Note: This post was written pre-COVID. Some of these things are still helpful, others are less important until we travel again.
What is a Go Bag?
My son was born last year, and as we were getting closer to his due date, it was my job to get the GO bag packed. New parents know exactly what Iâ€™m talking about â€“ when it was time to go to the hospital, we had all of the clothes, snacks and phone batteries weâ€™d need to get through 2-4 days, all ready to go. This is where the Demo GO Bag concept, was birthed.
What is a Demo Go Bag?
Just like that hospital go bag, I have a Demo go bag, and itâ€™s always with me on the road â€“ because I know that everything in a demo that can break, will break (Murphyâ€™s law for demos). But, by having backups and other equipment with me, Iâ€™m prepared for whateverâ€™s in store for me when Iâ€™m presenting.
Say Ed, Whatâ€™s in the bag?
I often get asked whatâ€™s in my presentation go bag, so Iâ€™ve made a list for you with product links*. But, before you read about whatâ€™s in the presentation go bag, you must learn the first rule of the presentation go bag: if it goes in the bag, it stays in the bag (except for when youâ€™re on the road, obviously). So yes, this means youâ€™ll potentially have to spend money on cables you already own, but a bag that you have to pack every time isnâ€™t much of a go bag is it?
The Demo Bag of Choice
Iâ€™ve tried a whole bunch of bags, but my choice is the Bagsmart 3-layer organizer (they make tons of models). This one has the best balance of size and utility â€“ itâ€™ll fit in your backpack/briefcase etc, but still holds a ton of stuff.
The Demo Gear: Cables
USB-A (standard computer USB) to USB Micro-B for a portable hard drive (more on that later, USB-C to USB-C, USB-A Micro USB, USB-A to Lightning, USB-C to Lightning, USB-A to USB-C, an extension cable for my MacBook, a display adapter (make sure you can connect to HDMI at minimum). DO NOT, and I repeat, DO NOT skimp on the HDMI adapter. I’ve had HDMI adapters fail in front of audiences, and it was quite embarrassing.
Demo Accoutrements, ACCOUTREMENTS (donâ€™t you love that word)
- A remote. Just get the Logitech Spotlight (Iâ€™ll give it its own post later, but donâ€™t waste your time with any other remote)
- Whiteboard accessories:
- Markers â€“ black, red, green and blue
- An eraser. I recently discovered this one from 3M that includes a whiteboard eraser and a magic eraser, which is good as one of my biggest fears is that I ruin someoneâ€™s whiteboard because thereâ€™s a permanent marker where a dry erase should be
- Write on cling sheets. These things magically stick to any wall (except fancy wood ones), turning virtually any wall into a whiteboard
- A travel projector or speaker â€“ This may sound like overkill, but you can get very small projectors/speakers, and Iâ€™ve been in more rooms with broken projectors or no audio than I can remember
- Table tote (this isnâ€™t in the go bag as itâ€™s too big, but worth mentioning), which is essentially a portable standing desk that folds to about the size of a big laptop. A must-have if youâ€™re like me and like to stand up to present, and donâ€™t have a podium in the room/donâ€™t want to hunch over a laptop. Also useful if it happens to be a global pandemic and you want a standing desk in your home office.
Power and Storage
- A multi-USB charger (with Quick Charge if your phone supports it)
- An external battery. I like the Mophie Powerstation XXL (the USB-C version) â€“ itâ€™s a bit heavy, but it has enough juice to charge up my phone a few times, and can charge my laptop if necessary
- A thumb drive with your deck on it (because you never know)
- An external hard drive if you need the space. I typically use a 3 TB WD My Passport Wireless Pro because it streams media (great for long flights), but if Iâ€™m doing any video editing, Iâ€™ll bring a SSD in an external housing
Whatâ€™s in your toolkit? Let me know in the comments or use this page to get in touch
*Note: The product links above link to Amazon, and as an Amazon Associate, Demo Solutions may make a commission from your purchase.