AWS re:Invent 2017 Conference Reflections Part 1

Introduction

The session halls are rather big.

Preparations

Reserve your conference and hotel well beforehand since the conference is pretty popular (some 40.000 attendees in 2017).

And now comes the most important piece of advice. Check out the session catalog well beforehand the actual booking for sessions begins, and make a note to your calendar the date and time for the session bookings. When the session booking starts (this year midnight in Helsinki time), book a seat for all sessions you definitely don’t want to miss. The most popular sessions will be booked in minutes, so you have to be fast.

In the conference there are some 25% of the seats reserved for walk-ups but there could be a very long queue and you might have to come to the walk-up queue some 50 minutes before the session starts to get in. So, make sure you book reserved seats for those sessions you don’t want to miss.

When to Arrive and Where to Stay?

I strongly recommend to arrive Las Vegas at least on Sunday — this way you can get your conference badge without needing to queue the badge on Monday morning and possibly miss some morning sessions (the queue on Monday morning was really long).

I recommend either Aria or the Venetian (we stayed at Aria). Those are the biggest hotels and at least in this year the most interesting sessions and side activities seemed to be in those venues (Squad area at Aria, Expo at the Venetian).

Nordic travelers having good time under the palm trees.

Conference Mobile Application

The AWS re:Invent Mobile Application.

Sessions

Attending one of the some 1000 sessions.

AWS Certified Lounge

If you are an AWS Certified specialist don’t miss the AWS Certified Lounge. You will get “AWS Certified” sticker to your conference badge which will give you some extra benefits in the conference premises.

Funny Things

There are a lot of funny activities in the conference you can attend, e.g. building mechano legos, broomball competition, robocar rally, scavanger hunt to earn points you can use to purchase AWS products at Swags etc. I visited the Alexa Booth which was a bit like a closed phone booth with AWS Alexa inside. You could ask anything from Alexa.

Alexa booth.

Conclusion

Nordic travelers — the appearance is ragged but the spirit is high. (Note the AWS Certified stickers on the badges.)

I’m a Software architect and developer. Currently implementing systems on AWS / GCP / Azure / Docker / Kubernetes using Java, Python, Go and Clojure.