Hitting the road this morning, and in the flurry of packing, blogging got misplaced. Looks liek I'll be writing from the con!
Just to follow up on the bag things, I'm going to call out a few essentials that I try to bring, both to the con and to the floor.
Power Strip and Ethernet Cable - Both for the hotel room. Power outlets are often in short supply and wireless is often unreliable (or expensive). Coming prepared for both saves many headaches.
Throat drops - I tend to bring one bag of cough drops, one bag of vitamin c drops, and mix it up. By day 3 of talking over crowds, they're something you're very grateful for.
Water Bottle - Pick one your bag can handle - a big bottle may last you longer on a refill, but it's not worth it if it's just a hassle to tote.
Quarters - Hotel laundry Machines. Lockers. Lots of random stuff out there uses quarters, so I keep a few on hand.
Gas-X - Look, reality is you're going to be eating different food than you're used to, and it's going to take an intestinal toll. Take steps not to share your pain. This is over and above the usual rules about essential con hygiene.
Index Cards - After Dice and Pencils, these are the most useful thing you can have for any game. Write characters on them, fold them and use them as name cards, tear them up to make tokens - whatever. They're a fantastic all-purpose fallback.
Gadgets - There are few specific gadgets you need at the con, but a few needs that gadgets can meet. Some way to get information, communicate with people and maybe take pictures is enough. A smartphone can do this, though so can a laptop and regular phone, or a camera and an ipad or god knows what else. Don't pack gadgets to pack gadgets, figure out your needs, then pack the tools that address them.
Speaking of which, I should note that I won't be watching twitter for the week. I'll keep an eye out for @mentions and direct messages, but anything in the main twitter stream is going to be a loss. But I will check comments here, so if there's a questions about Origins you'd like me to answer, then feel free to ask!