This is a short, sweet, information packed post I'll provide YOU with some tips and explanations which I found invaluable while attending AWS Re:invent in 2023.
Keep a day for traveling both at the start, come on Sunday not too late at night. 🛫
And then when leaving, depart later on Friday to give yourself time to recover from the longer week, and re:play (on Thursday) 🛬
MGM Grand where I stayed, is a great affordable "hub" for the event.
Why is this a good hotel for re:invent?
- Easy fast travel to other event hotels (First thing in the morning @ 7am the monorail starts from MGM Grand and goes to everywhere else, so you'll always have a spot on the monorail if you get there before 7am :)
Affordable rooms (MGM is fair priced compared to where lots of execs/C-levels stay, at the Venetian where the Expo & Keynotes are held)
Many sessions (MGM Grand had a lot of really good sessions I attended 30-40% of my sessions right in my own hotel!)
Food provided (Not all hotels have meals, MGM Grand does)
AWS Re:play travel is ideal with the monorail setup of MGM Grand being first stop, and the re:play event being last stop. (No one else at any other hotels even came close to fitting on the monorail. Go MGM Grand, get your monorail spot at station #1 locked in!)
- Reserve sessions which you truly care about
Keep a very very close eye on AWS social media and your inbox 📥, they tell you about reserving sessions weeks/months ahead of re:invent, and you'll want to be ready for that!
You can log in early and "favorite" all the sessions you want, then when reservations open you can easily go to your calendar and hit "Reserve Seat" on all the ones you want!
- Go to the Keynotes!
I only missed one keynote (the vendor keynote).
But I would highly recommend going to as many as you can!
Dr. Werner Vogels had my favorite keynote.
If you haven't already, check out Dr.Vogels thefrugalarchitect.com
- Meet People & Network (Friends, Family, co-workers, clients, vendors)
AWS Re:invent is the place to network! I had the pleasure of meeting some fantastic folks from NASCAR, BMW, Adidas, and many more. Connect with folks on LinkedIn, or use Apple's NameDrop feature which works very well!
I also had the pleasure of randomly bumping into my cousin in-law who happened to be there as well.
We walked the Expo center and enjoyed some AWS Deep Racer
The meals provided were fantastic!
The dining halls are very large, the food provided is fantastic quality. They meet all dietary special needs for folks.
Herbal tea, regular teas, and coffee are provided (sometimes with snacks) in the afternoon.
Breakfast and Lunch are offered. Dinner is on YOU.
Even if you aren't a big party person, or don't drink. (which explains me) It is still an absolute blast to see all our peers in the industry just having fun and celebrating the week.
In conclusion, AWS re:Invent is more than just a conference; it's an experience.
From the hotel choice to reserving your sessions, detail matters in making the most of this event!
The keynotes are a must-see, and the networking opportunities are invaluable. The food is excellent, and the Re:play event is a fun way to wrap up the week.
Whether you're a seasoned attendee or a first-timer (like me), these tips should help you navigate re:Invent and make the most of your time.
Remember, it's not just about learning; it's about connecting, growing, and having fun along the way!
- Logan S. @d4rkd0s