Making the Most of the Sitecore Symposium
By now you're probably planning for this year's Sitecore Symposium in Orlando Florida, and if you're anything like me, you're figuring out what you want to see and who you want to speak with. Ok well, if you're going and not doing that, you should be, because whether you're footing your own bill or going on the company dime you owe it to someone to make the trip as effective as possible. Every time I go to the Symposium I wind up selling our services a little bit, getting a demo of something really edge case that applies to our requirements, seeing what's new and spectacular, and of course, enjoying the events!
So, with such a large amount of goings-on in a short amount of time the key to success is planning ahead. I've put together a few dos and don'ts that I can live by, which you might want to consider. Have suggestions for more tips? Send them along or comment at the bottom and let's get this list built out. Any ideas that are really great will get plagiarized by yours truly, so take it as a compliment.
- Be honest with a vendor when speaking with them. If you're not interested in their services and they're being insistent, tell them so. I've had to learn this lesson the hard way where a vendor was excited because we had a specialized offering in our portfolio that's in line with what he can sell. I was trying to be nice with a “Let's talk later”, etc., but he's there to sell and this isn't helping him since he thinks he has a lead.
- If you're on the fence about whether or not a certain session is for you, sit by the door. The last thing you want is to feel that you need to sit through something that's a waste of time (for you) because you don't want to disrupt the room. Getting out and into a backup session of your choosing saves a lot of wasted time and opportunity.
- Know when to see the booths. There have been opportunities where a session wasn't right for me, so I got into the booth area a little early and met up with vendors without distraction. This was a true chance to pick their brains and network on another level.
- Don't get caught up in swag. I've seen lines an hour long of people trying to get a character drawn of them, or cool shirts or maybe little widgets you can stick on your desk that says Symposium on them. They're fun and all, but you've spent thousands of dollars for this trip, and time's-a-wasting while you try to snag something that's really not all that important.
- Take effective notes and do your daily wrap-up. My notes are pretty, good, but this event is a whirlwind of information and a lot gets lost. A tried and true practice is to review notes and make robust documentation, every night.
Remember, the Symposium is about learning, networking and having fun. Make the most of it because it goes fast. Hit me up through LinkedIn if you want to meet at some point!