|By Corey Roth||
|November 1, 2012 02:11 PM EDT||
I started doing conference readiness checklists last year at SPC11 and I wanted to continue the tradition with #SPC12. Mark Freeman (@SPHotShot) has already produced a great guide and I wanted to add my two cents.
What to pack:
- Chargers / Power Supplies – I remember when I went to PDC05, I forgot my laptop charger. I was quite bummed. Don’t forget the chargers to your laptop, netbook, iPad, phones, etc. I have gotten a few of these new emergency phone chargers at conferences lately and they are very handy here. Especially when you have a Nokia Lumia 900 and the battery life is terrible. Keep in mind your average day can be 16 – 18 hours plus and you don’t want to be left in the dark and miss that big gathering because your phone died.
- Laptop – As a presenter this one is obvious. However as an attendee, you might not want to lug one around. It can be worth it though. You will find that you want some type of computing device so that you can keep up on twitter, follow the latest gossip, and find out about any impromptu #SharePint events that might occur. Maybe even read a few E-mails. As a presenter, I get the distinct pleasure of carrying a second laptop as well with my demos loaded on it in the event of an emergency / disaster. Disasters will happen. At SPC11, my virtual machine pretty much died on my primary laptop and I had to resort to the backup just twenty minutes before my session. I was sweating to say the least.
- Tablet – In lieu of carrying around your heavy laptop, I find carrying my netbook at conferences to be quite handy. I haven’t invested in a Surface yet (mainly because I am not sure which one I want). I’m not holding my breathe either that they will be handing them out like at Build. Bring whatever device or combination thereof you prefer, but keeping up on what’s going on at the conference using one of these small devices is much easier than trying to look things up on your phone. This year, I am foregoing this because of the second laptop and my bag will be heavy enough. You also can use these to fill out session evaluations. There are usually incentives for filling out evaluations so I try to complete each evaluation right before the end of the session so I don’t forget.
- AirCard / MiFi – The wireless networks at conferences are rarely good. They are jammed with geeks trying to post updates on Twitter and check out what’s happening on Facebook. If you have access to a wireless AirCard, bring one. See if your company has any that you can check out temporarily.
- Cash – Just a little (more if you drink and gamble a lot :) ). There are a lot of free events but you might go to something before or after the conference and I am not a fan of running tabs at busy restaurants and bars. Don’t take it all with you every night. Leave some in the hotel safe.
- Snacks – After a long night, you will want something to eat. At the minimum, you might want something to eat in the morning.
- Business Cards – Even if you are not in sales, bring twice as many as you think you will need. You will go through them faster than you think.
- Bail Money – The Houston SharePoint Users Group has a running joke about always keeping a stash of bail money around when attending a #SharePint. You never know what is going to happen.
Before you go:
- Arrive early – Come in early and have some fun in Vegas before you get into the conference grind. That means you (@fabianwilliams). Many of us will be arriving Friday or Saturday.
- Don’t leave early – After a week of Vegas, I am sick of the place and I am ready to leave. However, you don’t want to cut the conference short on Thursday by having to leave early. Plan for an early Friday departure.
- Set your schedule on My SPC - This will make your SPC organizers happy when it comes to capacity planning. You aren’t required to go to that session you schedule, but it will help you pick from the 10+ sessions going on at any given time slot. Go to My SPC and set your schedule now (or at least when it finally comes out).
- Create your Bio on My SPC – Whether you are an end user or a SharePoint rock star, take a few minutes to write about yourself. Include where you work if you want along with what you typically do with SharePoint and what you want to get out of the conference. Upload a picture of yourself to make things more personal. Set your My SPC bio now.
- Create a #SPC12 Search in Twitter – There is no question you want to keep an eye on the activity of the #SPC12 hash tag. You will find out about sessions, events, and it will generally give you an idea of what is happening at the conference.
- Follow @SPConf on Twitter – This is the official twitter account for SPC. This account often posts useful stuff about the conference. I’ve also used it to ask questions or provide general feedback and I’ve had very good luck getting a response.
- Reach out to your local SharePoint User Group – Find out what your local SharePoint User Group is doing while at SPC. Many of them are having meetings or socials. For example, H-SPUG (#HSPUG) is having a happy hour on Sunday night.
- Don’t forget to set your user group in your profile - You can now set your SharePoint user group in your My SPC bio. Set that to make it easier to find people in your group.
- Register for Pre-conference Sessions – If you think you will be able to get up on Sunday morning, attend one of the pre-conference sessions. Many of them are free. Just keep in mind there is a $300 no-show penalty.
- RSVP for Parties – There are a lot of them this year but many of them are not being widely publicized. Many of them require that you RSVP or stop by a booth so be sure and find out before hand.
- Arrange for Ground Transportation - Don’t forget to arrange for ground transportation. You really don’t need a car in Vegas, but you do need a way to get there. Taking a Taxi usually isn’t too expensive and there are plenty of shuttle options as well. This may be less of a concern on arrival but more for your departure.
- Leave space in your bag – Between the conference materials and the vendors you are going to end up with a heap of product information, trinkets, and T-shirts. Make sure you have room in your bag to bring them home. Otherwise you’ll be hand carrying them on the plane or leaving things behind.
What to do at the conference:
- What’s in Vegas, will not stay in Vegas – Nerds have gadgets and they like to take pictures. Do something stupid and you can rest assure it will be on twitter within seconds. :)
- Make a habit of going by EyeCandy – EyeCandy in Mandalay Bay is a defacto SharePint hang out. Make a habit of cruising by it from time to time on your way to wherever to see if anyone you know might be there.
- Remember to eat - This one sounds obvious but it’s not. You may be going to lots of parties with nothing but light appetizers. This does not give you a good base to work upon before embarking on a night of massive consumption.
- Ask Questions - Don’t be afraid to walk up to the mic and ask a question. That’s what you’re here for. If you don’t want to ask it in front of everybody, wait in line and talk to the speaker at the podium just be mindful that the speaker has to clear out in a hurry. Don’t be afraid to approach speakers outside the room either. Most of them are friendly and are easily engaged using beer and cocktails. :)
- Don’t worry about writing everything down – Remember the slides and content are all online. Don’t stress out because you weren’t able to write down a URL or code snippet on a slide.
- Make friends – You may run into lots of people you know, but many people aren’t active on twitter and aren’t familiar with the SharePoint community. Find a friend if you didn’t come to the conference with any one. It’s much more fun to go do all of the activities in a group rather than by yourself.
- Visit the Exhibit Hall – The exhibit hall is a lot of fun. Besides all of the SWAG and drawings, you are likely to find out about evening events that way. Make a point of going there every day.
- Attend the sessions – Don’t skip out on the morning sessions. If I have to get up early so do you. :)
- Attend the Hands on Labs – If you haven’t had a chance to get your hands on SharePoint 2013, get down to the HOL and check it out. This is a great way to experience the product without having to take the time to install it.
- Take a test – The certification tests are in beta right now. I doubt very many of us are prepared to pass them, but sign up for them any ways. It’s free. Do keep in mind that beta tests are longer than normal so you’ll have to commit quite a bit of time to them.
- Don’t underestimate travel times – The walk to the convention center from a room at the Mandalay Bay is at least ten minutes. When I stayed at the Luxor at SPC09, it was a full thirty minute walk. Even within the convention center, there are long walks between sessions.
- Arrive early to sessions – Many sessions will fill up and entrance will be denied. Don’t get left out by showing up late.
- Learn hash tags for the sessions you are attending – Every session you are attending has an associated hash tag that you can follow. For example, my Windows 8 Session is number 025, so the hash tag for it is #SPC025. You can go ahead and save a search for that one now. :) I hear #SPC195 is also a good one!
- Don’t wear your badge outside of the convention center – Nothing says you don’t have any game like walking out of the convention center with your badge on. Take it off as you exit the area.
- Don’t forget your badge (and lanyard) at the attendee party – At SPC09, your badge and the lanyard were required to get in. I know several people that had to walk all the way back to their room just to get the lanyard. That was a one hour walk since it was back to the Luxor. I saw something in an E-mail that seemed to indicate that this might be a wristband this year so don’t forget that (or lose it).
- Keep your phone charged – The battery life on LTE phones is horrible and even worse when you are tweeting non-stop all day. Keep an eye on your phone’s battery life and charge up throughout the day.
- Don’t blow all your money – This one goes without saying. I came to SPC09 on a budget and quickly depleted my designated gambling funds. It prevented me from doing anything else for the rest of the trip.
- Don’t be afraid to leave for lunch – I’m not a huge fan of conference food and it rarely gets along with my diet. Usually by the second or third day I am grabbing anyone I can find and going off-site. Find me at the conference and you can join me.
- Attend #ShareHofbrau on Thursday – After the conference, unwind with friends at Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas. It’s an authentic German beer hall and it’s loads of fun.
- Fill out your evaluations – These really are important to the speakers. Let them know they did a good job and take the time to leave actual text comments in them.
- Establish rendez-vous points – Establish meeting spots in advance with your group and set a time to meet. Mine will probably be the slot machines immediately outside of EyeCandy. :)
- Have a nice day – Be sure and see Bon Jovi at the attendee party. If you are expecting to meet people there, do it before you go into the beach club. The club is huge and they filter traffic to the area they want you in. If you don’t walk in with the people you want to see, you will likely not see them that night.
That’s my list. I’m sure there are other things to remember. Do you have anything else to add? Leave a comment. This probably goes without saying, but if you are not on twitter, now is the time to join. It’s the best way to keep up with what’s happening at the conference.
I’m also presenting two sessions at this year’s conference and I would love for you to come see them.
- #SPC025 – Bringing SharePoint to the Desktop: Building Windows 8 Apps with SharePoint – This talk titled, Bring SharePoint to the Desktop: Building Windows 8 Metro Style Apps with SharePoint is centered around different ways we can leverage SharePoint data in a rich full-screen interface. This developer-centric talk will show you the basics of building Windows 8 apps and then take advantage of the new SharePoint 2013 APIs to do data binding and notifications. If you have an interest in Windows 8 and SharePoint, this talk is for you.
- #SPC195 – PowerShell 3.0 Administration with SharePoint 2013 – In this session, we’ll cover everything from tips and tricks with PowerShell to key new cmdlets you will want to know about. We’ll talk about installing solution packages, managing upgrades, provisioning the new service applications, and more. I promise I’ll do my best to make PowerShell an exciting topic. I know some of you out there love it, so I think it will be a fun talk.
Enough with the shameless plug. :) Get ready and I’ll see you at the conference.
Follow me on twitter: @coreyroth.
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, discussed the best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
Jan. 23, 2017 05:00 AM EST Reads: 2,141
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
Jan. 23, 2017 03:00 AM EST Reads: 1,017
"Tintri was started in 2008 with the express purpose of building a storage appliance that is ideal for virtualized environments. We support a lot of different hypervisor platforms from VMware to OpenStack to Hyper-V," explained Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jan. 23, 2017 02:30 AM EST Reads: 5,014
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at Dell EMC, introduced a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organization...
Jan. 23, 2017 02:30 AM EST Reads: 3,372
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, discussed how leveraging the Industrial Internet and...
Jan. 23, 2017 02:00 AM EST Reads: 6,648
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, director/senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Jan. 23, 2017 01:45 AM EST Reads: 2,773
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
Jan. 23, 2017 12:00 AM EST Reads: 5,884
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
Jan. 22, 2017 11:00 PM EST Reads: 1,042
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
Jan. 22, 2017 07:45 PM EST Reads: 3,874
"LinearHub provides smart video conferencing, which is the Roundee service, and we archive all the video conferences and we also provide the transcript," stated Sunghyuk Kim, CEO of LinearHub, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jan. 22, 2017 03:15 PM EST Reads: 1,695
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Jan. 22, 2017 02:30 PM EST Reads: 3,767
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Jan. 22, 2017 02:00 PM EST Reads: 5,302
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
Jan. 22, 2017 02:00 PM EST Reads: 5,836
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
Jan. 22, 2017 01:45 PM EST Reads: 3,238
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Jan. 22, 2017 01:00 PM EST Reads: 4,398
Discover top technologies and tools all under one roof at April 24–28, 2017, at the Westin San Diego in San Diego, CA. Explore the Mobile Dev + Test and IoT Dev + Test Expo and enjoy all of these unique opportunities: The latest solutions, technologies, and tools in mobile or IoT software development and testing. Meet one-on-one with representatives from some of today's most innovative organizations
Jan. 22, 2017 12:45 PM EST Reads: 1,698
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
Jan. 22, 2017 11:45 AM EST Reads: 2,979
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Jan. 22, 2017 11:30 AM EST Reads: 3,759
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web co...
Jan. 22, 2017 09:30 AM EST Reads: 3,040
"A lot of times people will come to us and have a very diverse set of requirements or very customized need and we'll help them to implement it in a fashion that you can't just buy off of the shelf," explained Nick Rose, CTO of Enzu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jan. 22, 2017 09:30 AM EST Reads: 4,782