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By Taylor Trapani, Marketing Associate

IBM World of Watson 2016 is just a few weeks away and our team is so excited. Aside from thoroughly confusing other people in the office by nicknaming it after a video game, there’s still a lot of prep work to do so we thought we’d share some things on our “to-do” lists.

  1. Register!

There are three pass types:

  1. Full Conference: Pretty self-explanatory.
  2. Cognitive Experience: Attend all the Cognitive Experiences, Keynotes and Innovation Talks.
  3. Discover Experience: Experience all T-Mobile Arena Keynotes and daytime activities in the Plaza.
  1. Decide which sessions you want to attend and factor in walking time.

With 20,000 people roaming around a 2,000,000 square-foot conference center (not including the rest of what Mandalay Bay has to offer: hotel, pools, shopping!) you’ll want to make sure you know where your sessions are and plan enough travel time to get there early to ensure you have a seat. An extra 50 steps can mean life or death for your feet.

Here’s a shameless plug for our sessions:

  • Caliber Home Loans Accelerates Implementation with Cloud
  • Union Bank Slashes Onboarding Times with Analytics, Mobile and E-Signature

Technical Breakout Session

  • Applying IBM Predictive Analytics to IBM Case Manager to Create Cognitive Solutions

Hands-On Lab

  • Building Cognitive Solutions Using Bluemix and IBM Case Manager
  1. RSVP to party with us.

Every year, we host a VIP client event that kicks the week off. This year, it’s at an ice bar which is exactly what it sounds like – a bar made completely out of ice – tables, walls, chairs and all.Pyramid Solutions World of Watson Client Celebration

Email me to RSVP if you want to feel like a full-blown Russian by drinking vodka in freezing temperatures while wearing a fur coat. 

Or if you want to network and meet with clients, that’s cool too.

  1. Pack conference essentials.
  • Easy-to-layer clothes. Conference rooms tend to either make you feel like you’re about to lose all your appendages to frostbite or that you just lost five pounds from sweat. Pack clothes for either end of the thermometer.
  • Walking shoes. You won’t fool anyone by saying those four-inch stilettos aren’t hurting your feet.
  • A day bag. Your World of Watson bag should be the equivalent of a climber’s Mount Everest backpack. Who knows what this new world will throw at you. Here are some easily forgotten items that you’ll thank us for later:
    • Deodorant. Don’t be that person in the crowded elevator and conference room.
    • Tide To Go pen. Shout out to the people who like food so much that sometimes they decide to wear it.
    • Extra shirt – you never know.
    • Band-aids for those who didn’t pack essential item number two…
    • Ibuprofen for mornings after evenings when you thought you were as resilient as you were in college.
    • Water – we’re in the middle of the desert.
    • Extra pens and paper if not being eco-friendly is your thing.
    • Phone charger because if it dies it’ll be the end of the world.
    • Computer. Duh.
    • Computer charger (see reasoning two bullet points up).
    • Safety pins – #wardrobemalfunction #janetjackson #crisisaverted
    • Snacks – no one likes talking to a hangry person. See to do number eight.
  1. Save money and book an airport shuttle.

Cabs are convenient for traveling to and from the airport, however, there is a cheaper way: the shuttle. Las Vegas has a great shuttle service that costs as low as $15 round trip.

  1. Pack business cards.

Every year a person on our team forgets to bring their business cards or runs out. To make sure this doesn’t happen, we recommend bringing 100 business cards and packing them in your suitcase. Like right now.

Another tip/trick about business cards: You’re going to meet 100s of people during your three days in Vegas. That’s a lot of people. The best way to keep track of who you’re talking to and what the conversation was is to write a quick note on the back of each business card you receive. I personally snag a card anytime I strike up a conversation with anyone – in the lunch line, at breakfast, waiting to enter a session.

  1. Update your social accounts.

Social media extends the life-cycle of events and expands networking opportunities. It’s an easy way to quickly learn about someone so make sure your information is up-to-date (especially on LinkedIn). And, let’s be real – we all enjoy a good Facebook creep sesh.

  1. Set up an Amazon Prime Now account to order snacks whenever you want.

Yes, this is a thing. If you’re like me, you’re not only hungry during regularly-scheduled meal times, but almost every moment in-between. Especially right around midnight. So instead of making that awkward trip down the hall and in the elevator to the 24/7 convenience store where you accidentally bump into your boss in your PJ’s, we suggest you try out Amazon Prime Now. You can order household items, gifts and even food from local restaurants and Amazon will deliver your order right to the hotel within one-two hours.

Plus you get 10 bucks off your first order. Holllaaaaaa!

With so much to think about in preparation for World of Watson, we hope this list made your life a little easier. And now I obviously have to tell you to not forget to stop by the Pyramid Solutions booth (#623) in the Monetizing Data area of the Cognitive Concourse. We’ll have some good-looking people there [myself included ;)]  and some pretty neat presentations and demonstrations going on. We’d love to meet you. 

See you in the new world.  


About the author: Taylor is the writing pro at Pyramid Solutions. Don’t let her office nickname of “Sunshine” fool you though – she’s notorious for sending back proofed writing with red changes everywhere.