November 14, 20220 mins read
Welcome to the (cloud native) jungle
Live conferences have returned, and it’s almost time for one of the best — AWS re:Invent 2022. While you may have had the opportunity to attend a live event or two recently, a major conference like this is a whole other animal. Knowing what to expect is key. It makes the difference between an enjoyable, enlightening conference experience and an overwhelming, exhausting one.
We asked a few of the AWS re:Invent conference veterans on our team to share some words of wisdom in preparation for this year’s expo. Read on to see their tips on surviving Vegas, and making the most of your time at AWS re:Invent 2022.
What to pack
Our team members recommend a few conference essentials, including:
Over-the-counter medicine for aches and pains.
Comfortable walking shoes with insoles. Bring multiple pairs of shoes and alternate them throughout the week.
Light jacket, because the conference halls get chilly.
Lip balm and eye drops. You should also be prepared to drink lots of water to stay hydrated in the dry weather.
Throat lozenges, if you’ll be talking to a lot of clients.
Trash bag to put dirty clothes in, if you are particularly sensitive to cigarette smoke (as smoking is still allowed inside the casinos). Bring an inhaler if you have a respiratory condition that is irritated by cigarette smoke.
Where to stay
Where you stay in Vegas could make or break your whole experience. Booking a cheaper hotel, farther away, doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll save money. It takes a lot of extra effort and/or costs to either walk or get a ride from a faraway hotel to the conference locations. Plus, taxis and ride-share options are in high demand and often unavailable.
Instead, stay close to the Venetian. A few great options include Encore, Wynn, Treasure Island, and Mirage. Check out the campus map to find out more about lodging options. One team member pointed out that Mandalay Bay isn’t a good option, as it’s over a 30-minute walk to get to the central conference areas from there. Keep in mind, there will be conference-sponsored buses available to shuttle people to and from the Venetian from most of the hotels on the Las Vegas Strip, but you’ll still want to keep an eye on the schedule and get in line for the shuttle about 15-20 minutes early, as the lines for the shuttles can get frustratingly long as well, especially in the morning!
How to get around the expo
Speaking of transportation, let’s talk about the best way to get around AWS re:Invent 2022. First and foremost, be prepared to walk A LOT. According to one of our team members, “You will get a week's worth of steps in each day.”
Be prepared for everything to be further away than you expect. Walking from one location to another in the same building can take as long as 30-45 minutes. Going into a different hotel, even if it’s “next door”, could take even longer. One of our team members says that you should “plan to stay in the same hotel/casino for at least half a day, if not a full day. There is zero ability to get between hotels in the between-sessions time.”
If you need to get somewhere beyond walking distance, avoid using the AWS shuttle bus, mostly due to long lines and congestion. Taxis are often cheaper than Uber/Lyft pricing because they use fixed prices. But, be aware that both taxis and ride-share services will use conference surge pricing. If you’re using ride-share, look for a designated pickup area somewhere outside the hotel. Most taxis will pick up patrons at the main entrance with minimal wait time.
Where to eat
Our conference experts recommend eating as early as possible during peak meal times before the lines get too long. And when it’s time to find a meal, plan to spend more than you might expect on food (about $30 for an average lunch).
Sit-down dining can be difficult to find, so look for counter service instead. If you do need a sit-down place to meet for a customer dinner, make a reservation as soon as possible. And, if you want a delicious breakfast option on Thursday, be sure to stop by “Breakfast in the Cloud”, 7:30 am at Yardbird.
Lastly, be aware that there are two Grand Lux Cafes — one at the Venetian and one at Palace Station. If you decide to meet at one of these locations, be sure to specify so that you/your clients don’t get confused.
How to build your agenda
You’re probably seeing that transportation is tricky at AWS re:Invent. But, don’t let that stop you from filling your agenda with awesome sessions and meetings. Our team members have several recommendations for building the best-possible agenda:
Only focus on attending the sessions that are most important or interesting to you. There will be sessions covering everything from enterprise strategy to developer tools to security. We recommend joining our breakout session on Wednesday at 7 pm to hear about Neiman Marcus’s transition to developer-first security.
Don’t schedule sessions back to back. Plan to wait in a queue for 20-40 minutes before each session.
Fill your agenda to 75% capacity with room for networking.
Don’t forget the parties! Add the Snyk + Stackhawk Party at Lavo, Tuesday at 6 pm, to your agenda. There will be cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, music, and networking.
Spend 2-3 hours a day on the vendor show floor. Decide which vendors you will visit ahead of time, and be sure to stop by booth #212 to speak with Snyk’s cloud security experts.
See you at AWS re:Invent 2022!
While it takes some planning to be prepared for AWS re:Invent 2022, the sessions, people, and overall experience make it all worth it. As a team member put it, “re:Invent is the greatest show in the industry, and still very much where the future of cloud gets determined.”
If you can’t make it out to Vegas, check out the live stream options so you don’t miss any of the sessions. But if you are at the conference in person, come and say hi to the Snyk team at one of our AWS re:Invent 2022 events. See you soon!