IBM InterConnect Survival Guide
Updated February 18, 2016
There’s nothing quite like attending a conference in Las Vegas. But, what do you get when you combine IBM Impact, IBM Innovate, and IBM Pulse into one? InterConnect. Quite possibly the largest conference you’ll attend all year. InterConnect is being hosted in two Las Vegas Hotels; Mandalay Bay and the MGM Grand. The Internet of Things (IoT) stream will be located at Mandalay Bay, and will cover all topics dealing with Maximo. Here are some survival tips for how to make the most out of your InterConnect experience.
1. Plan Your Sessions
- Plan ahead of time which sessions you would like to attend while at InterConnect. Meeting room space is limited, so you’ll want to make sure to get to each session early in order to secure a seat. This is a great opportunity to network before the session with those around you. (They’re there because they’re interested in the session topic too!)
- Keep a map handy of Mandalay Bay and the MGM Grand, as both hotels are sometimes difficult to navigate. Things become even more difficult when crowded with hundreds of conference attendees.
- To review the sessions available you can look at the current agenda on the InterConnect website: http://www.ibm.com/cloud-computing/us/en/interconnect/agenda.
2. Learn Something
- Educational opportunities abound! The Lab Center, located at Mandalay Bay, will be open Monday through Thursday. This center provides ample training in the newest IBM software releases. Take your time, work through the labs at your own pace until you’ve mastered the concepts.
- The Certification Test Center, located at Mandalay Bay, provides you with the opportunity to get certified in your favorite IBM products. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the concepts from the Lab Center, head on over to the Certification Test Center and get certified!
- Every session that you will attend welcomes questions. Every presenter is more than willing to talk to you about the solutions they’ve presented. Be sure to grab their business card in case you have additional questions after you leave.
3. Networking Tips
- Bring plenty of business cards.
- Did you just get a business card? Write down a quick note for yourself on the back of the card about the topic you were discussing. You’ll talk to a lot of people during the conference, and it’s often difficult to remember afterwards exactly which networking opportunity you really wanted to follow up on.
- Grab a business card scanning application on Android or iPhone. These applications help you keep track of your contacts and you won’t have to worry about losing a business card.
- There are plenty of after-hours networking opportunities sponsored by InterConnect exhibitors. Strike up a conversation with an exhibitor and you are likely to secure an invite to one of these events.
- Swag is a slang term used to describe all the freebies vendors offer at trade shows. These items are often handed out to attendees visiting the vendor booths.
- Don’t take everything! By the end of the day, you’ll be overloaded with swag, and it’s often a pain to have to carry it all around. Most pamphlets and brochures are available online, all you need is a business card with a web address.
- Bring a bag with you so that you can collect all of your swag in one place.
- Keep in mind, when the conference is over, you’ll need to find a way to transport all of your swag back home.
5. Take Care of Your Feet
- Wear comfortable shoes to walk around the conference. You will be doing a lot of walking.
- There are a lot of exhibitor sponsored refreshment breaks throughout the day, make sure to take advantage of them.
- Both Mandalay Bay and MGM Grand have couches and chairs in the conference centers. Take every opportunity you can to sit down, relax, catch up on work email, or network.
5. Getting Around
- The conference spans two different Las Vegas hotels. They’re close, but they’re not THAT close.
- Hoofing it – You’re looking at having to travel from Mandalay Bay, through Luxor, through Excalibur, through a small section of New York New York, and finally arriving at MGM if you want to switch hotels. You could walk outside too, if that’s your thing.
- Cabs are readily available at the entrance to both hotels. If walking isn’t your style, hop a cab.
- There’s a monorail that will take you between Mandalay Bay, Luxor, and Excalibur. It drops you off right at the crosswalk to MGM. If you’re looking to skip some walking, take the monorail, it’s free!
6. HAVE FUN!
- This year’s general sessions include a variety of exciting visionaries and innovators. The runners on our team are particularly excited to hear Simon Wheatcroft, ultramarathoner and founder of &Adapt, talk about his journey to run a 100-mile race – while blind – as well as the technology adaptations he developed to accomplish such a feat.
- Sir Elton John will be performing live at a special InterConnect event on Wednesday night. Don’t miss it!
- Have fun, and don’t forget… what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!
More information about IBM InterConnect can be found here http://www.ibm.com/cloud-computing/us/en/interconnect
Maven Asset Management will be attending IBM InterConnect, and would be happy to help you navigate the conference. Please feel free to contact our CEO, Jennifer Gatza, if you would like to meet at InterConnect.