Pack your walking shoes. The AWS re:Invent campus is even larger this year, as will be the fun and intensity of the schedule. Prepare yourselves for the journey ahead if you’re heading to Vegas later this month.
There are less than 50 days till re:Invent 2019 kicks off, and we want to help prepare you for a successful and fun trip. This year’s event is bigger than ever before, and there will be more than 2500 sessions to choose from across the re:Invent campus – which is also bigger than ever. The campus this year is HUGE – it extends over two miles and multiple buildings, so you’ll want to plan and build more travel time into your days.
Let’s go through some other best practices and things to plan for before takeoff.
Connect with Innovators in Your Field
Meeting with other people in your field to chat, make connections, and exchange tips and best practices can truly be one of the best uses of your time at re:Invent. There’s no larger gathering of cloud innovators in the world!
One good rule of thumb: with this year’s event stretching out over two miles (all of which will be packed end-to-end with attendees), it’s best to assume that folks will be running late to everything.
Do yourself a favor and leave some extra buffer/travel time between each of your meetings.
A major rule of re:invent is A.B.C.: Always Be Charging
You’ll be on the phone all day and relying on it to stay connected and find your way around. Be sure to bring along a battery pack and extra charging cable to keep your powered up so you don’t get lost in the crowds.
Another pro-tip if you haven’t booked flights yet: stay through Friday afternoon. The events start to wind down by then, which means there’s finally time to get with that person with whom you’ve been trying to connect all week. For bonus points, book your Friday meetings at the pool bar. You’ll be ready to get out of the building and see the (real) sky by Friday.
Fuel Up: Where to Eat and Drink
You’re entering a strange, new (and very dry!) environment. Be sure to drink lots of water and consider limiting drinks the first night or two. There will be lots of parties and events (and cocktails) as the week goes on, so it’s important to stay hydrated and pace yourself.
If you think you have what it takes to be a competitive eater, consider the Tatonka Challenge. It’s your chance to find out, or at the very least have some fun and eat a ton of wings.
Of course, not everything has to be a contest. As stated above, chatting with colleagues and new friends is one of the most valuable parts of the conference. Do yourself a favor now, and book some restaurant reservations in advance: it’s real hard to find a spot for a nice dinner if you don’t prepare. (Note to editor: please don’t publish until I’ve booked mine!)
Explore Your Surroundings: Where to Go for Fun
Get off to a rousing start at the annual Midnight Madness pep rally, and on Wednesday night lace up your tennies for the 4k – or 8k if you’re ambitious. You can also take part in a nice game of Ping Pong (beats a game of global thermo-nuclear war any day of the week, IMHO).
Of course, re:Play on Thursday night is the ultimate party of re:Invent, and is not to be missed if you’re into EDM and crazy amounts of food. (Also not to be missed is the Pub Crawl on Tuesday evening.)
Enter New Worlds (of Knowledge)
There will be so many great learning opportunities over the five days of re:Invent 2019. To help you get started we pulled together a list below of some of the sessions that caught our eye. For a complete list, review the session catalog.
Stay safe and have a good time
It takes a great deal of planning and resources to bring yourself or your entire team to re:Invent. By all means, have a memorable time, but we definitely recommend everyone to be respectful to other attendees, vendors, and the AWS staff that puts this amazing show on each year.