3 Must-Know Tips for AWS re:Invent

Have you registered for AWS re:Invent? Dive into these essential tips to maximize your experience and get the most out of the event

Rohini Gaonkar
Amazon Employee
Published Oct 5, 2023
Last Modified Mar 19, 2024
AWS re:Invent registrations have opened for 2023 and we cannot wait for the event at Las Vegas! As we gear up for this year's event, it is easy to feel both excited and a little overwhelmed. Whether you are a first-time attendee or a re:Invent veteran, optimizing your experience requires more than just showing up. I've listed my 3 tips to ensure you get the most out of AWS re:Invent. Let's dive in!
Welcome to re:Invent badging area

Tip 1 : Plan your activities

βœ… Prioritize and reserve early

Prioritize sessions that align with your objectives - learn new services, dive deeper into current stack, or find new solutions for your current challenges. Based on your objectives, figure out what sessions, workshops, bootcamps, etc would be important for you. AWS does publish breakout sessions to YouTube, so if you miss any do not worry.
Popular sessions fill up quickly, so reserve your spot to ensure you don't miss out. The session catalog is now available. You can access the session catalog and filter.
If you need more help in finding appropriate sessions then do check out Attendee guides by AWS Heroes, AWS Partners, and AWS industry teams. I definitely urge you to read Tips for your first AWS re:Invent by Sathyajith Bhat, AWS Container Hero.
There won’t be certification exams at re:Invent. However, registered attendees can access a 50% discount code toward an AWS official Certification exam. More info here.

πŸ‘©β€πŸ’» Community events

Community Developer Lounge is where I spent most of my time as an AWS Developer Advocate. Here, you can talk to experts, meet the community in-person, sign up for your local community and more. There are also sessions by community members called as Dev Chats - session IDs start with COM***. AWS Heroes are also presenting in 12 breakout sessions.
For more updates do check out re:Invent Community page
AWS Community Developer Lounge

Tip 2 : Network, Network, Network

One of the biggest benefits of attending re:Invent in person is the networking opportunities. Engage in chats, Q&A sessions, and make use of the lounges and common areas to strike up conversations.

πŸ§‘β€πŸ’» Set up meetings

If you are an AWS Customer and have AWS Account Teams, make sure you reach out and set up meetings with relevant AWS Experts. If you do not have AWS account team yet, then you can Contact AWS.
You can also set up meetings with other customers, and community members. Most of us do post on social media like Twitter or LinkedIn that we will be at the event and you can come say hi! AWS re:Invent is spread across a very wide area, plan early so people can make it to the venues on time. Check out re:Invent website if you need bookable meeting and reception space.
This year re:Invent’s has a new networking program called PeerTalk. It is designed to help facilitate meaningful connections among the re:Invent community. The platform will launch in mid-fall and it will be accessible through the AWS Events mobile app and the desktop version.

🧦 Did someone say swags?

The re:Invent Expo is filled with experiences - meet experts, AWS Partners, AWS Village, AWS DeepRacer League Arena, Builders' Fair, AWS Builder Labs, Lightning Theatres and more.
You can take part in challenges and collect SWAGS! Keep lots of empty space in your luggage for this one! If you collected but don't like any, make sure you drop it in the Swag donation box!
AWS Hero Nick Triantafillou writes a re:Invent Swag guide and an honest reviews post every year. Do check out the blog he wrote for 2022.

πŸͺ© Attend social events

There are lots of parties at re:Invent, which basically covers the dinners. These parties can be AWS re:Play, and parties by AWS Partners or Sponsors. Most of the parties are listed on this third-party website conferenceparties.com. So keep this link handy and get ready to party Vegas style! πŸ₯³
Ensure you are not missing out on the important ones.
There are activities like the 5K run, Rec Centre, Pickleball tournament and more where you can have fun and connect with fellow attendees. You can find this year's fun activities.

πŸ“‡ Collect contacts

It is important to maintain the connections you have built throughout the event. Do ensure you collect business cards (if folks still give out those) or quickly use a LinkedIn QR Code to Connect:
  • Step 1 : Open LinkedIn app, and click on the Search bar on the top:
    LinkedIn Search bar
  • Step 2 : Click on the little QR code icon that pops up, see the highlighted red box around it in the image below:
    LinkedIn QR code generator
  • Step 3 : Thats it! Now you can let other scan this using LinkedIn, Camera app or any app that lets you scan QR Code. You can also save it in your photos gallery and scan and connect :
    LinkedIn generated QR code
You can scan my QR code and check for yourself! πŸ™‚

Tip 3 : Self Care is important

πŸ” Eat, hydrate and rest

It can be overwhelming with back-to-back sessions, networking, and the sheer size of the event. Make sure to hydrate, and take breaks. You can fill refillable bottles using the refill stations provided throughout the campus.
Breakfast, lunch and snacks are provided at the expo hall in The Venetian. Just find this big AWS sign in the image below and get down the escalator.
AWS reinvent sign
Halal and kosher meals will be available while supplies last. Please contact awsreinvent-support@amazon.com to pre-order your meal.
If you ever miss out on any, or are just hungry and want to grab a bite/coffee, Vegas has lots of food options. But almost every shop is busy, so be prepared to stand in queues.
Bonus tip - hotels typically sell water bottles at a hefty price. Find a CVS, Walgreens, or other convenience stores near your hotel and buy in bulk.

πŸ‘Ÿ Wear comfortable shoes

Do not take this lightly - there is lot of walking!!!
If you plan to not walk and always take shuttle/cab do not underestimate Las Vegas traffic.
Content will be delivered across six venues on the Las Vegas strip: The Venetian, Wynn, Encore, Caesars Forum, MGM Grand, and Mandalay Bay. Your hotel may or may not be one of these. They might look close on the map, but getting from one hotel to another takes longer than you think. The closer you are to The Venetian, the better!
To help you get around, re:Invent ambassadors and wayfinding stations are also available across the re:Invent campus. You can find more detailed info on venues, hotels, and getting around.
venues and hotels in Las Vegas

🎰Enjoy Las Vegas

Yes, Las Vegas is the sin city and you might get some unwanted attention too. So be safe, stay in well lit areas and maybe find a re:Invent buddy!
Also, make sure you enjoy what city and the state.
In the city, there are lot of attractions like the newly opened The Sphere, Stratosphere (now known as The Strat Hotel & Casino & Tower), SlotZilla or Fly LINQ zip lines, fountains, shows, and concerts. Tickets fill up fast, so make sure you book them in advance.
Las Vegas shows
Over the years I have been to Vegas a lot and did enjoy the attractions outside of Las Vegas - Hoover dam, Valley of flowers, Death Valley, Grand Canyon, and much more.
Grand Canyon
Bonus tip - if you are traveling Internationally, then ensure you come early to Vegas and carry an extra empty luggage - for shopping and swags. This way you can make use of the Thanksgiving sales at the North/South Premium Outlets - much better deals than in the city for sure. And it can also help with the jetlag. Doing re:Invent with jetlag is not easy.
Stay safe and have fun!

Any opinions in this post are those of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of AWS.