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A Guide to Learning, Networking, and Fun at AWS re:Invent

Marianna Noll

6 min read

Last updated on October 30th, 2023 at 9:34am

A successful AWS re:Invent experience requires a solid approach to session planning, networking, walking the expo hall, and fun activities. Here’s our take at bundling all of that for you!

Getting Started

  • Your AWS re:Invent badge is your key to everything at the event (sessions, expo floor, networking receptions, re:Play, etc.). You don’t want to lose your badge. The wait to get your badge at the registration desk at the convention center can be long. Skip that and pick up your badge at Harry Reid International Airport, Terminals 1 and 3.
  • Between the session rooms, the expo floor, and the hotels, AWS re:Invent is spread across a big campus. Get your bearings with the AWS campus map.
  • Sessions fill up quickly and, at this point, what you want to attend could very well be booked to capacity. Sessions are typically available after the event in a playlist in AWS' YouTube channel. You can listen at 2x speed. ;)
  • AWS re:Invent regulars will tell you the 'hallway track' conversations and the serendipitous meetings over meals and happy hours are the big draw of the conference. Leave yourself time for these opportunities to make connections and learn from others – in person!
  • If this is your first time, here’s a great newbie guide by an AWS community hero. And the AWS team has specific guides on everything from containers to sustainability.

Sessions That Caught Our Eye

Sessions are held at multiple venues: plan your approach and leave time to get between locations.

We have many customers in the public sector space, so hearing case studies is always welcome:

  • WPS102 | The U.S. Air Force’s journey through the clouds, to the cloud
  • WPS208 | Building Cloud Centers of Excellence for state and local governments
  • WPS304 | Using Zero Trust to reduce security risk for the public sector

Other sessions we'll be checking out:

  • ARC324-R | Demystifying a multi-account strategy – We are big proponents of a multi-account approach.
  • SEC316 | All things in life are temporary: An IAM credential journey – IAM is a big part of our solution (we’ve won awards for our approach!), so this is a journey we’re interested in.
  • PEX108 | Drive efficiency at scale by choosing the right CloudOps partner – We’re proud to be an AWS CloudOps partner and to work with that team at AWS. We’ll be cheering them on.
  • DAT302 | Build stateful K8s applications with ultra-fast Amazon MemoryDB for Redis – Our team has our eye on K8s solutions for use across cloud providers, and Redis is an area of interest for our DevOps team too. This session will give us some insight on both solutions.
  • CON402 | Application deployment in Amazon EKS: Patterns, practices, and designs – While Kubernetes is platform-agnostic, there’s usually best-practices and some intentions behind the managed cloud service provider platforms. It’s always useful to see how exactly the AWS Service Teams expect their services to be used.
  • WPS401 | Building a secure software factory on AWS with the DoD DevSecOps lens – This is about aligning your SDLC with the DoD Enterprise DevSecOps Initiative. As a supplier of software to many DoD agencies, it’s important for us to stay abreast of their wants and needs.

How to Conquer the Expo Floor

First things first, please take a moment to visit the Kion team in booth 1351 in the Security Zone! Stop by for a demo and a chance to win an iPhone 15 Pro - Titanium!

  • If you'd prefer a 1:1 meeting, we invite you to our exclusive meeting space. Leave the bustle of the expo floor, enjoy a view of the strip, and get refreshed in our private suite.
  • Join the Kion team and AWS, CIS, CSS, and stackArmor at our View to Cloud Security happy hour. Get a view to cloud security today while you take in the spectacular view high above the neon lights of the Las Vegas Strip. Request your invite to our happy hour.

  • Vendors are eager to meet you; be open to learning more at a booth to see if there’s a fit. The expo floor is massive, but the vendors are there for the entire event, so consider dividing up the floor over a few days to experience the entire expo hall. Fortunately, the hall is grouped into neighborhoods (Developer Solutions Zone, Security Zone, Infrastructure Solutions Zone, and Data Zone), so you have a starting point based on your interests.
  • Obviously, there’s a ton of swag to be gathered. You may want to be choosy based on your luggage capacity and in the name of sustainability. But, if you do pick up something that you later regret, AWS typically has swag donation boxes available near the registration desk and expo entrance.
  • If you’re looking for a guide to give you a fun take on the expo floor, join Corey Quinn on his annual 'Nature Walk' of the expo floor at 1pm on Wednesday. Get a sense of the experience from last year.

Fun Things to Do at the Event

  • Take a break and donate your time at the event. AWS will have several Pack and Give Back locations to build wellness kits, toys, and bookbags in support of local nonprofits.
  • New this year is the AWS re:Invent Rec Center in Mandalay Bay, Bayside B. You can participate in an NFL passing challenge - or 40-yard dash - as well as engage in golf challenges and drive a Formula 1 simulator. AWS is promising exclusive giveaways too.
  • Also at the Rec Center: arts and crafts! You can customize your re:Invent SWAG, or select from guided/unguided arts and crafts projects to bring home or donate to a local charity.
  • The annual 5K run at AWS re:Invent is early Wednesday morning; campus shuttles are available to take you to the start at Mandalay Bay.

Fun Things Outside of the Event

Even More Guides!

There are more guides out there for first timers at AWS re:Invent, like this Reddit post. And, if you just can’t get your fill of AWS re:Invent guides, here’s a guide of guides!

Lastly, Las Vegas is sprawling and locations on the Strip seem close together when you check a map but can be a hike (wear comfortable walking shoes!). Bring some patience, too, as you navigate the crowds at the conference and on the Las Vegas Strip.

About the Author

Marianna Noll

Marianna is the Senior Director of Marketing at Kion.

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