OK, look. We all know that IBM Impact is the best place to network, learn about the latest technologies, and listen to fascinating keynote speakers. You already know that. But there's so much more to enjoy. So here, as an Impact veteran, let me share my 5 tips for having fun at Impact.
1. Meet celebrities
Every year, keynote speakers and top techies are on hand at the Conference Book Store to sign copies of their latest books. Best of all, the IBM Redbooks signings are free. Meet the authors (or Elvis or Lady Gaga), and walk away with a complimentary signed hard copy. Signings are scheduled throughout the week, with the free Redbooks signings running 12-1pm on Tuesday and Wednesday.
2. Get VIP access to the ImpactRocks! concert
This year, Matchbox Twenty will headline a full-on rock concert at the Venetian, exclusively for Impact attendees. When Matchbox Twenty visit my city, it'll cost me $110 for the front row. At ImpactRocks! all you need to do is show up when the doors open. And don't forget to grab a free beer and snack on your way to the front of the stage.
3. Plunder great swag at the Solution Center
The Solution Center is a wonderful place to chat with IBMers and business partners about the latest solutions and technologies. And it's also a great place to pick up swag. What child wouldn't want their parent to come back from a conference with pins, bouncy balls, and branded pens? At the IBM Redbooks booth you can even pick up a free CD collection of the latest IBM Redbooks publications aligned to each Impact track.
4. Become a video star
Look around at Impact and odds are you'll see someone with a camera. Video is everywhere, from the Livestream of sessions through to the IBM Impact YouTube channel, there are endless opportunities to become a video celebrity. See how many videos you can sneak into!
5. It's Vegas, baby!
Each evening when the conference closes its doors, don't forget that you are smack in the middle of Las Vegas. There's so much to see. No doubt you already know about the mammoth casino halls, the beautiful Bellagio fountains, and the wonderful stage shows. But there's so much more. The best deal in Vegas is the (off the menu) $8 steak special at Ellis Island Casino and Brewery – one million served (including me on several occasions!). And who could resist the opportunity to jump off the 108th floor of the Stratosphere tower?
What about you? Do you have any tips for the best way to enjoy the week at Impact? See you there!
Martin Keen is an IBM Redbooks Project Leader. He works with technical experts to create books, guides, blogs, and videos. Follow Martin on Twitter at @MartinRTP.