By Ofir Nachmani, CEO, IOD
It’s re:Invent time. Which means … it’s re:Invent preview blog time.
This will be my 7th reinvent. I’ve been at every single one since the first and I’ve seen this Amazon business grow to the point where, this year, there will be more than 50K attendees.
In the past, before every re:Invent, I would plan ahead together with my customers, research, and prepare blog posts that covered the events at this amazing conference in specific domains attendees were interested in.
For example, if I wanted to promote a data solution vendor, I would write a blog about the 5 best breakout sessions to attend if you’re dealing with NoSQL engineering. These posts were really successful in driving traffic to our customer’s site because — as you know if you’ve been even once — re:Invent can be a really overwhelming experience in a really overwhelming city.
Especially for geeks, most of whom are not accustomed to the over-stimulation at an event so large and so heavily populated, there’s not just one venue location, but an entire campus. Even AWS understands this potential overwhelm and has actually prepared a series of eight webinars all focusing on how to plan for re:Invent and get the most out of the event.
Back in the day, I’d also run pieces that predicted what Werner, the renowned Amazon CTO, would announce in his keynote and “place bets” on which new releases AWS would announce. But nowadays, there are plenty of tech bloggers and brands offering pre-coverage. This year — my 7th re:Invent! — I want to do something a little different. I’m going to cover … the coverage! For that matter, I opened this subreddit and I invite you to check it out.
*Redittors? Stop and join my new AWS reInvent subreddit/awsreinvent .
Coverage of the Preview Coverage
Most of what bloggers blog about in advance of re:Invent are those that have combed through the more than 2300 breakout sessions and grouped them into categories readers can easily digest; and discovered which brands are hosting parties and identifying which is good for what purpose.
Breakout Session Coverage
There are going to be an estimated 50,000 people in attendance this year and each year, the re:Invent team needs to make every effort to make sure the experience is worthwhile to every level tech professional, no matter the proficiency level. You can find more than 2300 breakout sessions, but as suggested by my friend and tech expert Maish, you also will want to attend more practical session categories such as Chalk Talk and workshops. And as Maish notes, sessions you can’t make IRL you can view later on the plane your way back home. Also, make sure to review in advance this lists offered by your favorite brands or this day-by-day guide at TechTarget of the “5 sessions you must check.”
re:Invent 2018 Party Coverage
Many of the sponsors and exhibitors see the party as the real means of building their brand. It’s one way to stand out in the crowd. I’ve been at parties at a popular Vegas bar and I’ve been to parties in a hotel suite the company’s rented out. Definitely experience a party or two: get your free beer, network, and have a Vegas-style party experience. I am sure that you already have in your inbox at least a few invitations.
Parties are usually a good, less formal way to meet folks at a conference. Don’t miss the Pub Crawls and larger get-togethers such as the one organized by DellEMC, VMware, and AWS co-sponsored party on Wednesday evening. Apart from the tech brand parties, you should not miss the AWS re:Play party — part music festival, part theme park, part massive insanity — on Thursday night. Or, maybe you should…depending on how you handle crowds.
For Post-Event Coverage: Find me on the EXPO Floor
One of the most important stops on the re:Invent campus is the show floor. At the first re:Invent, there were mere tens of exhibitors. And today? There are hundreds: some of which are the small startups from years ago that have since grown to be large successful industry players. As a tech pro, you will be exposed to new names, too. Companies you may never see at any other tech event including VMWorld and Oracle Open World. The geek energy is there, include all the swags and the product people that help the sales people run their companies booths. I strongly suggest to take the time and deep dive into this venue, this is really where you can see signs of this cloud future.
I am going to be there and will be happy to meet you!