How to make the most of your re:Invent journey.
November 22, 2021 - Matt Wong
AWS re:Invent 2021 is just a few weeks away! This post hopes to help you make the most AWS re:Invent 2021.
Here’s what you need to know before you arrive, which trends to pay attention to, and how to choose from the conference’s session catalogue and events agenda.
What is AWS re:Invent?
AWS re:Invent is the largest global conference focused on cloud computing. Hosted Amazon Web Services, AWS re:Invent is celebrating its tenth year on November 29 to December 3, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Previous conferences receive tens of thousands of attendees, making it the go-to event for cloud practitioners of all skill levels. With thousands of sessions, boot camps, hackathons, workshops and keynotes, AWS re:Invent has something for everyone. Best of all, this year you have the choice to attend in-person or join in virtually for free.
Why should I attend?
AWS re:Invent gives you the opportunity to learn technical best practices, hear from the experts, meet with helpful vendors, and network with fellow practitioners. AWS also offers certification and training opportunities at the event, allowing you to level up your cloud knowledge.
In the entertainment capital of the world, everything on the AWS re:Invent schedule takes place on the famed Las Vegas Strip and is accessible on foot or by public transportation.
Attending virtually is also a fantastic option to attend from anywhere in the world, with the bonus of virtual registration being completely free.
So... what do you need to know?
Similar to previous years, the conference campus comprises several hotels along the Las Vegas Strip, with most of the registration activities taking place in The Venetian.
Traveling from one end of the Strip to the other can take as long as 45 minutes, so don’t forget to pack your walking shoes! However, if walking isn't your thing, choose sessions in one or two venues each day, and find out which sessions will be live-streamed or repeated during the conference.
AWS offers a video series on How to re:Invent. These videos are a guide for newbies and past attendees where the AWS event team explains how to get the most out of the conference, insider tips, and planning advice.
Don’t forget to check the agenda to learn shuttle times, activities times and find the registration desk. You can also take advantage of reserved seating when signing up for sessions allowing you to pre-register and guaranteeing you a spot.
Due to COVID-19, AWS is taking precautions for all in-person attendees. If you’re attending in person, be sure to review the event’s health and safety measures, and be prepared to show proof of vaccination.
What’s trending at AWS re:Invent 2021?
If you're not sure where to start, AWS has you covered with their AWS Hero Guides, each recommending what to attend while at re:Invent.
Trending topics include containers, databases, DevOps, machine learning, security, serverless, and storage. The Hero Guides also offer tailored recommendations for startups and first-timers attending the conference as well as introverts who may be a bit overwhelmed at the idea of networking.
In addition to recommendations from AWS Heroes, you can also find guides based on industry and recommendations for AWS Partners.
How to plan your AWS re:Invent?
With the event approaching, you might find it difficult to narrow down which sessions to attend. Session types range from breakout sessions, chalk talks, and keynotes to demos, lightning talks, workshops, boot camps, and more.
Here are some guidelines to help you narrow down your selections:
1. Start looking now.
First, register for the event. Once registered, you’ll have access to the full schedule. Don't Worry, you can register for the virtual event immediately and then still sign up to attend in person. Then, you’ll have the chance to reserve your spot for sessions so that you don’t miss out.
2. Think about your business objectives.
Choosing session topics depends upon your goals for attending the conference. What are your business objectives? What are your interests? Where do you need to build your skills? Consider these questions as you browse the event schedule.
3. Expand your industry or job role knowledge.
What are others in your industry doing in AWS? filter your search to see what professionals are doing in healthcare, manufacturing, telecommunications, the public sector, and other industries. In addition to industry, you can browse the session catalogue and sort based on the date, venue, session type, AWS product, topic, job role, and other parameters.
4. Get the basics on cloud… or level up!
Pay attention to the skill level required for each session: Foundational (100), Intermediate (200), Advanced (300), and Expert (400). Foundational and Intermediate sessions are ideal for those new to the cloud and in non-technical roles. Advanced and Expert-level sessions are deep dives into specific AWS services, which may be great for those from technical backgrounds.
5. Stay in the loop with product announcements and updates.
Every year, AWS re:Invent attendees come away with greater knowledge of AWS products and services. If you use a specific AWS solution, sign up for a session about it so that you can get the latest news. Don’t forget to attend the keynotes and leadership sessions for the big announcements!
6. Make time for professional development.
AWS re:Invent offers in-person and online opportunities for training and certifications to help you advance your cloud practice and your career. At the in-person event, you’ll have access to labs to practise your craft in a sandbox environment, boot camps to deepen your knowledge and AWS certification opportunities.
7. Don't Forget Networking.
Whether you’re attending Midnight Madness (the party that kicks off re:Invent) or checking out one of the many social activities, there are plenty of opportunities to meet with your peers. Schedule some downtime for yourself, too — you never know who you’ll run into during a coffee break or before the next session begins.