Citrix Synergy is right around the corner. For those of you who are still debating whether to attend or not, I highly recommend it! Do visit the Citrix Synergy website to learn more. There is no better event to learn about everything Citrix and the partner ecosystem! You can learn about my experiences back when I attended in 2009 here. I wanted to share some tips on how to make the most out of your time at the event, primarily for first time attendees.

Synergy mobile app – A must have

I think its safe to assume that there will be a Synergy app available for the various mobile platforms. The app provides general information about the event, allows you to build and track your agenda, information about the various exhibitors and sponsors, contact attendees and even play some games and win prizes. The app is invaluable and I highly recommend downloading and installing it.

Plan your schedule ahead of time

The synergy session catalog is now available on the website and those registered for the event can now build their schedule. While you will most likely not stick to the schedule completely, its still a good idea to have a rough agenda built ahead of time.

Get Certified for Free

Synergy attendees can get Citrix certified for FREE! Its important to register ahead of time though as the slots get filled up quick. Some of the highest paid jobs in the industry are held by Citrix certified professionals. These certifications can help further your career and normally cost anywhere from $150-$300. Do try to make time to give it a shot at NO RISK!

There is a Hands On Lab for everyone!

Hands On Labs (HOL) are extremely popular!  Attendees learn to install and configure various Citrix products, and can do so at their own pace and ask the instructors questions along the way. This is a great way to play with technology that you perhaps don’t normally have access to and gain familiarity. Again, because of the popularity of  Hands On Labs, it is important to register early!

Socialize and build your network

At Synergy, you get to meet industry experts, analysts, Citrites, Solution Architects, Citrix Administrators, Partners etc. Synergy provides a great opportunity to build your professional network, learn how others within your vertical are implementing Citrix technologies and discuss challenges, hear what independent consultants and thought leaders have to say, and get your technical questions answered.

I would highly recommend that attendees participate in the Lunch Table Tech Chats at the Solution Expo this year. You will be able to meet some of smartest and most experienced techies, learn about some of the coolest Citrix implementations out there, and most importantly, totally geek out!

Use twitter and follow the Pulse!

The last couple of times I attended Synergy,  twitter has been my primary tool. There were so many attendees tweeting using the conference hashtag about the keynote, favorite sessions, insights, freebies etc. It helps to hear an independent perspective of the sessions. Twitter serves as a pulse of the conference and helps attendees make wise decisions. I also encourage attendees to tweet about the sessions you attend using the appropriate hashtags.

Dont miss the Geek Speek Live sessions! 

Geek Speak Live (GSL) is probably the most popular track at Synergy. The GSL sessions are led primarily by Citrix Technology Professionals (CTP) who are Industry Experts, highly experienced in implementing large scale Citrix solutions. The fact that they are “independent” implies that you get a very honest, totally unbiased, highly technical and insightful look at everything Citrix, which is what makes these sessions invaluable! In addition to the Geek Speak Live sessions, there is also “Geek Speak Tonight”  on May 5th at 4pm, where you’ll witness of the most heated and informational debates that you’ve ever attended. It becomes obvious how passionate these folks are about what they believe in. Truly inspirational!

Have Fun!

At Citrix, our mantra has always been to WORK HARD but PLAY HARDER. With that in mind there are a number of ways to have a lot of fun when you have some down time this year. GameZone at Xencity gives you the opportunity to show off your gaming skills and compete against your friends and colleagues. Also, don’t miss the Synergy Party where you’ll be able to listen to one of the top bands LIVE while enjoying some great food and beverages! Don’t miss it!