Your ultimate guide to AWS re:Invent 2017
AWS re:Invent 2017 begins on Monday, November 27th: that’s in less than a week! The internet is full of tips to optimally enjoy this event. We have selected the best of them for you.
AWS re:Invent 2017 starts next week and we are looking forward to it. We’ve attended this event for years. We will never forget our first time: all those keynotes, sessions, parties, restaurants and people – we were pretty overwhelmed.
We are older and wiser now. Now, we know what we need to do to get the most out of this yearly happening. And we know what not to do. Leaving our snacks and sweaters at home, for example. That was a bad idea. Or wearing brand new shoes. … Yeah, really.
Our selection for you
Online, you can find many tips to optimize your experience at AWS re:Invent. We have selected the best for you and added our own suggestions to the list. Don’t hesitate to let us know if we’ve missed anything.
Would you like to join Bart during his training and talk about your AWS project? Send him a message!
There are more than 1,000 sessions in 4.5 days spread over 6 locations in Las Vegas during AWS re:Invent 2017. Together with some 40,000 others you will spend time at the year’s largest AWS-conference. You will take workshops, watch sessions, listen to keynotes, learn a lot and undoubtedly meet lots of interesting people.
This video will give you a good impression of all the sessions during AWS re:Invent in just 20 minutes.
First, some general tips:
- upload your photo before the event. Just like previous years, security during AWS re:Invent is tight. All participants will receive a badge with their picture. Avoid long rows during registration by uploading your photo before the event starts. You can do so here. Bonus: because you can choose the picture, you can be sure you look your very best.
- bring your essentials. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes, put your business cards in your bag and get a water bottle asap. Forgot to bring a small bag? Get a free one (including goodies) at the event. Plenty are available.
- get fueled up. Fill your free or own bag every day with bottles of water, granola bars, medicines and paracetamol. Your phone also needs fuel, so don’t forget your powerbank or adapter. It is always handy to have Google Maps tell you where you are when you get lost.
- pack plenty of pens. Use a pen to write some notes on someone’s business card. That way you’ll remember what you talked about when you’re back home.
What to bring?
Winter in the desert: scarf, sweater and vest
Yes, you’re in the desert. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be warm. Last year it was even cold! Take it from us that it’s a good idea to bring a vest. Actually, it’s often cold inside as well! The airco is on at full blast in lots of venues, making a thick sweater or vest essential.
The venues in Vegas are farther apart than you think: hotels and venues often encompass entire blocks. Furthermore, streets are packed with tourists, buskers and others AWS re:Inventers. You can imagine it takes a while to get from A to B. So make sure you take that into account.
You will be walking a lot. Last year we counted our steps: we each walked about 10 kilometers per day! Our advice is to wear your most comfortable walking shoes. Don’t forget to bring a pair of high quality hiking socks. This year promises to require even more walking, because the event is spread out across even more locations.
Where to eat?
Alternate between chic and cheap restaurants
Amazon will provide your breakfast and lunch. The organization will also ensure availability of coffee, tea and water soda. You will have to take care of dinner yourself. Just like the 39,999 other re-Inventers and all the other tourists… You should count on some waiting time at all restaurants.
If you do visit a restaurant, take into account a waiting time of at least a half hour. Tip: walk about 15 minutes out of the center. It is a lot quieter here, improving your chances for a table.
So, where to go?
Going out for dinner in Las Vegas is not cheap. If you want to keep an eye on your budget, alternate between a chic restaurant and a decent burger joint. We are fans of Le Thai, Aria, Le Pho, Bachi Burger and RA Sushi Bar. You can also take a car down south of The Strip, where there’s a Whole Foods.
Bring your own snacks
An excellent tip, if we may say so: drive, as soon as you arrive in Las Vegas, directly to a Walgreens or the Fashion Show mall and buy water, nuts and other snacks for the rest of the week. Bring snacks every day, and you won’t have to miss any sessions because you’re looking for food.
How to spend your energy?
To visit or to stream
Focus on 1 or 2 locations per day and choose a couple of keynotes you want to see there. If you plan a plethora of sessions every day you will be burned out by day two. It takes about 45 minutes to walk from venue to venue, so walking to four locations every day would be a waste of your time. AWS agrees, so they stream many of the more popular sessions to each location. Every keynote is also posted to YouTube, so you can always watch it there later.
Bart said it before: he creates a moment of zen every day at the gym. This is a good tip for everyone, because it helps you get your mind off things. Want to join Bart for a while in the gym? Send him a message.
Be social, online and offline
Twitter is hugely popular during AWS re:Invent. This channel is used for good conversations, to share knowledge and communicates coordinates for get-togethers during the show. We share our tips through our account @inQdo.
Follow these official AWS-accounts. They will be active during the show:
The AWS-evangelist team is very busy during this week, but somehow it always finds time to tweet. Follow them on Twitter:
Don’t feel like being social? It is easy to stay in your comfort zone during re:Invent and not talk to anyone. But re:Invent involves 40,000 individuals that all want to get the most out of it. There aren’t many events where people are more approachable than this one.
Try starting a conversation with someone you’re waiting in line with, or someone sitting next to you at a session. Who knows, you may be experiencing the same problems, or one of you may have solved an issue the other is still dealing with. Try to profit from each other’s experience.
Participate in organized events
No matter how fun it is to spend time working with AWS, you’re also meant to relax during re:Invent. Amazon accounted for this and came up with a lot of fun events. We have listed our personal top 5 below (and will join in on the 4k run.
Time:5.30 until 7.30pm
Where 1: Lagasse stadium at the Venetian
Where 2: Tap by the MGM Grand
Time: 5.30 until 7.30pm
Where: the MGM Grand & the Venetian
Time: 5.30 until 7.30pm
Where: the LINQ lot
Where: The Mirage
Time: 8.00pm – 00.00am
Where: The LINQ lot