There is a LOT of swag. Last year, I got a couple of lego sets for my son, a cool yoga mat, a Google cardboard and lots of cool stuff. I think people tend to go crazy the first year with picking up all the swag so if you're into that stuff, save room in your luggage!
I second and third all the recommendation above! I would also suggest bringing your own water bottle (or scoring one free at one of the booths) and a light jacket/fleece. The session rooms can be cold and dry. I also stuff a small multi plug in my bag in case you need to buddy up on the outlet to power your phone/devices.
I would HIGHLY recommend keeping up with whats happening on the app. Last year was my first year and I did not know many people attending the conference. Before the big closing party I checked out the app and saw that there was a group of people who were in the same boat (not knowing many conference attendees). We all coordinated meeting up to attend the event together and we had a blast!!!
Hi Ursula Fox-Koor!
Here are my recommendations:
1. Have 2 options for sessions in case your first choice fills up too fast. All sessions are posted on community for attendees, so you can always catch it there afterwards.
2. Introduce yourself to the people you sit next to in sessions, the people standing in lines with you, etc. You'll never know who you'll meet and won't believe what you can learn about Marketo while standing in lines.
3. Take notes & asks questions during the sessions. This is your chance to get expert advice on your specific instance, so make sure you do!
4. I recommend bringing a notebook for #3. You'll want to conserve your laptop battery since there's not always a good place to plug in during the sessions. Also, on this note, carry a battery pack for your phone. If you use your phone to map out your sessions, take pictures and post to social, and take calls, chances are you'll run through your battery fast.
5. Make time for the expo! There is so much there, and you definitely don't want to miss out on swag. These are marketers marketing to marketers, so you'll see some pretty awesome booth and trade show ideas to take back to your own company. It's also completely necessary, at least to me, to stay up to date on the latest tools and integrations for Marketo.
Definitely second what everyone else has said about having backup options for the sessions you want to go to. And I hate to say it, but if there's one you REALLY want to go to and you're worried it might be crowded, sometimes it's prudent to leave the session immediately before it early to go get in line. Just a judgement call you have to make for yourself. But if you're going to do that, be kind to your speaker(s) and sit in the back.
Don't be shy! If you're not going with coworkers (or even if you are!) definitely take this opportunity to network with other people in your field. You might make great friends that you keep in touch with and look forward to coming back to see every year. Like Summer Camp.
Take lots of notes in your sessions! The people who paid for you to party in San Fran are going to want to know what they're getting out of it in the way of things you have learned and can implement when you get home.
Go to all the parties. Get all the swag. Work from home the day after you get back.
Wear comfy shoes. I bring along blister bandaids because there always seems to be someone I travel with that needs them.
Leave yourself plenty of room in your luggage to bring home SWAG.
Network with Marketo Champions, Marketo employees and other users.
Have fun at all of the parties.
The app for the summit will allow you to pick sessions geared to newer users.
Congratulations on your choice to attend Marketo Summit Ursula Fox-Koor!
You are going to have an awesome time and come back with a lot of great ideas on how to use Marketo for your company!
I recommend you bring business cards, comfortable walking shoes, and expandable luggage.
Prioritize your must-see sessions. Also have a back up plan if the session room fills before you get there. If there is a session you don't want to miss, be sure to line up ahead of time to ensure you have a seat.
Wear comfortable clothes, and definitely comfortable shoes as there is a lot of walking.
And lastly, consider bringing a portable charger if you plan to take notes on a device as there are limited outlets (at least in vegas they were limited)
And of course, have fun!! It's a blast!!