|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.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Nov. 28, 2014 08:00 AM EST Reads: 978
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,270
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,619
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
Nov. 27, 2014 03:00 PM EST Reads: 1,453
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
Nov. 27, 2014 03:00 PM EST Reads: 1,285
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
Nov. 27, 2014 01:00 PM EST Reads: 1,652
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
Nov. 27, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,266
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
Nov. 27, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,215
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
Nov. 27, 2014 08:00 AM EST Reads: 1,222
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
Nov. 27, 2014 07:45 AM EST Reads: 1,504
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Nov. 27, 2014 07:00 AM EST Reads: 1,480
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
Nov. 27, 2014 06:45 AM EST Reads: 1,310
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Nov. 27, 2014 06:45 AM EST Reads: 1,373
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 AM EST Reads: 1,213
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 AM EST Reads: 1,165
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Nov. 26, 2014 02:00 PM EST Reads: 1,607
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Nov. 24, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,715
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
Nov. 24, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,615
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Nov. 24, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,738
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
Nov. 24, 2014 09:00 AM EST Reads: 1,776