Friday 21 October 2011

My SC11 diary 2

One goal for the end of each week leading up to SC11 is to have a net increase in certainty of my schedule for SC11 week itself. That means I hope for a reduction in the number of schedule entries labelled "hold for ..." or "tentative", etc. Of course, this usually also means an increase in the number of confirmed meetings, breakfast meetings, dinner meetings and so on. I also look for confirmation of my speaking slots, time to visit bits of the technical program, any media duties, and social events.

At this stage, a few weeks out, the who/what for most of my week is planned, with only a few gaps left for "hold" etc. There are still a few people to contact to arrange a meeting. But even for the confirmed meetings, the location details for many are still missing - and, from experience, will stay as "to be confirmed" until the last days before the show.

One tip that took me a few years to learn was allow some padding between meetings depending on the location. Too often in years gone by I would discover my 1600-1700 meeting was a 15 minute walk from my 1500-1600 meeting. Now I take locations into account where possible, and allow some transit time. And I try to be brutal about finishing meetings on time, however interesting the discussion.

In addition, into these packed few days, I hope for some remnants of "spare" time. I like to have some unplanned time to wander the show floor to see what is new, enjoy a few chance encounters & quick chats with people, and generally feel I have taken part in the main conference, not just a series of meetings!

Never underestimate that SC is hard work. But usually SC will be fun too - there will be many enjoyable social interactions and some networking opportunities in great hospitality settings.

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