OK first point, this is not an official guide, just a few (hopefully brief) notes that will hopefully help you to not just survive, but thrive.
What is happening where and when?
Surf on over to lanyrd here – http://lanyrd.com/2014/tam/schedule/
- Load the app, find the amazing meeting, sign up as attending, and that will save the schedule for offline access, so you will be all set – no need to clutter yourself up with heaps of paper.
- In meetings you can (if you are on twitter) watch the #TAM2014 hash tag and so that way you tap into thoughts of others in the room as well – that can make it a bit more of a shared experience.
Where can I find lots of hints and Tips?
Basically start here at Tim Farley’s page – http://skeptools.wordpress.com/2014/06/14/online-resources-for-the-amazing-meeting-tam2014/
And a few of my own additional thoughts
Don’t hang back, wander up to complete strangers and say “Hi”. They are probably hoping that you will do the same, so just break the ice.
Surprising things can happen …
- At one specific conference, not TAM, I hooked up with a couple of really interesting people. While we were out at dinner, I started chatting about the day’s meetings, and it was only then that I realised that they were nothing to do with the conference, I had in effect hooked up with two couples who were on vacation. Later they did say that they thought it odd that a complete stranger had hooked up and tagged along with them, but since I had a UK accent, they assumed it was just our way and had gone along with it.
- Have a bit of fun … make a note of somebody’s name badge from a distance, then wander up, look them in the eye and act as if they are a long lost buddy, “Hi Tom, great to see you again, how are things?“. They might play along and assume that you are indeed best buddies and that they are simply having a senior moment.
It is not just the meetings … hang out in the Del Mar and hook up with people. Wander up (to those with TAM badges) and get to know them. Yes the Del Mar is a bar, and no it is not mandatory to actually drink, some do, but many don’t, and not just for health reasons but also financial reasons, the bar is $$$. So buy a soda from a soda machine, huddle that and hang out.
Bottom line : it will be what you want it to be, but can also be far more than you expect, so sit back, hang on tight and enjoy the ride.
I’m here, so you now have an opportunity to meet me – but then you just might get lucky and not actually meet me, and that’s not a bad thing because there are tons of people here who are far more interesting than I am.