Ouch, my feet! ... A few tips to remember
Hi all! I am writing this to remind people of some things that seem really obvious but you may forget.
1. Ouch my feet! - There is going to be ALOT of walking. The conference center is gynormous and that is not the only place that sessions and events will be taking place. There will be ancillary hotels with events, sessions, and meetings. While they will be in walking distance, you still have to walk. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes. Ladies - Feel free to wear your flip flops during the walk and throw on the cute shoes on when you get to your room.
2. Water is life - Bring a water bottle and make sure you are drinking all day. Sometimes Microsoft gives you a water bottle but don't count on it. Yes, there will be water fountains here and there but you want to have a ready supply especially when you are sitting in a session or meeting and dying of thirst!
3. Hungry as a horse - If you are like me, the more I move, the quicker I burn off the food I ate. Don't skip any meals! Even if you are not a breakfast person, try to eat and/or stash some snacks for when you get hungry. Do the same at snack time. You may not be hungry now but you will probably be starving 15 minutes after the food is gone and there is 2 hours until the next meal time. Even if you are not like me, you may find that you are during this conference. Better safe then sorry!
4. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz - Make sure you get enough sleep each night. Inspire is a marathon, not a sprint. You want to make sure you have a enough energy for the long haul.
5. Dress for success - During the day, you can dress from suited and booted to business casual. During the evening events, dress for comfort. You may be attending a lot of parties which could mean a lot of walking and it is going to be hot. Casual is fine. It is normal to see fellow attendees in shorts and sandals.
6. Here's a card for you.. and you ...and... - Make sure you bring lots of cards and keep them in your pockets for easy access. You will even want to have some with you for party time because that is when the real networking happens... am I right? BTW, make sure you bring a pen to jot down details about your encounter on the card. That info will be helpful later to jog your memory and jog the memory of person you met when you send them that follow up email.
7. Its all about the connections - Conferences such as Inspire are about networking. Be sure to talk to as many people as possible. Even that random encounter with the person in the lunch line with you may turn out to be a valuable connection.
8. Make you schedule but be prepared to blow it up - Along the lines of #7, you may have chance encounters with people that may conflict with your schedule. If a conversation is turing into something more promising, don't run off to a session and hope you can reconnect with them later. You can always watch the session later online but the conversation you are having may be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
9. Have fun but watch yourself - Being at a conference with plenty of night life such as Inspire can be super fun but try not to have too much fun. You want to moderate your drinking. Also, watch out for heat stroke and super fatigue. Remember you have to make it back to your hotel and back to the conference bright and early the next morning.
10. Watch your mouth! - When we are having fun, some of us can get a bit boisterous, maybe even, dare I say, inappropriate. Remember that you will be surrounded by executives from all different companies including Microsoft. What you say may hurt you (or you company).
I hope you guys found these tips helpful! Please feel free to add your own.
Peace and Blessings,