10 Tips for Attending LiveWorx
LiveWorx – formerly known as the PTC User Conference – is a great event for learning more about the present and future of PTC products, advancing your professional development, and networking with your fellow users. Here are my top ten tips – in no particular order – for getting the most out of the event.
Wear comfortable walking shoes. You will be surprised at how much walking you end up doing, between walking the exhibition floor and moving from one presentation to another. Factor in hitting evening after parties at various locations, and you’re putting on several more miles per day than you’re probably used to. Speaking of which…
There’s lots of alcohol, so pace yourself. You get free drink tickets to Monday and Wednesday Happy Hour events. In addition, every night there are numerous events and industry parties with open bars. Set yourself a cut-off time and abide by it. You don’t want a wicked hangover while watching presentations the next day, and your company is sending you to bring back information.
Wash your hands frequently. You’re hobnobbing with thousands of people, many of whom spent several hours in a confined space breathing recycled air to get there. Factor in that you may be off your time zone, and your immune system could be compromised. Follow the same advice as if it were cold and flu season.
Get lots of sleep. The days are long, so do yourself a favor and snag your zzz’s. Since I’m typically coming from the opposite coast, I usually bring over-the-counter sleeping aids to get as close as I can to my personal optimum number of hours. If you are from a different time zone, you may also want to start adjusting to the time zone a few days in advance.
Talk to people! I’ve found the attendees to be incredibly open and honest about their experiences. When you’re sitting in a room before or after a presentation, walking on the exhibition floor, or hanging out at one of the numerous evening events, just say to someone, “Hi, I’m so-and-so from whatchamacallit, what’s your name?” Also, everyone tends to wear their badges around their necks, so it’s pretty easy to see who they are and where they’re from. The person you talk with could end up being a great co-worker, employee, or boss.
Bring your questions. Let your co-workers know in advance that you’re attending. Collect their questions, suggestions, complaints, gripes, and so on. There are numerous “Ask the Experts” sessions, and it’s pretty easy to run into the PTC Program Managers and Product Managers during the week. Many of them are incredibly accessible and open to conversation.
Skip the “free” breakfast on the convention floor and get something healthy at the hotel. It’s the typical over-processed, carb heavy meal that will give you a sugar rush followed by a mid-morning crash. Eat something high-protein, high-fat, low-carb that will sustain you until lunch.
Keep a special envelope for receipts – or scan them with your phone immediately. It’s so easy to misplace those darn things when you need to fill out your expense report.
Download the app. It’s the only way to keep up with last minute schedule- and room- changes. In 2017, I missed the presentation I was most interested in seeing, since the only announcement of the schedule change was on the app. Be aware, it can be drain your phone’s charge though.
Download the presentations afterwards. There’s a wealth of information. And sometimes there are two presentations you want to see at the same slot. A few weeks after the convention, all the slide decks – as well as audio and/or video of some of the panels and demos – are available for download and sharing with your colleagues who weren’t able to attend.
Those are my tips. What are yours?