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Tips from the Experienced Members

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 3 months ago

Put your best advice for Lotusphere NEWBIES here


On Lotusphere Shoes:


Do NOT buy new shoes to wear at the 'sphere. You will be walking a lot and if those shoes don't fit, you'll regret it. Buy a pair of shoes now and and break them in over the next few weeks.


Here is a pair of shoes that both Sean Burgess and Gregg Eldred highly recommend.


AJP Adds: I always bring two pair of shoes that are of different design and usually switch off each day. I tend to walk (and frequently act) like a 400 pound gorilla (or maybe guerilla!) so a pair of Merrill trail shoes to interchange with a pair of Saucony Grid Hurricane trainers makes the best combo for me. BTW, I just did a search, and I am the "Guerilla Gorilla!"


RHS Adds: I always bring cushioned or gel insoles.



Don't be afraid to talk to people, especially those whose blogs or posts on Notes.Net you read.



I've posted my \"guide\" on my blog. Lots of tips, too many to type out again ;-)



More tips can be found on Turtle's FAQ 

Grab the free water (and non-melting) food while you can at the breaks for later. You don't want to be desperate and go to Tubbi's in the middle of the night.


The lunches usually have either water or something the Disney folks like to call Iced tea (which tastes like cool water with a brown crayon ground up in it).

Grab a beverage at the first break and store it in your backpack to drink with lunch.



Plan your session list well ahead. Always gives yourself alternates. Ben's sessions database is great for that because it shows you everything in the same time slot.




Plan smart. My first year at Lotusphere I didn't realize that the Swan and Dolphin are so far apart, or that getting from DL S Hem 1 to SW 1 is about half a mile. Swan & Dolphin floorplans are the floorplans.



As Sean said, good WALKING shoes are a must!! You will be walking at least a couple of miles a day.


Dress for comfort. Keep in mind that Orlando's average high in January is 72 (but they did have a record low of 26 during Lotusphere 2003). Last year it rained a bit and made things just miserable, and it was pretty chilly a couple of evenings. Just keep an eye on the weather and plan accordingly. Last year I nearly froze to death in some of the sessions so I'm bringing a light jacket I can stuff into my backpack.



PARTICIPATE! The presenters are people too so don't be afraid to talk to them. Talk to your fellow conference attendees. Don't eat lunch alone or just with your coworkers. Go to the BoF's and spend time in the labs. There is a whole lot more to Lotusphere than just running from session to session.



Don't over schedule yourself. Skip one or two session slots and go to the labs and/or walk the show floor, especially if you are looking for a specific solution to a problem.



Exploring the product showcase takes skill, patience and a ruthless nature.


  • Don't let anyone scan your card unless you are actually interested in their product (by Thursday the free pen / keyring / frisbee they are giving away won't even be worth packing to take home).
  • Pick a time during a regular breakout slot and go then when it's quiet - don't try at lunchtime and unless you like rubbing up against complete strangers in a crowd don't plan to look around during the launch party
  • Don't get caught up being pitched to - you'll have to be ruthless and talk over the top of the sales guys either with "i'll just take a leaflet as I'm in a hurry" or interrupting the pitch to point out to them they still haven't answered the one original question you had.
  • If you're not interested in the product but you are listening to the pitch to get a free t shirt then try and cut it short as a favour to them and to you
  • If it's there again this year - the coffee area at the back of the product showcase is usually quiet and with good wireless


Otherwise my tips are


  • Grab water wherever you see it - it's never around when you need it most
  • Expect to be exhausted by Tues afternoon and don't overcommit your time up front (unless your boss has sent you with an agenda and list of people to meet :-( )
  • Sometimes it's simply not worth trekking all the way to and from the lunch tent for a free lunch
  • It's like New Year's Eve, no matter what you do someone will always tell you something you missed was the best thing ever - or that there's a secret party that everyone except you is going to ..
  • If you don't want to appear on monitors all over the conference hotels looking sweaty and tired don't let the guys with big video cameras film you




If you want to get a seat at a popular hands-on session, get there early to queue up. I'm talking at least 30 minutes before the session starts and possibly up to an hour early for the most popular hands-on sessions. That probably means that you'll have to skip a breakout session. So, come with a friend to pass the time or at least a fully charged battery for your laptop.


Suggestion for the Lotusphere planning folks -- let's think about a sign-up for reserving seats at the hands-on sessions.



Don't trust the WLAN at the Swan/Dolphin. If you have to get things done, do it elsewhere.  When 8000 people start using the WLAN at the same time, things may take a little time. Last year's portal sollution was painfully slow.


Remember to bring warm clothes. Florida in january  can be rather cold, especially in the evenings.


Agreed.  The wlan routinely runs out of DHCP addresses.  Plugging your laptop into one of the "wired" spots will sometimes work better


 I'll second the notion that you need to arrive early for the handson sessions, but I don't agree with having a sign up, because some people will sign up and then not show up, which means that those who still want to go will end up queueing at the door before the session starts.


 As a presenter of hands-on sessions more than once, getting there early is a requirement.  I know they fill fast but remember, we have to handle a room with 50 laptops in a short amount of time and keep everyone happy.  I have the feeling that signing up early would only have people not shown and then cause the standby issue where you could miss another session



...unless you run the standby list for hands-on sessions like they do at the airport.  If you have a reservation for a honds-on session, show up at least 15 minutes before the session starts or give up your seat to the next person in the standby line.



 Now that we're 2 weeks out, check your airline and hotel reservations. Better to fix any problems now, then to attempt tp deal with them while you are trying to get to Florida.





You can not buy chewing gum on Disney property, or at Orlando airport, so if you need to chew gum during your flight to keep your ears from popping, be sure to buy enough gum for both flights before you leave home.


Can someone explain to me the reason for no gum at Disney or the airports?




 ...I imagine it's to cut down on having to clean dropped gum around the parks and property. If you don't sell it, there will be less of it to clean up.


Awesome site with Disney resort maps:  http://www.wdwinfo.com/resortmaps/

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