Don't miss all the fun stuff happening at this year's conference in Las Vegas.
When planning for Interop ITX, it's easy to get immersed in the educational schedule with all its sessions, summits, and workshops. After all, it's five days' worth of top-notch content led by some of the most well-known experts in the industry.
But there are a number of special events happening alongside the conference at MGM Grand in Las Vegas that you also won't want to miss. They include an AI Theater, a fun run, poolside yoga, and of course, parties. The folks who organize Interop ITX have worked hard to provide some fun and games alongside all the learning, so you'll have plenty of enjoyable activities outside of the conference sessions.
Moreover, these events give you ample networking opportunities – one of the big benefits of live conferences. Where else can you meet up with so many like-minded IT folks from around the world (about 3,000 from more than 15 countries)? By networking, you might learn something that helps you solve that nagging problem in the data center, or open the door to the next step in your career. The possibilities are endless.
Oh, and who doesn't love free stuff? There will be giveaways, including t-shirts and something that could boost your blog or social media profile: complimentary headshots.
Make the most of your trip to Las Vegas by taking advantage of these conference bonuses.
ITX #vFit Runs, Tuesday and Wednesday May 16 and 17, 7 a.m.
Feel like you need to burn off some energy before a busy day of sessions? You can meet attendees in the MGM Lobby for a 5K run in the desert air of Vegas. Besides the exercise, you'll get a free ITX #vFit t-shirt. Don't be intimidated if you're a casual runner; all levels are welcome. Register here.
Opening Night Block Party, Tuesday, May 16, 5-7 p.m.
This is your chance to get a sneak peek of products from more than 100 vendors in the Business Hall before it officially opens on Wednesday morning. You'll find both the vendors you've known for years as well as startups breaking new ground in IT. Enjoy free drinks, snacks and games while you check out the latest in IT innovation.
Poolside Yoga, Wednesday and Thursday, May 17 and 18, 7 a.m.
If you want to work out and clear your mind before getting immersed in technology, don't miss Jennifer Huber's yoga class. Many of you may know Huber as a WiFi expert, but she's also a trained yoga instructor. At Interop ITX, she will teach a "Baptiste Inspired Power Yoga" flow, designed for both beginners and seasoned practitioners. The practices include balancing and strength building poses, backbends, and core work, but modifications are always available.
IDC Analyst Briefing & Breakfast, Wednesday, May 17, 7:30 a.m.
Before the conference kicks off, you can attend a special session led by experts from top analyst firm IDC on "Transforming the Enterprise Network for the Digital Era." Networking pros will especially want to hear what IDC experts recommend for how the network can meet digital requirements, and new network services designed to speed digital transformation. IDC's annual breakfast briefings at Interop are always chock-full of interesting insight into networking trends, so if you're an early riser, you'll be amply rewarded. RSVP here.
AI Theater & Showcase Demo, Tuesday through Thursday, May 16-18
Artificial intelligence is hot, and this brand-new addition to the conference will highlight practical applications of AI, deep learning, and machine learning. At the AI Theater, you'll learn about how businesses are using this cutting-edge technology from experts at Box, Capital One, and many more. The Showcase Demo is a hands-on lab with self-service kiosks and experts on hand to provide guidance. Expect to be wowed.
Interop ITX HQ, Wednesday and Thursday, May 17 and 18
Stop by the HQ in the Business Hall for assorted freebies and to redeem your Interop ITX Passport for a free t-shirt. New this year: A photographer will be taking complimentary headshots Wednesday from 3:00pm-5:00pm and Thursday from 10:30am-2:30pm. A professional headshot is so much better than a selfie for your social media profiles, right?
Best of Interop ITX Awards, Wednesday, May 17, time TBD
Awards are just plain fun, so you'll want to check out the exhibitors who snag trophies in this year's contest. The Best of Interop ITX recognizes significant innovations in five categories: infrastructure, data & analytics, cloud, security, and DevOps. This year's contest is different from past years in that two awards will be given in each category, one for a product produced by an industry veteran, the other from a new vendor.
Business Hall booth crawl, Wednesday, May 17, 5-6:30 p.m.
After a busy day of learning, come and enjoy drinks and appetizers at this event in the Business Hall. If you can't make it to Tuesday night's opening block party or have time during the day to visit the Business Hall, this is a perfect opportunty to meet vendors, check out products, catch up with old colleagues, or meet new friends.
Official Interop ITX Party, Wednesday, May 17, 8:30-10:30
This year, the conference's big party is at Topgolf inside the MGM Grand, which is an intriguing blend of golf and nightclub. Don't worry – you don't have to golf; you can just relax with drinks and appetizers. But tech nerds will appreciate the technical aspects of Topgolf: Players hit golf balls with personalized microchips at targets that have readers to detect the chips and compute scores. The game is designed for anyone to play, so no need to be intimated.
(Image source: Topgolf)