#342: Get Ready for AWS re:Invent 2019!
This is episode three hundred and forty two of the AWS podcast released on November fourteenth twenty. Nineteen podcast confirmed welcome. Welcome to the official. Aws Dot Cost Levin. Welcome to the podcast right heavy back solemnly. Sheehy with you has always on joined by two very special guests to talk about a very special event. She's of course reinvent twenty nine. I'm joined by any Hancock. Who is the head of have creative and customer experiences global events here at a base granny there and I'm also joined by Joe Fagan? Who is the head of content for global events here at database as well could I do? Hello Hello if we're all speaking it must mean that it's reinvent season because we want to give up a heist of what's install at indeed and and both of you Vaujour involved with the reinvent process. Jill you oversee focus on on the content pot. Any focus only experiential part right. So we're going to kind of tackle it from from both ends Jill. Maybe let's start with you and talk about content. What can people expect from a content perspective this year at reinvent sure so More of ye saying good things that they got last year so we are bringing back all the session and types that we have the sixty minute lecture style sessions More workshops than last year. which are the kind of to our hands on people working in teams together her And then more talks than ever on the chuck talks are the sixteen minutes It's about a ten minute lecture and then open QNA So customers can get you know. Get their questions answered and diamond architectural challenges they're having And then also builder sessions are back this year. What your sixty minutes and it's just Six customers one. AWS expert laptops up and people kind of building in the moment in aws so we have all those Session types coming back the share and we're super excited about that One thing that we are adding the sheer. That's new that I'm super excited about In response to customer saying they would like more curated networking activities. We're actually Piloting and Networking Lounge Program so we have six networking working round just around campus and they're on various different topics or industries about a telecom. One you've got to finish third one. We have a another lounge that's focused on. Ai Guy and M. L. and Iot in robotics and these lounges are located all over campus. There's a networking lounge page on the website with more details And if these networking lounges. Have all kinds of activities speaker meet greets so if you go to a session you think it's really cool. You can meet up with the speaker of that session later in the Networking Lounge Lightning talks with both customers and AWS speakers Just really giving people an opportunity customers an opportunity ready to network with aws but also with each other because we know our customers really enjoy learning from each other and getting cut a deep in those details of how they're using gate abby west so we're introducing that this year and I think that is going to be something very exciting for customers and then of course we've got other kinds of Live content happening all over the campus. We've got a live theaters Several life theaters in expo and in the Quad regain attend twenty minute sessions presented thereby partners and aws speakers customers as well so there's a huge opportunity to see a ton of content and we're trying to design the content in a way. That's easy to fill your schedule schedule. So we've got our overflow our overflow rooms are back are would call them. Our content hubs so so people don't feel like if there's one session in the Venetian that they want to see but the rest of the day is Aria. You don't have to get on a bus and go all the way to the Venetian to see that session. They can hop into our content. Ten hub room at the Aria and see that session. Being live streamed into that room And then also we've got repeat so most everyone's favorite sessions is are being repeated at one time or another across the week at it in another venue so trying to give people as many options as we can to help them Be Smart about how how they ride transportation and and which venues they decide to stay at and then also try to supplement with some of this shorter format. Twenty minute live talks in In in Expo and an odd and the networking lounges. So that They can fill every moment they want with as much content as they want as a lot of different modalities and I think it's interesting interesting if we think about. How reinvents evolved over the years based on attendee feedback? There's a lot more interactivities of course the sort of as those fundamental someone. I'm on standing on a stage. Where a customer saying onstage? Sixty minutes delivering. The good stuff is is one modality that a lot of people like but then that interactivity ability to get on board with someone with deep expertise is hugely valuable for people who are coming along to these events so they they they leanings. I guess The theory and the practices will yeah and and really you. You hit the nail in the head when you said that these have been introduced At the at the request of our customers we know our customers. What more hands on time and more kind of like smaller smaller group time with our aws experts with other customers? So we're really working hard to provided every opportunity we can. This event obviously happens at at skyline. Any we'll get to that. Truly but I guess from a content perspective I wanted to explore a little bit of bad how attendees can should think about structuring their agenda structuring. They die by the way things. Because if I put my all time ahead on C. I can do the armed boy and it was all in the venation. And that's the only place you would bain. You'd never leave the place and didn't say the Sun But the the the event has outgrown that Judah the number of sessions and people etcetera. So how how should I mentally muddle my agenda. Bice upon topics might be interested in Schiller. So we've gone back and forth well not back and forth the first year that we did have of a multi venue campus. We very prescriptive approach where certain topics were only at certain venues. And I think that sounds good in theory but in practice it. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense right because if someone is going and they want to attend IOT sessions. They don't want to attend every IOT session unattractive to attend a certain subset of IOT sessions but they also need to attend a certain subset of AI sessions in a certain subset of databases sessions to make sure everything all works six together so we can take this everything everywhere approach and We have over twenty five hundred sessions this year so so we it's A. It's a huge effort to try and get everything scheduled in a way that makes sense for the most people can but we spent a lot of time. It takes says about a month to schedule everything we have lots of eyes on it To make sure that we are thoughtfully scheduling. It may not all be the same topic topic. But they are sessions at work together in one venue as as close as we can. So you know I think the best way to really prepare for reinvent invent is to spend time in the session catalog to pay attention to venue. You can't be venue agnostic. You have to really have to pay it. Pay attention engine. Tour sessions are and to know that. Maybe there's this one session on this one Dave that you want to go to but it doesn't fit in terms of venue that I ah. There's likely a repeat of that session some other time during the week. So be on the lookout for repeats. Look at the venues where those repeats are happening and to really it just takes. It's time to properly prepare. Its heart reinvent. His it's to the point where you can't just kind of fly in and wing it when you to go around campus. You've really got a site going back to college. Got To pay attention and you gotta look at the venues. Got a plan your travel time. No you've got to ride the buses all that kind of good stuff but All the content is there. The the topics are there we have so much content for customers The the the session catalogue you can search by Keyword. You can filter by track. You can filter by day. We actually have these really cool agendas that our community heroes who put together and you can Filter by the community hero agenda and look at everything thing that that community hero has. has organized and and and if you're particularly interested in security crap smart covens Agenda may be the one for you so we try to really put a lot of thought behind how people can search the session catalog utilize those filters utilize the keyword search the content is definitely there. It just takes. It takes some time in thought to really applauded altogether. It's real cheesier of adventure and there's an investment on that has to take place and if you're going to spend spend that time at the at the event you want to maximize the benefit and the the benefits both in the content of musicians themselves and also the external experiences appearances the networking etc.. So any heavy tackle situation. You and twenty thousand dollars of your closest friends get together in Vegas and having experience yes. So there's there's two real main motivations behind some of the fun and Quirky and after hours activities that we plan the first is really to bring our unique Amazonian culture to our customers so You know those of US longtime time Amazon's know that we do Certain things and and audit new and fun ways so everything from our own version of broomball which we've been playing at reinvent Bam for several years now to our chicken wing in competition so we're really rich. Always striving to bring some of our quirky events to campus. And then the other thing thing is that we want to have Activities for all sorts of two types of people Who wants to network different ways so You know I wanNA socialize allies but make it for introverts. I WANNA socialize but make it something that doesn't involve alcohol or standing at a bar so Starting with midnight madness switch kicks off on Sunday evening. It's really the PEP rally Kickoff to reinvent so couple things that are exciting. Happening this year is our third attempt. At our. The Guinness Book of World Record Chicken Wing holding a chicken wing eating competition So that happens in the back of the room will have five hundred people eating chicken wings But we're also planning A scavenger hunt for people to Go out into Vegas and collect all these things take all these photos and compete in our scavenger hunt. Then we actually have hired the former Air Guitar World Champion I to lead the crowd in a group of a giant Air Band so I kid you not We've got several hundred performers that hat night. Everything for people on Skates to basketballers To one very frightened Yoyo artist So it it is a blend have all sorts of things and of course we have the first launch of reinvent that happens at midnight And then on Monday night we had the welcome reception which happens at the Expo which is a great chance for customers to come and talk to? AWS employees at aws village but also The several hundred partners. Who are there at reinvent and then Tuesdays what I kind of considered the more classic networking style night? Where we have different receptions happening across different venues across the reenact campus so whether you want to go an eighties night with red hat or You wanna go to the weep powertek happy hour There are lots of opportunities for you you to mix and mingle with people who are interested in the same topics that you're interested in And then Wednesday is really doubling down on corky again. So we've got a board game night and Bingo night. We've got movie night where we're GONNA have a bunch of fun. Eighties movies in our content hubs So during the day they're are there there for content overflow and on Wednesday night. We're GONNA have a six different eighties movies playing We've got a group from. Canada ended a called choir choir choir. WHO's GONNA lead us in an epic eighty sing along So there's all sorts of fun and different ways to be social on the Rian that campus on Wednesday and that was again feedback from customers so just like what Jill said with content. You know where customers were asking us for different modalities to learn. They also asked us for different. Modalities to Be Social and to meet their fellow attendees And so there's a lot of really fun fun things happening. Throughout the week of course Thursday night with replay One of the biggest and best parties in the the tech industry We've got a dance stage which we've always been known for last year we added a live music stage and we again have that back us. We've got three great bands that you may or may not have heard of. I like to sort of think. We're introducing you to your new favourite band but then of course a lot of the same fan favorites from years because who doesn't love to play dodgeball with their coworkers and maybe take out a little aggression and then of course as I mentioned broomball which is this very quirky Amazonia Way of playing broomball with with a Yoga Ball But you know we've also got a giant. The ants ball pits the legends of the BALLPIT. Every year seemed to grow of you know adventures glasses flying rings things flying off people people you know we have lost a person yet. We almost did that was after hours. we had to make a human chain gang to get her out but The party is a is a great way to cap the week off Dance have fun on. There's so much food and so many things to experience at replay. So you know at legacy said we we try to have a little something for everyone And really sort heard of double down on these Corky Fund things that you really can't experience at any other Tech Conference that you would ever go to You know I look back at the smile. On the guy's is face Eric Shapiro. Who won two Tonka last year and I sort of wonder did he wake up Sunday morning a replay or reinvent last year and think I I'm going to bet a chicken wing eating competition Maybe not but I think we made some dreams come true that night. So that's our goal with all of the after hours activities and it we we love to add they once every year. He talked about the concept of a campus. And I guess that's a function of the event being star lodge and having so many people in so many sessions getting around between the. The venues is actually remarkably smooth. If I speak from our experience of lost. UAE You get you get to various cues at different locations and there's buses to other locations console reasonably straightforward but maybe paint us a mental picture of when we saw campus what we mean. Yeah so we've got contents at six major ager venues across re cross Las Vegas so You you mentioned and of course Jill and I have been around a long time as well. The Venetian was always our initial homebase. Jason that is where a lot of content happens expo. The keynotes happens at the Venetian Then right across the street at the Mirage we have more breakout contents And then we've got content at the Bellagio at the Aria at the MGM. So we've really Cover both ends of Vegas. There's a lot of walkability between the two there's a north end of the campus around the Venetian and then there's a south end of campus around the GM And there you can take a shuttle Sometimes it's faster to walk. Sometimes it might be faster to take the monorail And then we've moved the party out to the festival grounds which gives us I A bigger footprint for replay. So you know. There's a lot of ways to get around campus last year. You know we had all these plans for just in case while you were standing in line we have game boys and everything else and what we found was that really weren't lines. Most the time to get on the shuttle's things were moving people were getting where they want it to be So so you know. The mobile APP is a great place to go Tell the mobile APP where you're trying to get to And it will make recommendations you know if you're at the Mirage you could actually they just walked to the Bellagio quite easily. So we make some recommendations to help people who aren't as familiar with Vegas as Jill and I are in our entire team and you know to help them to decide what way of getting around they're going to use in that particular instance in Jilin a lot of people very excited H. E. TO UTAH. Andy Jesse's Qena Venables Kanai not imagine some of the other big events type Lisin. Would you live stream will we yes. We livestream Andy. Inverse keynotes So you can watch them in keynote hall but we have strived livestream them around campus and just in general so wherever you happen and to be on campus you can actually watch the keynote from the comfort of your own hotel room if that is your desire and of course we've also got Monday night live which is presented by Peter de Sanchez on Monday night. And then we've got our partner keynote on Wednesday morning presented by Doug there's plenty of good would stuff there in in in terms of in terms of coverage saw I take every second year perch to to reinvent because it's really long way away for me so in the podcast coverage is always a feature of reinvent usually with my very tied exhausted voice recording at one in the morning. But it'll be done remotely. I'll still get you all the content that it should be a lot more awake so I'll be doing the experience but I will share my my one Maija reinvent tip which is chapstick. It is very draw. uh-huh conditioning chapstick. In if you're reinvent do you agree. Yes for sure. CHAPSTICK and water and make sure you're hydrated and any other any other heck's you'd recommend listeners. WHO coming over to to just bear in mind to get the most out of the event again? I'll put in a a plug for just making sure you spend the time in the session catalog and not just for content for all the kind of quirky and fun stuff that any Talked about to ending. I I work really closely together to kind of make sure the whole schedule comes together and makes sense so we just The release really spent some time. I'm planning and plotting to make sure you maximize your time. Yeah as Jill said reinvent isn't wingo unless you're talking about chicken wings so the the Ed the time that you put in up front even if it's just on the plane You know get on your your airplane Wi fi really sort of build your plan for the week But I I I always say like. Don't forget to reach out to your network. It is a huge event and so many people are in Las Vegas that week You know posts out on linked in that you're GONNA be there and play in those meetings and and schedule those You know those connections with people I think the more you you have a great set of human connections is to go along with all of the fun and learning that you're doing The more You know you really get out of the week. The networking is an amazing pod and has always been a massive feature event from the very start and one of the things is always let that easy the accessibility of what Tim Luminaries of the industry. Who Sort of come together? Either on a happy to go have a coffee be have a chat about a topic of interest because it just interested to talk to people so I think that's again another real great experience of the event. Yeah Yeah Yeah you can you. Can you place money on the fact that everyone who is around in the restaurants and the bars in the evening Everyone is there for reinvent right. And you're all interested in the same topics and really taking advantage of that. Feeling that vibe that happens that it's hard to describe but what it does feel like at reinvent but the the energy of the people and you WanNa be a part of that and so be proactive and and get your network wing and really sort of dive into that and and You know that is a great way to make the most out of the week. It's that energy is one of intangible things differently definitely a an amazing experience. Aw I always tell customers you want to go at least once like it's a big. It's a big deal. It's a big thing to do. You need to go at least once because it's pretty special to bit to be with us top so people all the time it is and we love it. I mean we spend a lot of we spend every year in the shower shower before bed when I wake up But we also I think one of the things that that is the most important is that we are. We're passionate about creating an event that customers love and creating these opportunities where our customers who love our services and love. Aws Get the opportunity to meet the people rich create. Create the services and and that we're creating this event that that makes things real and tangible so we We we love that. It is such chuckle experience or customers than we work really hard to make it that way it shows Jill. Thanks for joining us today. A share. And thank you so much for joining us in hippie getting lots of pre sleep weights. Because I'm a debt. You sleep very much during the week of arraignment sleep. You sleep the next week exactly makes for happiness that we obviously love talking talking to marry him. Then thanks policing we do love to get your feedback. ANYWAYS PODCAST AT AMAZON DOT COM as a place to do that and as I mentioned there will be rolling coverage of rain Vince on on the podcast channel. Correct that week. They'll be an episode at least one episode Thurday to give you all the INS and outs and until next time on building.