How to make the most out of re:Invent

If past performance is any indicator, the annual event hosted by AWS will have at least 50,000 people in 2017. Your experience and your takeaways however can be very different and hopefully much better if you follow the following tips.

  1. Drink lots of water

re:Invent has been too big to fit into any 1 casino and AWS typically blocks 2 or 3 casinos. This means the sessions are spread out not just in scope, but quite literally. If you can get a hotel room in the same casino as the event, even if it’s tad expensive, do yourself a favor. Your activity tracker will nicely reward you.

2. Pick your battles

There are 400+ sessions in 2016 and can expect the same or more in 2017. Even if you think 20 is a conservative number (4 per day), think again. 2 or 3 of those days will have large-block events that will take up one half of the day entirely. And then the time to walk and drink water. And your flight schedule. You may in effect only have the equivalent of 3 days for opt-in sessions. Also, opt in to those sessions as soon as you get the passes. And, get those passes as soon as they announce it. Select the sessions based on expertise level. And finally, remember all of these sessions are live streamed or video published online or deck published online or usually all of the above – so it’s kinda like a concert. You are there to catch the action live – but don’t miss anything just because you aren’t there or a session is full.

3. It’s okay to hoard swags

But don’t use session time, lunch time or keynote time to stand in line. Pick up swags during early mornings, late evenings and such. Morning of first day is usually the best time.

4. Don’t be too social

There are tons of events planned late evening or early morning. You can pick from a variety but picking them all is a bad idea. It consumes time, energy and if there is alcohol in the mix, it affects sleep and the subsequent day also.