Here are some helpful tips of Autodesk University attendees this week:
- AU Mobile App: Get the AU mobile App AU App for iOS and Android as well in HTML 5 for your laptop or unsupported platforms like the poor BlackBerry.
- Can’t come to Las Vegas for AU 2013? Join us online for streaming keynotes, forums and classes. http://autode.sk/AU-Stream
- Share Your Experience in Photos: Share your photos on social media, AU App, Instagram, or share in theFlickr AU2013 photostream (http://www.flickr.com/groups/au2013/) where you too can also add your AU2013 images to share with anyone for free as well as see other peoples photos including mine.
- Stay hydrated: The desert air will suck the moisture right out of you.
- Clothing: Dress business casual and comfortable. Remember this is a professional event where your peers and people you want to network with are at. This is not the place to wear shorts and that “I am a Chick Magnet” tee shirt.
- Make them Remember You: Bring plenty of business cards to hand out to the people you may meet and want to follow up with.
- Power up the Brain: Be ready for some of the best training and discussions anywhere. Also be ready for brain overload. Hopefully you do not get symptoms of PowerPoint Overload Syndrome PPOS.
- Hashtags on social Media: When posting photos, blog posts or updates on social media like Twitter or photo sites like Flickr please use the hashtag #AU2013.
- Don’t get Lizard Lips: Your lips by the second day will look like something off of a foul desert dwelling lizard, so keep them lubed up to fend off the dry desert air.
- Germs! Don't panic germs are all around us in our everyday lives, but when you group thousands of people together it is a good idea to use the hand sanitizers provided in the event halls or buy some.
- Dragon Breath? You do not want to walk around and talk to your peers with breath that smells like a mixture of coffee, garlic, and road kill. Take some mints, gum.
- Feet: Wear comfortable shoes as the walking distances between rooms and the event can add up and you will feel it at the end of the day. I guesstimate I walk about 2-4 miles a day at AU. Yesterday my fitbit unit said 22,000 steps and almost 10 miles!
- OmNomNom: Have some spare snacks for when you get hungry, perhaps granola bar or something to tie you over as your brain is running full power during AU sessions. You can buy snacks, water, aspirin, and whatever you might need far cheaper at the Walgreens outside the Venetian than inside the casino where even cheap bottled water seems to be 400% more valuable.
- Bad Air: Due to the dry air and constant smoke in the casinos, make sure to bring some eye drops and perhaps a nasal spray. You can also request a free humidifier for your room.
- Wireless Security: Make sure if using the public wireless connection to have a firewall enabled to prevent someone from messing with your machine or gathering data. I would suggest when using hotel or Wi-Fi hotspots to use a VPN solution to encrypt your data from prying eyes such as ProXPN which will work for your mobile and laptop.
- Antivirus: Make sure if you use a public wireless connection at AU this year to make sure you have updated antivirus enabled. Using any public Wi-Fi connection can be risky and can easily allow infection of your machine if not protected. You can even use a free antivirus program like AVG or Microsoft Security Essentials.
- Static Electricity! Be careful and touch a door nob before touching your laptop. A few people including me have fried their laptops due to all the static electricity built up on the carpets and the dry air. I have heard having a dryer sheet or coins in your pocket will help minimize static electricity risks.
- Keep Notes: Use an app like Evernote on your mobile or tablet to jot down notes during a session or those follow up questions for the speaker.
- Cold in Vegas: It not just the blackjack dealer's heart that is cold. Do not be fooled by the palm trees along the streets and casinos, this desert oasis is only warm-hot 75% of the year. In winter it can be downright cold, and has even snowed. Bring a jacket and do not expect to dress in beach clothes if walking outside.
- After Hours Dress Code: Make sure that if you plan on attending some events or venturing out to the clubs that you do not wear tennis shoes or a tee-shirt. Most clubs and finer restaurants enforce a dress code and normally do not permit sneakers or tee-shirt wearing guests.
Most important tip: Learn something, have fun, and meet people!
Follow me on Twitter for live tweeting from the busy event @ShaanHurley or on the AU App.