This year’s North Carolina homeschool conference, NCHE 2016 Thrive! Conference, is June 2-4th. I’m privileged to be on the official blogging team again this year. In preparation for the conference, I’m offering you an updated checklist and to-do list.

NCHE 2016 Thrive Conference The Frugal Homeschooling Mom Free Homeschool Conference planning checklist note taking sheets and to do list fHomeschool Conference Checklist (scroll down to download your free printables):

Things to take with you when you go to a homeschool conference!

A Bag

Not just any bag, but a huge one. A duffle bag or even a drag-behind luggage case or pull-along file cart will do. It needs to have plenty of room in it for carrying not only the stuff you’ll bring with you, but the TONS of stuff you’ll pick up during the conference. You’ll need something easy to carry all that stuff along with you throughout the day.

Electronic Devices

Bring your smartphone, tablet, or even your laptop computer if you want to. You’ll want to snap photos, take notes, share things on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (For NCHE conference-goers, use hashtag #NCHE2016). I’ll be bringing my laptop since I’m a blogger, but I’ll also have my handy tablet as well for social media and sharing my conference fun with others (follow me!). Also, don’t forget a backup battery!

Old Fashioned Notebook and Pen

I will have these things as well, for jotting down notes and encouragement for future reference. If you take nothing else – these are definitely a MUST. For each speaker you sit in on, you are guaranteed to want to write something down, and you’ll hate it if you don’t have pen and paper. Trust me. My first year I attended, I was jotting notes in my conference program book. There wasn’t enough space!

Conference Program Book

Last year it was published on the site, but I don’t see it this year, at least not at the time of writing this post. However, you can see the conference schedule already, and the workshop schedule and descriptions to make your plan of action early. If the program book PDF is published early after this post goes live, let me know and I’ll edit this post so everyone can find it easily.

Business cards/address labels

Or, if you don’t have business cards (I know, most people don’t), then type out your name, address, phone number and print and cut them out. They are so handy for when you meet new business contacts, or when you make a new friend. You’re sure to meet all kinds of people, and you never know when you’ll need to quickly give them your contact information. Plus, many times the vendor booths have contests for chances to win their products, and all you have to do is drop your business card or address card in a bucket, or if you have address labels, stick one on the entry form and you’re good to go!

Snacks/Gum/Mints/Water/Drinks (and possibly even lunch)

For the NCHE 2016 Thrive! Conference, there are lots of nearby restaurants and even some onsite concessions, but if you’re looking to attend the conference frugally (like me) pack a little cooler with plenty to keep you satisfied throughout the day. You’ll be walking ALOT and will need food and drinks. In between sessions, you’ll only get a 20/30-minute break, which is often the perfect time to run to a vendor booth to check out curriculum, and waiting in line for snacks might be a waste of time or may cause you to be late for the next session. If your children are in the Children’s Conference program, you will only have an hour and 20 minutes to pick them up, eat lunch with them, and return them (and it’s during session times that you may not want to miss, so the kids may have to attend the sessions with you during that time). So, you may want to pack lunch, too!


Comfort Items

Things like lip gloss, hand lotion, hand sanitizer (you will run into new and old friends, and shaking hands, holding handrails, touching elevator buttons, etc.), and facial tissues (for those especially inspiring speakers who make you cry!). If you’re going to the NCHE Conference, take a sweater – it’s always so cold in the Benton Convention Center for some reason!

A Camera

If you don’t have a smartphone or tablet that takes pictures, you may want to take a camera. You will make lots of good memories, meet lots of new friends, hear from wise and experienced speakers, and you’ll want to remember the inspiration and encouragement that you received at the conference. Make sure you have your memory card and backup battery too!

Subscribe to TFHSM below the image to immediately download the printable version of this list plus all the extras included (scroll down):

  • The checklist for preparation
  • A Daily To-Do List (you write in your goals for the day)
  • Note-taking pages (3 styles: with or without graphics, lined or unlined)

The Frugal Homeschooling Mom Free Homeschool Conference planning checklist note taking sheets and to do list

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Here’s the one from last year if you’d like to have it instead:  Download the 2015 Printable Conference Checklist and To Do List with Note-taking pages

Is there anything I missed? What would YOU bring to a homeschool conference?