If you’re like us here at Miradore, you’re probably looking forward to the Knowledge16 conference, which takes place in Las Vegas on the 15th to 20th of May 2016. As one of the world’s biggest service management conferences, it promises to be an exciting showcase. But, how do you get the most out of it, both as an exhibitor and as an attendee? Well, to give you a helping hand, we’ve put together some handy tips based upon our own experiences. We hope you find them useful.
1. Wi-Fi and cell data
If you plan to use your smartphone to surf the Internet, some work will be needed. First of all, public Wi-Fi at big event venues, and frankly, hotels, is usually hit or miss. You don’t want to depend on it. And after all, you don’t want to rely on a connection too weak to use with a VPN anyway, right?
If you’ve from overseas, your best bet may be to look at a list like this to find the best deal for a prepaid, foreigner-friendly mobile plan with an emphasis on cheap data. Or you could go with ZipSIM, a service that specializes in shipping US prepaid sim cards internationally or to hotels. Put that in a Wi-FI/3G modem, laptop, tablet or phone that supports tethering and you’ll be all set. But be prepared for even cell service to be congested at the venue.
2. Pay attention to time and be early
All the best sessions at big events like Knowledge16 get crowded. To ensure you don’t miss our, it’s great to set alarms. Being on time, at least for your top picks, can make all the difference from being upfront where the action is or languishing at the back.
3. The session scheduler exists, use it
To get the most out of almost any event, some planning is warranted. It doesn’t have to be set in stone, in case you run in to interesting people and all that, but it makes a lot of sense to spend some time making a dummy schedule for yourself and really knowing the program in advance. Everything will probably be too hectic to figure out well at the spot. As a registered conference attendant, you can access the scheduler here.
4. Extra Power
We all know it: smartphones never have enough power, if you actually use them. Unless you turn on power savings features that make you miss out on notifications and/or a have a battery in mint condition, you might find yourself running out of juice long before your day of precious networking is over.
Luckily, this can be solved by adding another dingus to your ever-growing collection of tech to carry around: the portable batter charger, or power pack. Or phone case. You can find these in a variety of shapes and capacities in almost any good electronics store one the planet now. After all it’s only a battery. But if you want the best advice, go with The Wirecutter’s recommendations, as always.
5. Bring a lot of business cards!
When you’re at a big event with a ton of people, your business card is your way of being remembered even after a good conversation. You should hand them out like candy because once the event is over one of the first things people do is go through their selection and then you’re back In business. And, if you really want to make an impression, why not print event specific cards?
6. Hook up on LinkedIn
Business cards are one thing, but these days, there’s an even better to get into someone’s proverbial Rolodex: LinkedIn. The professional social network has been around forever now, but is still underestimated by many as a way to stay in touch with people you’ve actually met with voluntarily, unlike those fifty high school classmates you still have on Facebook. Everyone’s meeting a ton of people, so send your Linkedin connect requests as soon as possible (every evening for example), when they still remember who you are.
7. Don’t feel bad about taking a rest
A lot of people thrive on being surrounded by people and shaking hands like there’s no tomorrow. On the other hand, some of us still feel consumed by large crowds and nosy surrounding. The rise of the Internet introvert identity is nothing we need to rinse and repeat right here and now. But there’s a lot to be said about taking the time you need for rest at conferences so that the time you’re present and dealing with people really counts. Take an extra trip to the hotel during the day to charge your batteries or sleep in if it makes you more intense of a networker for the rest of the day!
8. Secure transit to the airport
Word on the street is that Las Vegas sometimes is notoriously bad with traffic to and from the airport, even though the airport’s not too far away from The Strip. You might want to make sure to have a pre-booked ride to the airport as you’re leaving. The city is rarely as crazy as during CES in January, but Las Vegas is generally big on conferences. With some bad luck, you might find yourself wanting to leave on top of a massive wave of other people, which makes for packed transit and long waits for cabs.
Once at the airport, you should, according to standard US recommendations, allow for up to three hours of check-in and security check if you’re flying internationally. Terrible yes, but a joke, not so much.
9. Install the app
10. Extra pro-tip for non-American coffee drinkers
If you visit a Starbucks for a cup of coffee remember that, from a European perspective, a
“normal” sized coffee is huge. You’ve been warned!
We’ve no doubt there are tons more useful tips that will help make your Knowledge16 one to remember. If you’ve got any to share, please let us know down below. But most importantly, we hope you have fantastically, inspiring show!
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