[Tools review] The multimedia tools I take to conferences with me to tell stories

Estimated read time: 4 minutes

As I was packing for the AHR Expo, the world’s largest HVACR conference in Atlanta, with 25 appointments (which they all booked through Calendly) ahead of me here why not take the opportunity to share what equipment I take with me.

Handpicked related: One more way to easily book meetings with people in other time zones!

The topic is a moving target certainly and it’s easy to buy more and more equipment. Much of which we end up not using. I’ve written about how I take lavalier mics that I can use on my iPhone. At the time of writing, I don’t even have them packed, but may see later if I can locate them!

For this conference which will have a ton of products being shown I’m thinking there will be a ton of opportunities for:

So here are the main things I’ve packed and that I usually bring with me to conferences and other storytelling engagements:

If I could only take two items, it would be my iPhone and the charger. That’s a life saver. Recording anything on the iPhone and even just using the iPhone for notes will run it through the battery in no time. So make sure you get a portable charger.

Then I packed the 360/virtual reality camera that cost under $100 on Amazon. The tripod/selfie stick should help with some different shots.

I’ve used it a few times now, including for:

Both of those were handheld and I tried to do some stationary shots. The video from ibtm has some cut-aways! Talk about a new challenge for video editors, by the way: Editing VR video. You never know where people end up looking on your edit.

I use the camera with an old iPhone that doesn’t even have cell or data service. My main iPhone has a case and the camera doesn’t fit on it. Also, using a phone without phone service ensures that nobody calls while you are recording! 🙂

I can still do live audio or video with it as long as there’s WiFi at the conference.

I also packed these lights – just the top pieces – to take with me in case I needed some extra lighting. 

But the key is to try new forms of content assets. 

Then I’m planning on taking my backpack that Adobe gave to me a yearish ago while I was covering Advertising Week in New York City. Funny side story: I was coming from a content marketing trip to Germany with the Scompler team  straight to NYC and then heading home. I almost decided to not accept this wonderful backpack from Adobe due to packing and space reasons:

I like the bag and I’m glad I found a way to take it! 🙂 My laptop fits in the back, there’s enough pockets to separate all those devices I’m taking with me and they make it easy to pull them out at the right time. There’s plenty of room for extra clothes on one-day trips.

Usually, when I’m walking around a show floor, I don’t take my laptop with me, but really it doesn’t weigh all that much if I don’t also carry clothes around with me in the backpack. And, if I do a lot of live tweeting from a conference (aka typing), I would recommend the laptop. I once tried and did actually live tweet an entire Adobe Summit for three days from just my phone! That worked and I still shared a lot of stories, but I wouldn’t recommend it for that many days. My hands definitely hurt. I should have brought my laptop.

So there you have it. Those are the multimedia storytelling tools I currently use. I’m sure the list will evolve again at some point. And who knows, one day maybe the iPhone will have a build-in virtual reality camera! 🙂 Below you can find direct links to buy some of the products mentioned here. I added some other relevant products for your convenience as well.

Relevant products to buy now: