With Citrix Synergy seemingly just around the corner, I find myself reflecting on the years that I’ve attended in the past, the mistakes I’ve made, and the things I’ve learned over years and years of this event. I’m starting to think about the logistics of the trip, my schedule, what to pack, etc… I thought I might write down some of the things that I know now, that I didn’t know at my first Synergy. So, for those of you attending for the first time, or even the 10th time, I hope at least one of these tips will help you have a more successful Synergy… tips from a seasoned Synergy pro.
- Don’t even think about missing the keynotes – On BOTH days. This is where all the buzz begins. The keynotes are the origination of all the excitement of Synergy. If there is a new product introduced, you’ll hear about it here. If there are exciting new features, you’ll hear it about here. You’ll hear how other companies are using Citrix technology to solve problems, and get ideas about how you can too. If you only attend ONE thing at Citrix – the keynotes are it. Don’t miss them!! Furthermore, I’ve found that sometimes I hear about something at the keynote that I want more information about, and later attend a break-out session about it. What you hear and see at the keynotes could likely influence the direction of the rest of Synergy for you!
- Attend sessions that are above your skill level – I’ve found that I’m often bored in a breakout session that I attended because I thought, “I know about that topic, but I’d like to know a little more”, and so I sit through 45 minutes of stuff I already know for only 5 minutes of new information. But when I attend sessions I know NOTHING about, or I KNOW are at a level higher than my current understanding, I always come away feeling smarter. You can ALWAYS go back and research the basics of some technology, product offering, service, or methodology. It’s the advanced stuff that’s harder to come across, and Synergy is your opportunity to learn it. Synergy is the Mecca of uber-smart Citrix people, and if you want to be smarter like them, go to those advanced sessions.
- Sign up for Deep-Dives or Instructor led labs early – Seriously. Do it. Stop reading this now and go do it. Those things fill up fast and you’ll regret it if you don’t do it right now. And when you’re doing it, refer to tip #2. Sign up for the ones you think are above your skill level.
- Get your agenda set ahead of time – Again, stop reading this and do it. Come back to this post later. Even the breakout sessions fill up sometimes, so it’s good to get in early. ALSO, if you’re like me, you’ll have receptions, dinners, and events scheduled throughout the duration of the event, and there’s rarely time to spend sitting in front of your computer planning your sessions for the day when you’re running around like crazy trying to fit everything in. So do yourself a favor and plan all your sessions ahead of time.
- Wear gel insoles – I’m not paid nor do I have any affiliation with gel insole manufacturers so when I say this, it comes from years of sore feet at Synergys past. I’d be lying if I told you I haven’t done that move where you stand on one foot for a while to rest the other, and then vice versa. You look like a flamingo with anxiety when you do that, so get yourself some gel insoles.
- Follow the #CitrixSynergy hashtag on Twitter. If you find yourself sitting in a session that wasn’t quite what you’d thought it would be (maybe because you skipped tip #2) you can look to see if someone else is tweeting one that might be more interesting. If you’re in a good session, tweet about it so those people who want to leave theirs know about yours. It’s like Yelp for breakout sessions.
- Bring a spare battery or battery charger for your phone – I can’t tell you how much this has saved me at Synergys past. I don’t think I need to explain why this is important, but it’s often overlooked. It may be the last tip here, but don’t sleep on it. It’ll save you.