How to Get the Most out of Atlassian Summit
Atlassian Summit takes place April 9-11 in Las Vegas with lots of news about your favorite Atlassian tools and how your teams can work together more effectively. This will be our tenth Summit and we’ve seen the event grown from a 300-person event in a hotel to a huge show with thousands of attendees in a conference center. With the size of Summit, deciding what you're going to do during the conference can be a bit overwhelming. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your trip:
Leave Some Room in Your Luggage
There's a ton of swag to collect. Atlassian alone has handed out backpacks and T-shirts at previous Summits. If you walk the show floor, exhibitors typically also hand out lots of useful items like socks, phone chargers, running shirts, kids shirts, and much more. It’s good to reserve some space for all the things you collect.
Use the Welcome Reception after the opening keynote to collect these items. Some are very popular and will run out. Don’t just ask for an item, but chat with the exhibitor about their offerings.
Make a Plan and Change It
Sounds like Agile conference attendance, right? That’s exactly what it is. Make sure you visit the most important sessions for your team. Atlassian offers a mobile app where you can put together your personal schedule. Attend some sessions from Atlassians to learn how they use their own tools internally and what new features they’ve been working on. Mix this with use case sessions from customers. These experience reports are often closer to how you work with your team. It’s good to be inspired by an innovative technology company, but other companies often share experiences you can apply immediately.
You'll get a better idea of what you want to learn more about once you’re at the show and have attended the keynote, some sessions, and talked to people. If you hear about an interesting new feature or product, why not change your schedule?
Come prepared knowing the information you want to collect and the questions you want answered. Atlassian is present on the exhibition floor showing the latest versions of their products. The great thing is they bring in people that work on their products daily. Meet the product managers and developers of your favorite tools and share your own use case. Show them how Atlassian could better support your team better. The Atlassians will share all this information with the whole organization afterwards. So don’t only collect information but also share your story to help improve Jira, Confluence, Bitbucket, or whatever tool you use.
Atlassians are super open for feedback, but the product booths can be pretty crowded during session breaks. Skip a session and visit the booth when there is less traffic.
There’s Too Much Good Stuff?
A complaint we hear a lot about Atlassian Summit is there are too many good sessions happening at the same time. Plan to miss sessions because of a passionate conversation you’ll have with other attendees in the hallway. Don’t worry. Atlassian records all sessions, so you can watch them later. At conferences, you can learn from experts in sessions and also in exchanging experiences with other users. Use your time wisely.
Take care of your energy. Summit will drain your energy because of all the stuff going on. It starts at 9 a.m. and can end around midnight. You won’t get a lot of sleep, so take breaks in between.
Attend Social Events
There are a lot of events every evening which are great for building up your network. You can meet app developers, user group leaders, Atlassians, and other users. Especially if you're an introvert, it can be easier to chat in these sorts of relaxing environments than in sessions or on the show floor. Don’t miss the Bash – the official conference closing party – on Thursday. It’s the best chance for you to chat with Atlassians and the company founders. With the show over, pressure is off, and everyone can let loose.
No plans for the evening? Approach a few exhibitors on the show floor. Show some interest in their offering (you’ll surely learn something new) and ask where you could go in the evening. With a bit of luck you'll get invited to a fun event. A really fun crew to hang out with are the Community Champions and Atlassian User Group Leaders.
Don’t Miss the Last Session
For the last couple of years, Atlassian has closed Summit with a presentation of internal innovation projects. It’s a hackathon called ShipIt Live. In this session, a few teams compete to win the ShipIt crown. The feeling of the fun and innovative power that comes out of this session is infectious. It’s such a great closing of the whole show and you'll leave pumped and motivated to try this with your own team.
Participating teams have 24-hours to work on their idea live on the show floor. Visit them and learn how Atlassian runs these hackathons, how they encourage non-technical teams to participate, and how this has changed over the years.
Ready for Summit? For more tips, visit the K15t booth where we can connect you with some awesome stuff at Summit. If you still don't have your ticket we can offer you a 20% discount. Just send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. See y'all in Vegas, baby!