Yep, it is that time again already, the annual RealPage User Conference aka REALWORLD 2016!!!
Now this is going to be my 6th RealWorld Conference (how can that possibly be?). For those not in the know, RealWorld is the conference specifically dedicated to RealPage and their partners where we showcase the latest developments in the industry, the product improvements being delivered/developed and most important, thank our partners for their continued partnership. It is 3 days of networking, learning, previews and fun but let’s face it, it is also long days, longer evenings and tight schedules. In order to make the most of the sessions and travel fit, you have to have a strategy to thrive.
This is also my 3rd year of providing a few of my tips and tricks to not just surviving the conference but really making the most of it for both education and fintess. So here are my RealWorld rules to live by:
Tip #1: Plan ahead:
I know I say this every year but I cannot over emphasize this one enough; Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail. If your plan is showing up at the conference and “figure it out” you are in for a rough time.……not going to happen. There are just too many great options of sessions to attend and fellow RealPage users to meet. If you don’t plan ahead you are guaranteed to miss a ‘can’t miss’ session and for sure your workout is not going to get done.
So if you haven’t already, go download the RealWorld App right now. Seriously, I’ll wait.
Now, immediately start adding your must attend sessions to your calendar. Might I suggest ‘Stack the Deck with Business Intelligence’ on Tuesday morning as a starting point? I hear the speaker for that one is sub-par but the material should be great!!
Once you know when your ‘Can’t miss’ sessions are, you can fill in the rest of the time slots for meetings, networking, product demos and down time.
Tip #2: Stay hydrated:
You know you should normally be drinking 8 glasses of water a day. Well , this year we are at the beautiful Wynn hotel. If you have never been to a conference at this hotel, I will give you fair warning, it is a long way from the rooms to the conference center. A LONG WAY!! So you are going to be walking more than you normally do and potentially imbibing on an alcoholic drink or two in the evening, and oh yeah, this is all happening in the middle of the dessert. I am going to recommend you up your water intake from the standard 8 glasses. Trust me, you will thank me when you are waking up on days 2 & 3 of the conference. Now this is where planning comes in again. I find that it is a very rare thing to find a conference center that keeps the water pitchers/bottles full throughout the conference.
SO BRING YOUR OWN!!
You may not always be able to find a nice chilled bottle of FIJI but you can usually find a water fountain to fill up your own bottle. And if you are anything like me, you find an empty water bottle strangely motivational.
Tip #3: Recharge:
This will look different for each of us but I find I need a point in my day to recharge more than just my phone. For me, it is time in the gym. I can get my head on straight and work all the kinks out that I am feeling from standing all day. For others it is a power nap in the room, others it is 15 minutes in the sun out by the pool. Whatever it is that recharges and helps your re-center your mindset, make sure you have time built in each day to accomplish it.
Now we also need to think about that phone, so don’t forget your mobile charger! We want to hear your thoughts throughout the day (follow the hashtag #RWconf2016 to join the conversation).
Tip #4: Eat well & Eat often:
Make sure you take the time to eat like you should. Do not sacrifice the quality of your diet because you need to rush somewhere. Stop by the store on the way to the hotel and grab some snacks for the room (don’t get me started on the mini-bar options for $10 bucks each). Put a bar in your purse. Throw an apple in your bag for later in the day. Your body needs fuel to thrive vs. survive. Give it what it needs.
Bonus Tip: Most hotels that host conferences have pretty good gyms. Gyms where they actual stock fruit for the taking.
Tip #5: Have fun:
If this is your first RealWorld Conference, you are in for a treat. It is a blast, especially the party on Monday night. Although not themed this year, in the past we have celebrated the lives of people like Dr. Seuss or given our best superhero impersonation.
The party is a celebration of our partnership with all of you and we pull out all of the stops. This year promises to be a lavish affair….even if Wolverine will not be showing up.
Bonus Tip #6:
For those of you who are runners (or are even thinking about running), I cannot recommend skipping the treadmill in the morning enough. Running the Las Vegas strip in the early morning is in my top 5 runs in the country.
Seriously, the people watching is unbelievable!!!
In fact, even if you don’t run, wake up a bit early on Monday or Tuesday and head out for a walk. I promise that not only will you feel better but you will have conversation topics for the rest of the day!!
Time for me to go pack and finish my presentations but hopefully I will see you at RealWorld!!