First Time at TechEX? 5 Tips to Maximize Your Experience
By Amber Rasche - Senior Communications Specialist, Internet2
Start the countdown. Just 35 days remain until the 2022 Internet2 Technology Exchange, and we can’t wait to see you in Denver, Colo., Dec. 5-9!
With expert advice from Internet2 staff, we put together five tips to help first-time attendees make the most of their TechEX22 experience. It’s been too long since we last convened in person, so even seasoned TechEX attendees may discover some helpful reminders.
From practical advice on staying hydrated in the Mile High City to the slew of social activities that you won’t want to miss – we’ve got you covered with what to do before, during, and after the event.
1. Plot your path through the program before you arrive.
With five tracks and 100+ technical talks, tutorials, workshops, and co-located events, TechEX offers so much great content to choose from. Set yourself a reminder for each talk you don’t want to miss – they won’t be recorded, so you can’t catch them after the event. Include at least one session that extends outside your core area; our new cross-topic sessions are a great fit! And once you arrive, use your planned schedule as a guide, not a rule book. Closer to the event, you can also download the TechEX22 mobile app and use it to plan your schedule on the go!
“Pace yourself – folks often get information overload by the third day (or earlier) if they go full tilt from the start. Choosing a must-see schedule in advance helps identify downtime when you can either room-surf, have hallway conversations, catch up on email, or head outside for a brief walk to refresh.”
2. Embrace and announce your newcomer status.
Sport your conference badge with its “first-time attendee” ribbon during all conference activities. As you join for social events, Internet2 staff, program committee members, and working group chairs are on the lookout to loop you into conversations and introduce you to others in the community. Feel empowered to ask questions! Whether it’s a logistical question for our events staff at the registration desk or a topic-related question for a presenter, know that the community is approachable, passionate, and inclusive – they’ll welcome your questions and be happy to answer them.
“You’ve chosen an interesting and exciting moment for your first time attending TechEX. Many members of our community have not seen each other in quite a while, and they’re excited to be getting the band back together – so to speak. Don’t be put off by how excited folks are to see each other. We have a lot of catching up to do, and you’re more than welcome to join in. In fact, make it a point to introduce yourself and find your “band” of peers, and this time next year, they will be excited to see you and vice versa.”
3. Get social with us – online and in person!
Use #TechEX22 to follow along and participate in the conversation on social media leading up to, during, and after the event. It’s a great way to connect with speakers, facilitate missed interactions with other attendees, exchange highlights from sessions you attended or missed, and coordinate group dinners and social outings. Watch your inbox for an invite to join track-specific Slack channels to connect with peers and continue the conversation online. Join us for in-person social activities, too, including the Newcomer Breakfast on Tuesday morning, the Welcome Social on Tuesday evening, and the Sponsor Happy Hour on Wednesday evening.
“If you are attending TechEX with a colleague from your organization, ask if you can shadow that colleague and use the opportunity to also build and strengthen your relationship with them.”
4. Get ready to roam with eduroam and bring portable chargers for your devices.
eduroam is one of the Wi-Fi options available at TechEX. If your institution participates in eduroam, make sure your laptop, tablet, and/or phone are set up to connect to eduroam before you travel so you’ll have seamless, secure access to Wi-Fi during the event. Whether you’re taking notes on your laptop, making group dinner reservations on your tablet, or hailing an Uber from your phone, you’ll also want to keep your devices charged to get through each day – so keep portable chargers handy in your bag, briefcase, or purse.
5. Wear comfortable shoes and stay hydrated.
Each day of the event, you’ll be moving about with plenty of sessions to go to and people to see – so choose comfort over fashion for footwear. Staying hydrated is always important and can be more challenging with the higher elevation and lower humidity in Denver – so bring a reusable bottle and drink plenty of water. Lip balm and moisturizer are also helpful tools for staying hydrated in the Mile High City.
“Visiting Denver in December is truly magical! There’s plenty to do and see within walking distance from TechEX. Pro tip: if you’re looking up dinner or happy hour spots, consider all the great options in the Highland and LoHi (Lower Highland) neighborhoods, both a quick 10-minute ride from the conference.”
Want more information and insights about this year’s event? Visit the TechEX22 website or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Once we’re together in Denver, find our helpful staff at the event registration desk and be on the lookout for the red “staff” ribbons on all Internet2 staff badges. We aim to help, and we look forward to meeting or reconnecting with you!