It’s easy to think of the Summit as just work, but I can tell you that you’ll have more fun and learn more if you do something besides just sit in sessions all day. Here’s some ideas to think about:
- Seattle is usually cold, if you’re walking to the convention center you’ll want a jacket and maybe an umbrella. Some kind of ski cap is useful too. There’s a coat check on the 4th floor, don’t carry the coat all day!
- Bring a water bottle. Usually we just have water dispensers set up and if you drink out of the 1 ounce paper cups you’ll be dehydrated and tired by the end of the day
- Don’t think you have to attend a session every hour. If you start to fade out, get up and hit the expo, go for coffee at Tullys on the 3rd floor, or take a walk.
- Bring business cards and make an effort to meet someone at each session
- Remember that the speaker is tired right after a presentation. It’s good to say hello then or ask a quick question, but remember they want sit down, unwind, and make a few notes. Don’t hold them there for 30 minutes!
- If you can do one thing that’s just good karma, fill out the speaker evaluations. Speakers really appreciate feedback.
- Want to go out and do something? Make sure to hit the Market, try the aviation museum (they have an SR-71), and Top Pot doughnuts
- Don’t think you have to treat it like a marathon either. You need to be rested and most of us fight the time zone change, nothing wrong calling it a day early, watching some TV, and getting some sleep.
- Seattle is a good place for an early morning walk, good way to start the day
- Try to find the zen place where you’re just listening. I seldom take extensive notes unless it’s for a blog post, I’d rather just relax and listen. It’s a tough skill, easy to tune out and miss something interesting.
- Make a list of people you want to meet. Speakers you can find via the schedule, others are harder to find. You may not have a meeting arranged, but have the names in mind so that if you see them, you can be ready to chat. Always good to mention how you heard about them. Don’t worry about meeting all of them, but you’ll find some!
- Barnes and Noble is only a couple blocks away and so is the mall. Do some shopping and take something nice home to the significant other.
- My favorite way to travel in from the airport is a town car, about $45. Find the phone area downstairs, takes about 5 mins for them to arrive, no reservation needed
Hopefully you’ll find an idea or two in the list. I’ll publish the part of my schedule I know closer to the event and would love to meet anyone that reads what I write – whether you like it or think it needs work! Coffee and conversation.