This week 40,000 people are going to gather in Las Vegas for the biggest event in cloud, AWS re:Invent 2017. This is a fantastic event jam packed with opportunities to meet members of the community, learn about great new services from AWS, and have a blast.
I’ve already written about how to get the most out of the event but what does that look like day-to-day? How do you set yourself up for success? Here’s how to rock each day next week at AWS re:Invent.
> 6:00 Wake up!
Most of the events get started around 8:00. Getting up around 6:00 gives you a chance to start your day strong.
Get out of bed (just do it) and get in a quick workout. Given the hectic schedule, that means some light stretching and a quick in-room workout. You’d be surprised what you can get done in just a few minutes.
> 6:30 Fuel up.
With a little more spring in your step, get cleaned up and head on down for breakfast.
Eating in Las Vegas is a challenge. You’re literally surrounded by world class restaurants. Everyone has a different approach to breakfast. Some eat light, others go full English. If you don’t want to line up for a restaurant, the conference is offering breakfast in each of the venues on Tuesday through Friday from 6:00—8:00 (though shifted 30m on Friday ).
With this schedule you’ve given yourself time for either but if you’re first event is in a different venue, you may want to travel first and then eat just to make sure you’re on time.
> 7:00 Get rolling.
Where do you need to be a 8:00? Time to get moving. The ballpark travel time is around 30 minutes. If you don’t get distracted en route, you might be able to shave that down a bit.
Learn more about the shuttles and moving between the venues from the AWS “2017 Know Before You Go” webinar.
The shuttle schedule is available in the mobile app but walking is a nice way to make sure you get a little fresh hard. Something that is surprisingly hard in a town designed to keep you indoors and entertained .
> 7:30 Socialize.
Now that you’ve arrived at your destination, it’s time to put yourself out there a bit. Yes, check in on social media (#reinvent) but look up from you screen as well!
You’re standing in a crowd of folks with similar interests and are sharing a common experience. There won’t be an easier time to meet new people. Just turn to the person next to you and say “Hi! How are you today?”
One of the best parts of the conference is making new connections, meeting new folks is a great way to start your day.
> 8:00 First session / event.
On most days the first set of events kicks off at 8:00 a.m. Some (like the fitness or certification exams) do start earlier in day, so keep an eye out for those. You’ve planned ahead and paced yourself–you’ve already had a bit of exercise, gotten a good breakfast, and met some new people–so you’re in a good position to learn and absorb the new material (or to rock that exam!).
The keynotes will be jam packed with new announcements and individual breakouts will take a deep dive on a particular challenge/solution. You’ve already had a bit of exercise, gotten a good breakfast, and met some new people.
Take some notes and share what you’re learning on social. That helps the rest of the community learn and share your experiences
> 10:00 Snack time.
Days at re:Invent are long. There is so much to take in, so many people to talk to that it’s easy to forget you need enough energy to get through the day.
Make sure you have some healthy snacks in your bag so that you can take a few minutes to recharge throughout the day.
A granola bar, piece of fruit, and some fresh water around now will help you get through the rest of the morning.
Snack time is also another opportunity to socialize and meet new people (see a pattern building here?). Pack extra snacks to share!
> 10:30 Second event.
Dive into another session (or the first post-keynote) and challenge yourself to learn something new.
All of the breakout sessions are recorded and will be posted on the AWS YouTube channel shortly after the conference. That means you can’t go wrong with your session choices.
Make sure you attend a few that aren’t in your area of expertise. It’s a great way to learn something new.
> 12:00 Travel time.
If your afternoon schedule requires you to be somewhere else, it’s time to get rolling. With staggered breakouts, concurrent events, and the general business of the Las Vegas Strip, this trip might take a bit longer than usual.
> 12:30 Lunch.
AWS is serving lunch in the Aria, MGM, and Venetian between 11:30 and 1:30 PM. This is a great time to recharge and meet some new people. The tables seat about 12 folks at a time and there’s no reason not to introduce yourself and make some new friends!
> 1:00 Visit the Expo / The Quad.
Check out the Expo in the Venetian or the Quad in the Aria. Both spaces are setup with a ton of great activities. Yes, there are sponsors—and yes, Trend MIcro is one. Come see us at booth 1812—but there are also lightning talks, demos, maker labs, LEGO challenges, and lots of other fun activities.
> 3:00 Recharge.
Time to keep your energy up. Make sure to grab another round of healthy snacks. This is the worst time of day to give into your sweet tooth. Some fruit and water will give you a nice boost that will carry you through the second half of the afternoon.
You may have to walk a bit to find a healthy snack but that’s a good thing. Make sure you move around a lot to give your legs a stretch. Grab a friend—or make a new one—and make it a fun little sidebar.
> 3:30 Last session.
There’s plenty of time to get in another session or two. This is where the healthy snack and walk pay off. While others are flagging, you’ve got enough energy to power through the late afternoon sessions.
Have some empathy for those that didn’t plan as well and make sure you live tweet the session you in so others can share your experience and learn something at the same time.
> 5:30 Nap.
Here’s your AWS re:Invent secret weapon: the late afternoon power nap. Head back to your room for a quick 20 minute power nap, splash some water on your face, and get ready for the evening activities.
Let’s be honest, it’s easy to lose track of time in Las Vegas and your evening can easily stretch into the early morning. Without a recharge in the early evening, there’s no way you’re making it through the evening, let alone getting anything out of tomorrow.
> 6:00 Evening event.
Whether it’s the pub crawl, wing challenge, or a special reception, there is something running every night of the conference. Actually, there’s usually three or five things each night!
Fully refreshed, you’re going to have a blast. Make sure you pace yourself a bit. Appetizers are a good idea, it might be a while before dinner.
> 8:00 Dinner!
Well you might go for a dinner at 8:00 but it could be a while before you’re actually seated. The downside of the massive AWS re:Invent crowds is that supporting services like restaurants are often swamped.
The upside? The food in Las Vegas is fantastic and well worth the wait. You’ve planned ahead and are well positioned to wait it out.
> 10:00 Unwind.
Your brain is overloaded. This conference is stuffed to the gills with information, learning opportunities, and networking. It’s a good idea to take a few minutes to take a breath at the end of the night.
Reconnect with some friends for a sit down and share your day. What worked? What didn’t? What time are you meeting everyone tomorrow morning?
Taking a few minutes to wind down together is a great way to wrap up a fantastic day.
> 10:30 Zzz.
Time to really unwind. Take a few minutes before calling it a night to stretch, doing some controlled breathing, read a few pages in a book (something fun!), and then call it a night.
You’re right back at it early tomorrow!
No Wrong Way
No matter how you approach the conference, you’re going to have a great time. The biggest challenge is keeping your energy level up as you try to get the most out of the opportunities around you.
Pace yourself, make sure you socialize, and above all else, have fun!
I’ll be onsite all week. Say hi if you see me or hit me up on Twitter where I’m @marknca.