I am just thinking of a few tips to help you out while you are in Chicago.
TIP #1 Bring your Jack Bauer man bad (or some type of European carry-all). You are going to have your Bible, Participant Journal, Pen, Hotel Key, iPod, Headphones, Cell Phone, Water Bottle, Laptop, Moleskine, Deodorant, Backup Hotel Key, Gum, Chapstick, USB Thumb Drive, Digital Camera...and on top of all that you will need to leave room for all the stuff you pick up and purchase while you are at the Simply Youth Ministry Conference. I think the bookstore will have all Simply and Group products for 20% off.
TIP #2 Bring business cards and address stickers. This is a little nerdy and lazy but I hate filling out my address 100 time over the weekend...I have seen people stick a sticker on those forms…complete with Name, Address, Phone, and Email. The business cards are for networking...you may want to bring something to hold other peoples cards in so you don't lose them (or take a picture of it with you camera or cell phone and throw the card out).
TIP #3 Know what sessions and workshops you want to hit. With the conference sold out you want to get where you want to go so you get a seat...a good seat. For some of us that means back row aisle, for others that means front and center so I can actually smell Doug Fields. I hear the workshop I am leading on Tech will be in a room for about 60...last year I had over 100 at one session and 75-80 at the other...this means there will be standing room only for some workshop and others may have to turn away people for capacity. Know where you want to go, know how to get there, and show up early.
Hope this helps a little and gets you excited that we are only a few days away form our weekend together.