Quick start guide to Lotusphere

A bit of a misleading title, sorry: I won’t advise YOU on this, I need some advise FROM YOU, the die hards, the old timers, the veterans, the experts, the wizards. This is the very first time I will go to Lotusphere, I’m the virgin, the newbie, the absolute beginner here.

I registered very late, yesterday, and booked my flight and hotel today. I will stay at a Radisson Sas hotel about 1,5 miles from Disney.

Being a new-bee ;-), I ask some help from you. I know, I can dig the web myself, but with so many sheep, eh, info, and so little time, I need a quick start, some guidelines. Some questions:

  • What events are not-to-be-missed?
  • How to start?
  • Are all conferences close to eachother?
  • Should I really plan some schedule in advance?
  • Who will also attend?
  • What non-conference things are also must-sees or must-have-dones overthere?
  • Any other belgians out there?
  • How do people recognize and find eachother in that chaos?
  • Any dangers/warnings? Terrorists Against IBM Association?
  • A million questions I forgot to ask.

Oh, and if you recognize me overthere, don’t be shy, just stop me, I’m always ready for a little conversation!

11 Comments

  1. Here are my tips. There are some bloggers that posted good tips as well, some are linked from the C.U.L.T. wiki at http://ls2008cult.pbwiki.com/Tips+from+the+Experienced+Members.

    I always go through the sessions before I get there. I usually print them out, or use an online tool to plan the sessions. Last year someone there was a web application where I could put together my own schedule.

    When I get to Orlando, first thing I do is to re-check the schedule, see if there are any collisions/changes that I missed, etc.

    The sessions are at 3 different hotels: Dolphin, Swan and Yacht & Beach Club. Try to avoid putting sessions at the different hotels in a row, you will do enough walking anyway.
    Get two pairs of comfortable shoes that you already worn in.

    You will probably not have time for any non-conference activities, unless you stay a couple of days afterwards or arrive early.
    You could go to Downtown Disney, there is a Cirque De Solei there, as well as restaurants and bars.

    Events not to be missed:
    * Welcome party on Sunday
    * Theme Park Party on Wednesday
    * Ask the Developers session (Thursday)
    * Meet the Developers lab (all week)
    Then there are always a bunch of other parties and get-togethers, like the blogger meeting Saturday afternoon, the ESPN party Saturday evening, etc.
    Keep your eyes open.

    Reply
  2. Soo, you are going after all! Mail me or IM me I want to talk to you about this.

    Reply
  3. Karl-Henry, thanks for the info, and the link to the newbie site! At least I have some guidelines now. Anybody else?

    Reply
  4. The most important part of LS imho is the social aspect. So depending on when you arrive, there are various blogger (although anyone is welcome) get togethers…

    A few of the early arrivals will be meeting up on the Friday evening before LS: http://www.qtzar.com/blogs/qtzar.nsf/d6plinks/DSLH-7AMPZB

    Then on Saturday afternoon there is the BALD gathering: http://www.bruceelgort.com/blogs/be.nsf/plinks/BELT-7A4URR

    Then on the Thursday at the end of the conference there is a party being organised by John Head.

    Of course right throughout the week there are various other parties or just hanging around in the hotel bars. Hope to meet you there.

    Matt

    Reply
  5. The Turtle has a ton of information on his site:
    http://www.weightlessdog.com/
    A must-read is the faq: http://www.gonzolotusphere.com/ls2007.nsf/faq?OpenPage

    Rob Novak and Chris Miller on travel regulations:
    http://www.lotusrockstar.com/blog/robblog.nsf/d6plinks/7AP2PS
    http://www.idonotes.com/IdoNotes/IdoNotes.nsf/dx/12292007043135PMCMIUEU.htm

    Plan your schedule ahead using the sessions db by Ben Langhinrichs.
    http://www.geniisoft.com/showcase.nsf/LS2008_SessionsDB

    Reply
  6. Martin, glad I helped convincing you to go !
    Certainly as a newbie you will be overwhelmed, walking on clouds, but thoroughly enjoying the event. As an oldie (13th time at LS), the above suggestions are all great. The Turtle’s site is the place to go. Note that most suggestions/ideas come from people staying close to the conference hotels, and hardly ever travel beyond Disney downtown. There’s much more to see/shop/eat/do beyond !

    Reply
  7. Yes, you surely did help.
    Thanks Matt, Jens and Theo, for the pile of info, I really appreciate!

    Reply
  8. Very exciting.
    I’ll never forget my first time. I was blown away. First time to Florida/Disney/Lotusphere was in 1998. This will be my 6th Lotusphere.
    I echo what Matt says about the social aspect. Don’t miss the Blogger events. I counted in my head about 40+ people I’ve met over the last couple years that will mostly be there again. I constantly run into people I know and that makes the event even more special. I really like the Best Practices sessions. For my money, the content in these sessions is unmatched. BOF’s are great too if you can get up early or stay out of the bar late afternoons. Setting your schedule ahead of time is fine but be flexible to change. Be ready to run yourself hard in every way. Brain drain, sore feet, tired is what you can expect. If you don’t experience this, your doing something wrong.
    ENJOY!

    Reply
  9. Hi Curt! Hm, really looking forward to this, especially with all those enthousiastic reactions!

    Reply
  10. @Martin,
    You have no idea how much fun your going to have. It will jazz you up for the year.
    Rock on!

    Reply
  11. I agree that Turtle has the classic guide for new-bees. My tip for you is to go to Meet the Developers and well, meet the developers of Notes and Domino (and everything else). Here you can not only make connections, but also get answers to those most perplexing questions. Also, for us Loti, we thrive on the interactions with our customers/partners, so make sure you check out the other labs (like UX Lab and Innovations Lab).

    Finally – for fun, one of those nights there’s the Australian party (I forget which one) at Jelly Rolls on the Boardwalk, which can be a wild night, or so I hear. :)

    Have fun and rest now because you won’t get any while there.

    Chris

    Reply

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