In a few weeks Citrix Synergy will take off in Las Vegas. Citrix Synergy is Citrix key event. These events are huge events that can be a bit overwhelming at first. I thought it might be a good idea to write a blog about this event so that newbies (once we all were a newbie) go to the event with more confidence.
I’m not a newbie at events anymore and have my stripes when it comes to distance travelled on events, food eaten there and sessions attended. I try to build my agenda up front, meet people, talk and listen to interesting ones around and in general get something worth-full out of it. So let’s start with some things to get you going and make attending a bit easier. If I forgot anything that others should now, don’t hesitate to let me know. I’ll look into it and add it if it is useful.
1. Citrix Synergy Location
The event is held at the Venetian, the Venetian and the Palazzo is at the beginning of the strip close to the airport. Check out the Rockhouse, that is where the Synergy party is held.
The good thing about Citrix Synergy in Las Vegas is that all sessions are held in one “large” location, no more walking from building to building but all in the same hotel. On the map you see how close the event is to the airport, it’s about 15 minutes drive which is awesome I think. You could walk to the hotel if you’re sick of the long flight. If you think that you have a quick walk to sessions from your hotel room you’re in for a surprise, the locations are so vast that it will take a long time, not mere minutes.
2. Food – one of the more important things.
Breakfast at Citrix Synergy
You might be getting some breakfast at the hotel, at the event or you might want to look further for something else. I like to roam te streets for something different. If you are a newbie at Citrix Synergy you might want to try the newcomer breakfast, you will be served by CTP’s and others. They want you to feel welcome at Citrix Synergy, the newcomers breakfast is on Tuesday and can be found at Sands Expo, Level 1, Sands Hall Lower Lobby.
There are diners around there so you have a choice to eat somewhere else, diners are popular places to eat breakfast or lunch in the US.
I haven’t been in Vegas before but did a bit of research so here’s a list of possibilities:
All are about 10-20 minutes walk so a nice exercise in the morning, sure 10-20 minutes is old-folks speed so I think they are a good option. There a locations close by but then you have to be happy with Subway or even more fast food like Jack in the box or McDonalds.
Of course there is also diner, diner is something different with Synergy. It is a constant fight between a meeting agenda and a party agenda. Meetings can go on until 1900 and parties will start also around that time. Some parties have food, some snacks others will only serve drinks. It’s not possible to say what day you can go the the party without have a bite before and when to have a bite. You don’t want to go heavy on the booze without a base do you? Some day small and quick and someday a nice good diner. You will find you’re own ritme, In Las Vegas I need to look around also, perhaps the Tilted kilt is an option 😉
There are many parties and events around Synergy, some you can register for and some you have to be invited. There are a few parties you have to attend, the Synergy party is one of them. A great band is preforming this year, Fall out boy will be on stage for all attendees. The Synergy party will be held at Fremont street.
There will be parties of other vendors also you have to look around on the Internet to find them. what I’ve seen is that there are a few parties, here is the list I found. If you know more let me know and I’ll add them;
AppSense party, register –here– for the party. It’s at the rockhouse in the Venetian.
Iconic M7 Global Partners party with an Ocean’s M7 theme, starting at 9pm at the Tao. Drop by at their booth to get details.
4. Getting around
Once you are at your hotel you need to get around. hopefully you booked the conference hotel, hotel prices in Las Vegas are not that bad. There are busses going up and down the strip as well as a monorail so that won’t be the issue. A way of transportation I like is Uber, one click ordering a car and you’re gone. Of course if the event is close by a nice walk after hours of sitting is the best option, you’re not in a hurry you just sat for hours.
For the rest you just order a taxi and for a few bucks they can take you to the party or event. The hotel will have the details for the local taxi service, ask at the desk and they will help you to find the nearest and first available taxi.
5. Sightseeing Las Vegas
There are many interesting things to see in Las Vegas but not in walking distance and not for just a quick visit. Most sight seeings are at least an hour out.
There is one sight seeing that is around the corner, the Las Vegas sign so that is #1 to go see.
Las Vegas sign, just a bit before the hotel, it’s a 9 minute walk south coming from the hotel
If you want to be the real tourist, do the Vegas guided tours, look them up at guided vegas tours asking tours are available at $40 or $89 depending on the time it takes.
Something I think is cool is the Neon museum, ever wondered where all the cool sign of the old Las vegas stip went to? They were stored in the museum. check them out at Neon museum. They are located at 770 North Las Vegas Blvd 46 min by bus and 13 minutes by taxi.
Who didn’t play pinball machines when they were young, well pretty close to the hotel is the pinball hall of fame. They are located at 1610 East Tropicana Ave. 9 minutes by taxi and 33 minutes by bus.
Shooting range, perhaps this is more for us guys but if you look at The Vegas Machine Gun Experience you have a nice option for the days around Synergy. There are more shooting ranges around so look for the one that you like most.
There are so many more… so many more, if you have cool ideas let me know and I’ll add them.
6. Where to dine?
If you look at the map and search for diners and restaurant you find a vast number of them. Make sure you roam the street and find the best spots. The best spot is not always the most pricy restaurant, there is some good food in places you won’t expect.
The prices of the ones listed here are medium priced, there are different price classes but I thought you will find more expensive ones yourself.
Or if you are up to it… the Tilted kilt, and who can withstand an Irish diner with a Guinness in a nice atmosphere 😉 They are located a The Linq,3545 Las Vegas Blvd. L-26,Las Vegas. I’m sure I will be there at least once being a “Guinness” fan.
There is one more extreme place to eat out… The Heart Attack Gril is something for you. If you are looking for 20000 calories you need a Octuple bypass burger. You need to do some walking afterwards if you can to get those off. Lucky there a not close to the hotel, they are located at Neonopolis, 450 Fremont St. It’s a two hour walk so you burn 800-900 calories there, almost enough to burn of the burger.
Ah well I let you roam the area, if you find a great spot let me know… it’s just a week and you can’t try them all so just pick a few and tell us on Twitter what you thought of the suggestion, I’m curious and will take you review serious for next years blogpost.
7. Citrix Synergy Sessions
Of course you go to Citrix Synergy for the sessions, we’ll choose them wisely. A lot of session start of with 10 minutes of marketing level and then go on in a far to low technical level. It’s therefore wise to read well on the content of the session and look at the session level. Most of us IT consultants come to Synergy with knowledge and want to learn more, get more deep insight information.
A lot of session are level 300 or lower and don’t provide that deep dive, they are for the less experienced ones and for others. My technique is that I have a short list of topics I want to learn about, get information about during Synergy.
Make sure you register for session on time, you don’t want to be in the waiting line. Also add time to visit the floor, you can do that with adding personal time from the top of the schedule screen.
I pick session where either the content is about those topics or the one presenting has knowledge about it. I prepare some questions (have them in my head all year long) and wait the moment to ask them during the session. sure not all questions are answered in the session, sometimes the question goes to far for the level of the session. If that happens you should wait until after the session and talk to the presenter in the hallway. First you have to wait for the fanboys to say goodby for they are always around.
Had some nice conversations in the hallways that gave more info than 1 hour in a session..my list of topics is growing already for this year.
…and don’t be afraid to walk out of a session if the content is not good enough, you are not there to please them, you paid loads of money to get good content.
8. The floor – solution expo
The real content is to be found on the floor. Having said that, I should warn you that half the people at the stands has no clue on what they sell, they are hired to smile and show their nice figure to you. Try to find the guy who wrote the code, invented the product and talk to him. There are moments that the floor isn’t that busy (when they don’t draw for an iPad) and that you can actually talk to people.
Again I make a shortlist of vendors on the floor and write down why I want to talk to them. Some talks are because they are long time friends but most are talks about new techniques and products. If you don’t come prepared you are facing 500 vendors in a hall that all have a stress ball or sticker for you, not why you came to the event is it, you came here to learn of new cool product, right?
At one side of the floor are the smaller companies the startups, They get the least attention and are almost most interesting. I make time to visit them, not all of them but again through a shortlist.
9. Gadgets at Citrix Synergy
If you want to pay a few thousand of dollars for an event and hotels to get stress balls, stickers, usb stick and so on… you gotten to the right place. I’ve seen men walk out with two large shopping bags full of crap worth pennies. Every stand will offer you this kind of stuff and the game is to pick out the nice things only.
A lot of vendors are giving away an iPad or similar, if you have time enough you could enter all drawing and hopefully go home with one. If you enter the drawing you have to be present and will miss sessions. I would be very picky about this for it will eat your time and time is limited. I would pick up the occasional t-shirt but only if it was original enough, perhaps if you are building a house you will collect a few more. If you are looking for t-shirts and gadgets you better take an extra bag with you, saw a guy walk out once with two big shopping bags full of gadgets like stress balls and t-shirts and more stuff than you can imagine.
10. During the day
At Citrix Synergy they take care you have enough to drink and eat, during the day water, drinks and snacks are provided. it might be wise to take bottle of water extra the first time it’s offered. temperatures are high (not too high) but high enough to drink enough.
11. Dress code
Dress code at Citrix Synergy is business casual I guess although you see everything from business suit to flip flops and bermuda’s. I tend to go in jeans with a T-shirt and jacket to look a bit business and a bit relaxed. The jacket is handy for a wallet and phone and gives me a bit business look.
I think to be taken seriously when asking questions to expert you have to look like you are serious. You can’t appear with a Hawaii shirt and ask a question… for me that’s a no go, so please think about how you dress and how you want people to see you. I promise you people will act different when you dress smarter.
12. Learning labs
Learning labs are available during Citrix Synergy to help you experience the awesomeness of solutions and have a feel how they work. This is a great opportunity to get to know products you normally don’t work with. Make sure you make time for this.
13. Certification at discount
If you are due for a certification update or want to take a certification this is the time to do so, there are discounts available. Register here to make the most of your Citrix Synergy visit – link –
Well that’s my view on Citrix Synergy, hope you will get something useful out of it, if you have questions or additions please let me know in the comments or via twitter @robbeekmans.