There are few situations more daunting and overwhelming than giant convention center conferences. The endless options, slew of breakout sessions, the enormous maze of an expo hall … well, it can all lead to some serious FOMO-inducing moments.
But, after a few times around the block, you start to learn a few tricks for getting the most out of your time and investment.
As a seasoned SuiteWorld veteran, I’m here to help you get the most out of your SuiteWorld17 experience. From the “don’t miss” moments to the first timer’s to-dos, consider this your unofficial SuiteWorld itinerary.
Tips for Going to SuiteWorld
You’re There, Drink the Kool-Aid
I never miss the daily keynotes. Why? Because this is where you get a real, insider look at where NetSuite is going. Often given by Netsuite’s top execs, it builds excitement around the future of the solution and the technology we use every day. And you often get some sneak peaks a new features before they’re available.
I always leave the keynotes energized and my head buzzing with ideas. This is a don’t miss.
Navigating the Sea of Session Selections
There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for breakout sessions. NetSuite knows this and instead designed “session tracks” by role, industry, or product area so you can truly tailor your SuiteWorld experience.
My tip? Go to SuiteWorld with a clear goal, and then follow that track.
Once you know what you want to accomplish, visit the 2017 Session Catalog. You can filter the sessions by product area, experience level (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced), audience (Developer, Administrator, Finance), and even industry to really hone in and focus on what you want to prioritize. When you’re done with your selections, you can even download a calendar to serve as a guide so you stay – literally – on track. Pretty great, huh?
While you’re building out your agenda with breakout sessions, don’t forget to pre-register for sessions. Some of the more popular ones require you to sign up ahead of time so they don’t run out of room. A lot of them even scan your conference pass at the door.
Plan ahead and reserve your spot.
Not only are there hundreds of breakout sessions to choose from, but there will also be hundreds of NetSuite developer partners, solution partners, and system integrators in the Expo hall.
While I would highly recommend spending at least part of a day in the SuiteWorld Expo, it can get a little overwhelming to sort through the crowds of people and seemingly endless isles of booths. Do your research ahead of time and check out the exhibitors tab in the Session Catalog to pinpoint the top vendors and add-on solutions you’d like to learn more about.
Not sure where to start? Based on our years of NetSuite implementations, integrations, and customizations, here are my top three suggestions:
- FLODocs | Documenting all of your NetSuite customizations and processes, FLODocs makes your ERP less expensive to maintain, easier to manage, more reliable, and less risky to operate.
- SyncHR | Streamlining your human capital management processes, SyncHR combines your HR, Benefits, and Payroll operations into one integrated platform for complete headcount analytics, real-time budget-to-actual tracking, and seamless event-driven automation.
- Expensify | Simplifying your processes, Expensify makes managing your company expenses easier, faster, and more efficient. Automatic categorization, mobile app access, ensured compliance, and one-click approvals all integrate with your NetSuite ERP system.
One of the best parts of attending SuiteWorld is the ability to build your network. There will be a huge collection of your peers on-site that all have similar challenges and businesses. This is an untapped market to really collaborate and idea share on what works well for you or ask questions to people in similar roles or industries as you.
The great thing is, NetSuite knows this benefit, so they’ve created a lot of opportunities to capitalize on it. Whether it’s at the evening socials or in sessions, seek out new connections while at SuiteWorld.
My favorite way? Wednesday’s lunch.
Wednesday Lunch Options
User Group Lunch
Are you part of a local NetSuite User Group? One of the best ways to be the most successful in your ERPis to regularly attend User Group meetings. Found in most regions and major cities, NetSuite User Groups are a treasure trove of idea sharing, best practices, and solution tips. And many of them are doing a group lunch at SuiteWorld on Wednesday. Check out the list and join!
A great way to met with other users in your industry or just to talk about a specific product or challenge, the Birds-of-a-Feather lunch is a great networking opportunity. Each table will have it’s own topic and will give you the chance to talk with the team charged with making NetSuite a better solution for you. Talk about the future direction of the system, how it will benefit your business, and collaborate with fellow industry users on best practices and shared challenges.
Is this your first SuiteWorld? Not real sure what to expect? Well, in my years of attending this conference, I have learned a few steadfast non-negotiables:
- First, always layer up. It may sound silly – especially since we’ll be in the Las Vegas desert sun – but convention centers tend to be overly air conditioned. I suffered through my first year without a sweater, and I will never make that mistake again.
- Second, don’t rent a car. Maybe you were a little late registering or booking your hotel, but trust me, a rental vehicle does not pay at this conference no matter how far your commute in. Parking is just a pain. Utilize the public transit system or shuttle if you are closer to the airport than the convention center; it’ll save you a lot of morning stress looking for a parking space. Then, learn and register early for next year so you can get a room at one of the hotels attached to the convention center for ultimate convenience.
- And lastly, there is no shortage of food available at SuiteWorld. Don’t feel obligated to eat every time they feed you. And, in my opinion, it’s in your best interest to keep a safe distance from the “candy bar” – unless, of course, you don’t mind heading home a few pounds heavier!
Dana Larson leads Eide Bailly Technology Consulting’s NetSuite ERP practice. With more than 25 years in the accounting and software consulting field, Dana’s breadth of knowledge spans industries and technologies, adding valuable project management and requirements insight to clients’ ERP implementations.