What's In My Bag: 13 Things To Bring To Every Meeting
Hey babes, Jo here! I’m the co-founder of Branding Babes Co. and today I’ll be opening up my purse to show you what I bring with me to every meeting whether it’s with a prospective client or a partnering business. The bag I carry is a brown, oversized tote I got at Francesca’s for a super reasonable price. It has a large pouch that fits inside for more organization, and a tassel with a hidden phone charger! Yep, a hidden charger. Which thankfully means that I have one less thing to fit inside (which is important - because it’s a LONG list babes) Here’s what you’ll find packed when I arrive:
1. Laptop (Macbook Air) + Charger
I carry my MacBook Air with me EVERYWHERE. Whenever I used to think I wouldn’t need it in a meeting I would end up wanting to use it for something, so it’s always the first thing on the list now. I also always bring the charger, even if I’m at 100% battery in case I want to hangout somewhere and work or end up doing something that requires a lot of battery power. I roll it up and put it inside the purse’s internal pouch so it doesn’t get tangled or take up too much space. I try not to take it out in front of people, but after and before meetings it gets a lot of use. I usually like to write up proposals right after meetings while my mind is still fresh from the conversation.
Along with my charger I store my Logitech cordless mouse. It helps me use my computer from across the table when showing something to a client, and I find it much better than using the trackpad.
3. HDMI Cord + Lightning Adaptor
I also bring an HDMI cord and the Lightning adaptor I need to plug it into my laptop. The co-working space I use has TVs in every meeting room and by most tables so I can plug in and display on the big screen if I want to. When I’m going through logo concepts and website mockups I find this especially helpful.
4. Notepad + Pen
I am an avid notetaker so I always bring my leather Sugar Paper notepad cover with a pen and clean pad inside so I can take notes during the meeting. After meetings I like to digitize my notes, but I would rather write when talking in person. It takes up less space on the table than my laptop and allows to engage more with the person I’m talking to but keep a detailed account of what I need to remember. If it weren’t for my notes I could never keep a coherent thought together. I also like having the pad handy for sketching examples on the fly.
5. Business Cards
I keep a decent stack of business cards in my bag at all time. I give them to everyone I meet with (usually multiple so they can be passed on). I keep them in one of the small zippered pockets in my purse so they stay clean and flat.
I keep a few makeup items in my bag in case I need a touch-up. Usually just Benefit Bad Gal Waterproof mascara, my fav Maybelline Nude lipstick, lipgloss, or my EOS Vanilla Bean lip balm (usually just one of those three), and some translucent powder. Sometimes I also bring old school blotting sheets (ah, the gross fun of turning the little blue sheet oily with nervous sweat). I will also usually stick a roller-ball perfume in my purse in case I want to put a little on before the meeting.
I bring my planner (also from Sugar Paper) with me so I can schedule follow-ups, and because it’s also a good place to store notes, or make sketches on the fly. My planner acts as a sort of backup to my calendar on my phone - so I don’t forget things I want to add to my digital calendar later (and don’t have to pull out my phone in front of the person I’m meeting with).
8. iPad (maybe)
If I’m going to a consultation I like to bring my iPad because it allows me to pull up client’s existing websites and social media accounts for us to review without the bulkiness of having my laptop on the table. It also lets me sketch mockups and access our initial email correspondence without my phone or computer. This is totally optional, but a preference of mine because I will do anything to avoid having to put a computer between myself and someone I am meeting with.
I always also bring earbuds everywhere in case I want to listen to music or a podcast while I work. It also has come in handy when wanting to show video content to someone I’m meeting with in a place where playing it out loud might not go over too well.
10. Gum or Mints
Nothing is worse than having bad breath in a meeting, so I keep mint tic-tacs or gum with me 24-7.
Obviously, you’ll find my wallet in my bag because buying coffee is a must at every meeting. I usually wait for the person I am meeting to arrive so I can offer to buy them coffee, or if I know them, I like to arrive early and surprise them with their favorite drink.
Sunnies - always. My favorite are my clubmasters or aviators, but I make sure to take them off and stow them in my bag before the person I am meeting arrives.
13. Snack & Water Bottle
I like to bring a small snack like trail mix or a protein bar with me (or a chocolate bar sometimes, let’s be real…) and my reusable water bottle. I’ve had marathon meetings or masterminds that go hours longer than anticipated and being prepared with something extra to eat and drink is a lifesaver.
So that’s the full-rundown of everything you’ll find in my bag for a meeting. I think being prepared for any possibility is one of the most important things. It never looks good to not have something you need during a meeting, so it’s better to be over-prepared and not need half of what you brought. I would love to know what your meeting essentials are - leave a comment below and let me know what’s in your bag!