Re:Invent is the annual learning and collaboration conference produced by Amazon Web Services (AWS) in Las Vegas, Nevada. This year it starts on Monday, November 27th, and lasts through Friday, December 1st. Things kick off on Monday with hackathons, training, and certifications. It then goes Tuesday through Friday afternoon with days full of keynotes, learning, lectures, labs, extracurriculars, and so on. If you don’t have your tickets yet, get them now – AWS re:Invent sells out every year.
Whether you’re a conference veteran or a newbie, it’s easy to have your own successful re:Invent experience. To get you started, here’s a my best advice pulled from previous conferences.
AWS re:Invent 2017 includes four-and-a-half days of content across six venues in Las Vegas, with an estimated attendance of 40,000 people. There are over 1,000 sessions to choose from that are either a traditional lecture format, a workshop, or an open forum discussion. In addition to those sessions, there are full- and half-day bootcamps, self-paced labs plus an assortment of extracurriculars like pub crawls, fitness events, parties, and more.
You can expect to learn a lot by attending sessions and networking with the AWS community of staff, partners, and expert users. You’ll gain a deeper knowledge about AWS and AWS best practices.
The conference takes over Las Vegas Boulevard and includes six venues. The re:Invent team has tried to focus session content by building to help you focus your visit and avoid an unnecessary commute between venues.
Find Here: Major keynotes, the expo hall (come visit us!), hands-on labs, general sessions, registration, and a re:Invent Help Desk
Session Topics: Architecture, AWS Marketplace, DevOps, Content Delivery, Databases, Machine Learning, Mobile, Networking, Storage, and more
Find Here: Major keynotes, Global Partner Summit, general sessions, workshops, registration, and a re:Invent Help Desk
Session Topics: Business apps, enterprise, security, migration, compliance, identity, Windows, and more
Find Here: General sessions, skill sessions, the Builder’s Fair, Robocar Rally, the Deep Learning Summit, registration, and a re:Invent Help Desk
Session Topics: Alexa, big data, containers, IoT, Machine Learning, serverless, and more
Find Here: Full- and half-day bootcamps, AWS Certifications, fitness activities, registration, and a re:Invent Help Desk
Find here: Hackathons, jam sessions, and the re:Play party
Find Here: Bookable meeting space and reception rooms
I have two pieces of advice about planning your days:
To help with both goals, take a look at the catalog already available. Due to high demand, the AWS re:Invent team will share the final schedule, give a full week for registrants to take a look, and then open up the session reservation system seven days later. Take advantage of this time and think of this like registering for college courses back in the day – the best sessions fill up almost as soon as the registration is open, sometimes within minutes!
ASAP: Read the session catalog and save tons of favorites by clicking the “I’m interested in this” option
October 12: Check the schedule that posts on Thursday, October 12th, and go through to identify which of your favorites list are your “must see” sessions
October 19: Reserve seats at your “must see” sessions on Thursday, October 19th
Sure, this is a major learning event. But like I said, you will be brain dead by day two if you plan nothing else but hardcore learning. Just like having a work life balance is important in the office, it is important at re:Invent. Keep your energy up with exercise and leisure events.
LEGO Activities | Open hours vary Monday thru Thursday at The Quad at Aria | Contribute to a LEGO Great Ball Contraption or a LEGO Pinewood Derby
4K Charity Fun Run | 6:00 am Tuesday at The Mirage | Pre-registration required along with a $45 donation
Welcome Reception | 5:30 – 7:30 pm Tuesday at The Mirage | Meet and greet with cloud leaders and AWS engineers
Spin Challenge | Seven timeslots available, first at 7 am and last at 7 pm Wednesday at The Mirage | Keep the energy up with a 45-minute instructor-lead spin class. Registration required with a $35 donation per ride
Broomball Tournament | 5:30 – 7:30 pm Wednesday | Watch as a spectator, register your team, or join an existing team to play Amazon’s signature Broomball
Pub Crawl | 5:30 – 7:30 pm Wednesday at MGM Grand or The Venetian | Visit some famous Vegas bars when the drinks and appetizers are free – thanks, Team re:Invent!
Tatonka Chicken Wing Eating Contest | 5:30 – 7:30 pm Wednesday at MGM Grand or The Venetian | Self-explanatory, pre-registration required
re:Play Party | 8:00 pm Thursday at The LINQ | Includes an EDM concert and all sorts of fun like ball pits, arcade games, a rock wall, interactive light shows, and more. It’s hard to describe – here’s a 2016 party highlights video.
I hope that you have a successful re:Invent experience, and I’m pretty sure that you will if you can follow some of my planning advice. Most importantly – don’t forget to register before tickets are sold out, and visit CloudCheckr in the Expo Hall. See you in Vegas!
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