RT Essentials: The Necessities for Surviving RT16

April 12th is slowly creeping up on us, and before we know it we’ll be en route to Las Vegas for the annual RT Booklovers Convention! We were all RT Virgins once, and we know getting ready for your first con can be a little overwhelming. So we asked seasoned RT veterans the biggest question we know is on your mind — what do you absolutely need to pack? Below are several fantastic suggestions via Twitter and Facebook to help put your mind at ease.

Comfy shoes are a must, you’ll be on your feet for long, fun-filled days! But if you’re a fan of fancy shoes, follow the advice of another well-meaning veteran and bring Band-Aids and blister pads for the aftermath!

Of course, one of the most important things to have on your person is plenty of cash to grab cocktails at the bar! As seasoned RT veteran Fred LeBaron told us, the bar is an awesome place to meet authors, bloggers and readers.

Another great tip several people suggested: snacks! Something to eat on your way to a workshop or while waiting in line — you can even make friends if you’re in a sharing mood! 

With all the awesome workshops there are to attend, you’re going to want to bring a notebook and pens to jot down what you learn — and maybe some ideas for your WIP! A laptop or tablet would also work.

Pre-made shipping labels addressed to yourself so you can mail all the books and swag you collect will make your life way easier. (There will be shipping available on-site at the convention hotel, and USPS post offices nearby.)

Definitely do not forget your phone charger, maybe even a portable one to take on-the-go! You’ll likely have your phone out often to snap pics and check the RT Convention app, so a dead battery would be very bad. Oh yeah, you may also want to check in on your family back home.

We got even more suggestions on Facebook!


Bring along a bunch of pre-made contact cards for easy raffle entries (they should include your name, email address, cell phone number and address. Business cards or address labels work great!).

We love this totally ingenious way to add an autograph to your books, without adding lots of extra weight to your luggage!

If you don’t want to ship books and swag back via mail, you may want to bring along an extra suitcase. 

The weather in Las Vegas will be warm, so pack seasonal clothing, though it’s often chilly in conference hotels, so layering is a great idea!

For more suggestions on what to bring, visit these Facebook and Twitter threads on the topic. If you’ve got a suggestion, leave it here or tell us on social media! If you’re still anxious about your first RT Con, don’t miss the RT Virgins orientation. And don’t forget to plan your personal agenda on the RT Booklovers Convention website.

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