer to your outfit or bring a lightweight jacket or sweater to stay warm while you’re seated in sessions or wandering around the city.
  • Water bottle. Many attendees walk over two miles per day during Conference – and that’s just within the conference center! Staying hydrated is super important – pack a lightweight, reusable water bottle to cut down on waste and keep yourself well. (Tip: If water isn’t really your thing, toss a couple of flavoring packets into your bag as well!)
  • Healthy snacks. While there’s food available to purchase in the conference center, there are often long lines, food shortages, and few options for people with dietary restrictions. You can save money and time by packing a small lunchbox or Ziploc bag with hardy fruits, granola bars, nuts, pretzels, veggies, etc. to munch on throughout the day.
  • An open, active mind! If you don’t bring anything else with you to conference, be sure to bring your curiosity, energy, and passion for OT! Come prepared to ask questions, challenge yourself, and create an action plan for improving your practice and strengthening our profession when it’s all over.

What are your conference essentials? What would you recommend first-time attendees – or even conference junkies like me – keep in their packs?



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