Leave it to a musician to warn you not to get too drunk 😉
As a guy who attends a lot of events and attributes many of them to his financial success, I figured I'd offer a few tips for making the most of the event:
- Your first priority should be people. Everything else can be time shifted for later consumption. This is much about content as it is beer.
- If you paid for the “Full Conference” pass, make sure you remember that every presentation will be recorded and made available to you later. There will be times when the conversation in the hall, or at the booth, or the lunch gone long will be worth one hundred times more than the presentation you're missing. Just emailed Tim and he promises access to the audio files “Thursday after” the event.
- If you haven't purchased a “Full Conference” pass, but are there to seriously network, consider the following: your chance for a real conversation with a speaker or vendor or “podebrity” (please Apple, send me a cease and desist) is considerably better in a smaller breakout room (or on the way to/from) than it is in a hall with a gazillion people. I don't know if there are any left but one good connection could be worth many times more than the $299 fee.
- Most anyone who attends an event like this is there for the people. Podcasters are a friendly bunch. You will have access to folk you never would have had access to otherwise. However, timing is everything in this. Catching someone at a time best for you is never good as catching someone at the time best for them. Before a presentation is always bad. Right after a presentation, you're competiting with a lot of others. Be strategic.
- If there are two simulanteous places/presentations you'd like to be at, pick the one that makes the most sense from a networking/people standpoint. You can always get the content later.
- This is Podcast Expo, not your chance to abuse someone else's hard work to push your agenda. Playing within the game is always a very smart move. If you want to leverage the opportuntity, look at Rob's Poker Game (note, they're not competiting with any other event), any of the meetups posted on the official board, or even Podango's Unconference as a model (disclosure, I'm a presenter).
- Get lots of sleep before, drink lots of water, consider eating a little healthier than you normally do. You'd be surprised what a difference that makes.
And you know what, I just can't get enough Dave.