We're rapidly approaching the event of the year, Magento Imagine. It's a fantastic conference with such great energy and content that I love having the opportunity to attend again this year!
Conferences can get pretty overwhelming, and I believe it's essential to prepare yourself accordingly to maximise your time at Magento Imagine in Las Vegas, so here are my top 5 tips for this amazing conference that I've gathered over the past few years while attending.
Keeping hydrated can be easily overlooked when engrossed in the conference, but it's so integral to keep yourself hydrated. It should be no surprise to you that Las Vegas is hot and I'm sure this year will be no exception, this combined with the air conditioning throughout the hotels will leave you parched in no time. The constant flow of alcohol at evening and nighttime events makes this even more important, don't let a hangover ruin your next day.
I recommend carrying a water bottle with you at all times so you can hydrate on the go! There's also numerous beverage stations and water bottles provided throughout the conference which can help you stay hydrated.
It's easy to get bogged down in all the different activities, talks, parties and meet ups happening over the three glorious days of Imagine.
However, if you plan ahead, you can attend all your relevant content easily, this will help keep you organised and reduce stress in what can easily become a very stressful environment. Magento has the agenda published online available here: https://imagine.magento.com/agenda which allows you to get planning now. Along with this, there will be an app for both iOS and Android which can help you save which talks you want to attend and have helpful notifications when they're starting.
There are also several other activities happening around Imagine which you'll want to be sure you don't miss out on. These can all be viewed here: https://imagine.magento.com/activities. It's advisable to sign up early to these events as they are on a first come, first served basis.
If this is your first time going to Imagine this may seem like some weird advice. However, the hotels and casino's are built like mazes to keep you inside and on the blackjack table for as long as possible.
Las Vegas is a beautiful city at all hours of the day. Around the Wynn hotel there are some lovely water features and lots of vibrant green areas. Taking a short break and venturing outside to observe some nature and soak in some sun can help you keep relaxed and relieve stress.
Also during downtime, there are so many great sights to see throughout Las Vegas, including the various other hotels and the old town. What's a conference without time for a little fun?
With the slew of events & activities available throughout Imagine along with strategically placed bars can make it all too easy to venture off to bed way past 2 am with an alarm for breaking set for 7 am.
I am guilty of doing this numerous times, and it puts the next day's enjoyment in jeopardy. Being tired or hungover for a whole day takes a real toll on you and your mind. Its common knowledge that sleep is essential and it's no different while you're at Imagine, with the lack of windows inside these hotels it's challenging to keep track of time so it can be beneficial to set yourself an alarm when you want to go to sleep.
You can maybe skip this one for the legendary party... but I'll leave that up to you!
There's such a great mix of people attending Imagine every year, and it's such an essential aspect of the event to make meet new people and hopefully gain some new friends. Mingling sounds terrifying and trust me when I say it seemed so overwhelming at my first Imagine. I spent a large portion of my first Imagine being a ghost as it seemed so intimidating to start conversations.
However, trust me when I say the attendees of Imagine are some of the friendliest and most genuine people I've ever met, so push through that social anxiety and try to drum up a conversation or two! If you see me wandering around, do come over and say hey, don't let all the tattoos scare you away.
The underlying message of all of these tips is to look after yourself; it's easy to feel like you can't have a moment to yourself as there are so many things to do and the overall cost of the event places a financial burden upon you. Trust me when I say you're the most important thing in all of this and you taking a short break to maintain your happiness and engagement is crucial.
If you see someone else who seems distressed or is alone during a social event please do reach out to them and see if you can engage them in your conversations or go for a walk together to relax. Whilst looking out for ourselves we also need to look out for one another.