AWS re:Invent 2019 is just around the corner, taking place this year from December 2-6, 2019 in Las Vegas. Hosted by Amazon Web Services, re:Invent is considered the biggest cloud event of the year, with over 55,000 attendees at last year’s conference. And this year is expected to be bigger and bigger with an increase in attendees and its campus spanning across two miles in multiple buildings.
Yet, navigating this conference can be very overwhelming, especially if it’s your first year attending. Have no fear! We’ve pulled together our 2019 guide to AWS re:Invent with helpful tips to make the most of your time at the conference.
And, don’t forget to stop by Datica’s booth #3820!
re:Invent sessions are very popular. Unlike other conferences, people actually attend the breakout sessions at re:Invent. It's very common to have a room with 600 people for a single session. And, with over 2,500 sessions, re:Invent has something for everyone. If you're brand new to working within the cloud as an Engineer, or if you're a non-technical business user, you'll find relevant sessions at the 200 level. Engineers and technical people that are more familiar with AWS will find 300 and 400 level sessions the most beneficial.
Helpful Tip: Even if you're on a waitlist for a session, don't expect to get in. To give yourself the best chance, arrive at least 30 minutes early. This can be tricky with sessions spanning across 5 hotels this year. For that reason, we recommend planning your sessions by day. Ex: Day 1 - all sessions in Venetian, Day 2 - all session in Aria, etc.
Aside from planning ahead for sessions, it's important to plan for business meetings, what you plan on doing that day and how you'll travel around the conference. We recommend jotting down a rough structure for each day ahead of time. Be sure to include travel times in your schedule, as the campus will be busy, in addition to being in Las Vegas.
Helpful tip: Write down your day. From where you'll pick up free breakfast (typically provided by the conference), to which sessions you'll attend, to which events you're going to check out at night. We also recommend devoting at least half your day to the vendor hall. The re:Invent expo hall is massive, and there are a lot of interesting companies (plus a lot of decent and free swag available).
Traveling to and around Las Vegas can be tricky. As previously mentioned, the re:Invent campus spans across two miles, and depending on where your lodging is, you might have to walk multiple miles per day. Vegas does have public transport, via Monorail, and in our experience is fairly reliable.
In addition, shuttle services are provided between campus buildings but do note that does not include any locations outside those 5 hotels. Download the re:Invent mobile app to get real-time updates of travel times for shuttle services.
We wouldn't recommend relying on ride share services. In our experience, both Lyft and Uber seem to be understaffed every year at re:Invent. Plus, rideshares seem to have surcharges applied during the conference.
Helpful Tip: Give yourself time. Finding a cab or a ride share service from the airport to the strip can take a long time and can be relatively expensive. Be sure to give yourself at least an hour between when you land, and when you want to arrive to the conference. Also, don't forget your walking shoes! You'll be traversing the strip all week.
This tip might seem odd, but it should be taken seriously. With over 30 expo exhibitor hours spanning across 4 days, re:Invent is exhausting. And then comes the nightlife. The conference has its array of hosted events, in addition to meeting with clients, prospects and co-workers over drinks. It's pretty common to be having fun for five nights in a row. This can be mentally and physically draining. Be sure to get enough sleep, drink enough fluids, and workout or walk as much as possible.
Helpful Tip: Be sure to get a solid 6-8 hours of sleep per night. re:Invent is busy, there are always things to do, events to checkout, conversations to be had. We recommend being aware that it's a long week, and you need to take care of yourself.