Here are some helpful tips for Autodesk University 2014 attendees compiled by me as a veteran of over 20 Autodesk University events including all Las Vegas AU events.
- First Time attending: Make sure to attend the Freshman Orientation! I will be a mentor at this event so look for my table.
- AU Mobile App: Get the AU Mobile App for iOS, Android, and HTML5. I am on there!
- Unable to Attend AU 2014? Join us online for streaming keynotes, forums and some classes free. http://autode.sk/AU-Stream
- Have an issue at AU: Problems can occur but helpful people are there for you. Refer to the email from the Autodesk University Team. You can also go see them in the registration area, phone them toll free: 888-371-1722 or email: [email protected]
- Stay hydrated: The desert air will suck the moisture right out of you.
- Keep Notes: Use an app like Evernote on your mobile or tablet to jot down notes during a session, or those burning follow up questions for the speaker.
- 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 #AU2014.
- 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 with chapstick to fend off the dry desert air.
- 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.
- 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.
- Dry Air: Make sure to bring some eye drops and perhaps a nasal spray. You can also request a free humidifier for your room.
- 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. I have fried a laptop at Autodesk University 20-12 due to a static shock.
- Share Your Experience in Photos #AU2014: Share your photos on social media, AU App, Instagram, or share in the Flickr AU2014 photostream (http://www.flickr.com/groups/au2014/) You too can also add your AU2014 images to share with anyone for free as well as see other peoples photos including mine once Autodesk University begins.
- 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.
- 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 and take it back to your colleagues, meet new people, and have fun!
Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @ShaanHurley or on the AU App for all the latest info and some very special fun and behind the scenes information.
My past AU photo galleries to get you excited:
Autodesk University Past Event Photos
See you in only a few days,