Know before you go: tips for maximizing your IAUG experience
IAUG has a history of providing leading communications technology education and training for those who attend the annual conference and the 2016 IAUG ENGAGE Conference promises to do the same. In fact, there is so much great content offered that it can be daunting trying to determine where to focus, so we’d like to offer some tips on helping you make the most of the 2016 IAUG ENGAGE conference.
Before you go
To keep from getting overwhelmed at IAUG, here are a few pre-trip tips:
- Back up. In the worst case scenario that your laptop is stolen or hacked, back up your data before you go. Seriously. Do it now. Both cloud and hard drive.
- Kiss your spouse and kids. Being out of the office and absorbing huge amounts of information while making a plethora of new connections is taxing, but so is being without you! Make a point of spending a little time with your family before you go.
- Tidy your desk. Want to come back to a nice, clean desk on Monday morning when your boss asks, “What did you learn at IAUG?” Do a quick declutter, and rinse out that coffee cup.
- Set your out of office notification. To let prospects and colleagues know you might be slow replying to emails, set your out of office notification.
Remember to pack
In addition to standard work attire, a few packing tips:
- Layers. While Orlando is warm, the conference area might be chilly. Bring a jacket or sweater.
- Vitamins. Late nights drinking… er… “networking” can lead to weakened immune systems and leave you vulnerable to the “convention crud.” Bring vitamins or Emergen-C to stay healthy.
- Multiple shoes. With a huge amount of walking and standing required, it’s wise to bring at least two pairs of shoes. When one pair becomes uncomfortable, switch to the other pair. Ladies, if you’re bringing heels, remember to bring an additional pair of low heels or flats.
- Snacks. Junk food and sweet treats are stock in trade at IAUG. Bring protein-rich snacks such as almonds or sunflower seeds to keep energy levels high without the sugar crash.
- Business cards. With all the electronics we use today, many people forget to bring their actual business cards! Bring at least 100.
- Pen. I like to scribble notes about the conversation on the back of business cards, especially if I promise a follow up. Always be the guy with the pen!
- Bleach pen or wipes. There is nothing worse than walking around a cocktail party with the drink you spilled on your tie earlier tarnishing your appearance. Bring Shout wipes or a bleach pen. Even if you don’t use it, you can be the hero to someone else: I once offered a detergent wipe to a company president who had just spilled spaghetti sauce on his white shirt before going on stage to address the entire company!
- USB hub. Got more than one electronic device that needs overnight charging? Invest in a USB charger like this one I take on every trip. It only uses one hotel outlet and charges six devices at once.
Map your plan
It’s important to note that the content of the sessions offered is always aligned with the biggest industry trends, so choose the content that will be most relevant to your business. Before you leave, select your must-do’s and your nice-to-haves. (The best way to do this is to head to the IAUG website and navigate to the For Attendees tab and click on the Agenda Search option.)
Once you know which sessions you will be attending, check out the Workshops that are being offered during the four-day event. The Workshops page offers a daily schedule of workshops offered along with a brief explanation of what will be covered in each one. Again, mapping this out prior to the conference will help you narrow down the offerings that will best suit your business needs.
Once you arrive at the event, make sure you have plenty of water with you to stay hydrated, and become religious about hand-washing and sanitizing, if only for the three days of IAUG. You won’t get much out of the event if you’re sick and in bed in your hotel room.
Be sure to visit the Expo Hall. The best time to scope out the Expo Hall is the opening night cocktail event on Monday. Grab a drink, chat and scope out the exhibit floor. Then make a note of the top three to five booths you’d like to revisit on Tuesday for more detailed information. A few other tips:
- Schwag. Decide if you want to collect schwag (fun, branded freebies given away by vendors) or if you’d rather collect digital information and save the luggage space.
- Hydrate. I said this once before, but it bears repeating. The Expo Hall is notoriously dry, so hydrate more than usual–dry sinuses are vulnerable to infection.
- Passport to Prizes. In your registration packet you’ll find a Passport to Prizes Partneropoly Game board that you’ll want to get stamped as you navigate the Expo Hall. Not only does it help you to visit key vendors, but you can also win some great prizes! (We’re giving away an Apple Watch. I’m just sayin’.)
- Hashtag. If you’re a social media geek like me, you’ll want to follow the event hashtags, #IAUG and #AvayaEngage, to find out about secret events, contests and the best content and information. And why not follow Spoken on Twitter while you’re at it? 🙂
And did I mention you should stop by the Spoken booth 117? We’ll stamp your passport AND show you how to save 30% on the total cost of ownership for an Avaya cloud contact center!
Have a little fun
There’s nothing better than carving out a little time for fun, especially in a locale like Orlando, FL. Whether you enjoy golfing, amusement parks, the spa or just some time in the sun, plan to arrive a day early or stay a day late if you can! There are also plenty of networking events and dinners to attend. Vox Network Solutions is hosting a dinner on June 7th sponsored by Spoken. Space is limited so learn more and RSVP to join us.
We look forward to seeing you at the 2016 IAUG ENGAGE Conference!