Fri Mar 12 2010

Musing #17 on DeveloperSmackdown.com Mark and I talked about a few techniques \ thoughts on how we handle conferences like Mix. We're not pro's, but over the years they seem to at least work for us.

Conferences are a great place to network with all kinds of people.  I usually try to plan on both formal and informal visits with people.  I like to start planning "formal like visits" as much as three months out.  Now of course, that all depends on what type of event your going to.  At this years MVP summit, I knew I would be going 3+ months out and since it was at the mother ship it was a great opportunity to meet with different members of the product groups.

As for this trip to Mix, I have the following lined up:

  • 7 podcasts 1 tentative podcast 1 formal party 1 tentative dinner event Pre-Conference day long training event

I guarantee this will change the minute I get off the plane.  You have to be flexible at any event because things are always changing.

Ironically, I don't pay to much attention to the conference sessions until about a week out.  Honestly like everyone else, I have to many other things going on to try and worry about it.  Things change so why waste the time. In fact things can change up to the minute. Given that about a week out I start to make my plan my schedule.  I always plan 2 to 3 session per track.   A session might end up to full or hell even miss leading.  If you get in and it's not what you want, CUT BAIT and LEAVE.

So what do my days look like ( FWIW my session picks are not stack ranked )?

Sunday - Travel and Pre-Conference

I am taking the first flight out.  I have family matters to take care of on Saturday so I will be rushing to get out to Vegas.  Once I land I will get checked in and head to my pre-conference session.  I will be spending the entire day doing a little training. Things will end around dinner.  At which point I am sure I hook up with a number of guys for dinner and drinks.

Monday - Conference Kick Off

Session 1

Session 2

Session 3

Tuesday - Sessions

Session 1

Session 2

Session 3

Session 4

Wednesday - Sessions and Conference End

Session 1

Session 2

Session 3

Session 4

Session 5

Thursday - Travel Date

Basically a travel day.  Once home I will try to spend a few minutes gathering my thoughts while things are fresh in my head.  Then I will try to build out a plan of the stuff I either want to re-review or plan to see at some point.

Oh man, it's going to be a busy week. I hope to see you at Mix