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Keys to having the BEST experience working a convention

Working a convention can be a grueling task. Long hours, crowded halls, peaks and valleys in booth traffic all lead to a very taxing experience. There is a lot to remember, a lot to prepare and sometimes, the most stressful aspects are in the little details. With Microsoft Ignite just around the corner, you’re sure to make it through by keeping these key elements in mind.

Get Oriented

From the airport, to the convention center, always arrive early enough to get oriented. As soon as you clear security in the airport, find your gate before you do anything else, even if you have hours to spare. From your hotel, take a trip to the venue. Try to figure out what traffic will be like during the hours of travel and plan accordingly.

When you gain access to your space within the venue, locate the services nearest to you: toilets, water fountains, concessions, support stations. Check out a map of the venue and the area you’re staying. Look up where in the area you can get hardware. Getting oriented quickly will instantly relieve stress.

Don’t Panic!

Tensions can run high when so many people converge and many of them are doing pretty stressful jobs. It’s easy to get frustrated when things aren’t working properly. No doubt, even at the best conventions, something is going to go wrong. Here are a few reminders to help you remain calm:

  • Respect the backlog and triage your needs before you escalate them.
  • Know what you can let go of and don’t spread support thin with unnecessary requests.
  • Prepare to be able to talk around any technical failures and still show your product in the best light.
  • Have a personalized calming exercise. Focused breathing or short mantra, whatever works best for you.

Stop to Smell the Roses

You will be hard at work if you’re a presenter at a tech conference. You should definitely also be hard at play.  Do some research before you go. What sessions do you want to attend? Who do you want to talk to? Where do you want to eat? If you’re in town with a team, organize a dinner. You may be there to do a job but events like Ignite are meant to foster connections. Get out there, make friends and always remember to have fun!

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