Jetsetters, Prepare! A Packing List for AOA+

You’ve registered for AOA+. You have your flight. You booked your hotel. Now it’s time to pack!


It’s almost here! AOA+ will take place in a month in Washington, DC. Students and doctors from across the country will come together in our nation’s capital from June 21-25 to lobby for legislation on behalf of the optometric profession. AOA+ will be followed by Optometry’s Meeting, where you can find optometric continuing education classes, events for students and doctors alike, and an exhibition hall featuring the latest technologies from industry leaders. Whether this is your first conference or your tenth, there is much to be learned from attending AOA+ and Optometry’s Meeting.

But how do you pack for a conference? Have no fear, Optometry Students is here! Here’s a quick guide on what to wear and pack for AOA+ and Optometry’s Meeting.

What is appropriate clothing for AOA+ and Optometry’s Meeting?

The dress code for AOA+ and Optometry’s Meeting is business casual. For men, business casual is khakis, slacks, or dark pants with a button down shirt, and ties are optional. Women have a bit more wiggle room with regards to business casual attire, but they should still opt for conservative outfits. Dresses should be at or below the knee and should not show more than three fingers below the neck. “Clinic attire” will be your best bet, but keep in mind that the meeting is during the summer. Remember that you are representing your profession to the leaders of our nation, so it is important to dress accordingly.

What about shoes?

Get ready to do a lot of walking! Conferences are a lot of fun but require a lot of energy. Between the exhibit hall and moving between classes in the convention center, meeting attendees are constantly on the move. Make sure to pack comfortable shoes for Wednesday, e.g. flats for women or dress shoes for men, because it’s a 30 minute walk from the convention center to the “Rally on the Hill” on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

What are some events to be aware of when packing?

Bring a spirit outfit to represent your school at the Varilux Optometry Student Bowl on Thursday. Not sure what your school’s theme is? Ask your AOSA Trustee or Trustee-Elect for costume ideas!

There are a few evening and more formal events scheduled through the conference. The Opening Ceremony on Wednesday, the Luxxotica Live! event on Friday, and Saturday’s Celebration of Optometry featuring Andy Grammer will need a change of clothes from your daytime business casual.

And if you’re participating in the Optometry Cares 5K, make sure you don’t forget your running shoes!

What should you pack?

  • 5 days worth of business casual clothing for Wednesday through Sunday
  • Socks, including dress socks and tights
  • Underwear
  • Pajamas
  • 2 casual outfits for down time, sightseeing, or the trip back
  • Bathing suit if your hotel has a pool/jacuzzi
  • Comfortable dress shoes
  • Casual shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Glasses
  • Contact lenses, case, solution, etc.
  • Jacket in case you get cold on the plane
  • Accessories as you feel necessary
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Razor and shaving cream
  • Lotion
  • Face and body wash
  • Hair styling products
  • Makeup
  • Laptop and charger
  • Phone and charger
  • Headphones
  • Tablets/iPod/music device
  • Wallet
  • Water bottle
  • Business cards
  • Pen and notebook
  • Any medicines or medications you are taking

And if you forget part of your charger, come stop by the booth for a USB/wall adapter! See you in Washington DC!



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