When you think about Synergy, training may be the first thing that comes to mind. But this event also has a social side. We hear from many previous attendees that professional networking at Synergy – both in person and online – is just as important as gaining new knowledge and skills.

Synergy offers so many ways to socialize, whether it’s a scheduled activity, a pre-arranged meeting or an impromptu discussion following a breakout session. To help you take advantage of all these different opportunities, I’ve made a social to-do list in (roughly) chronological order:

  • Monday at 3:00 p.m.: Volunteer with Simply Serve @ Synergy to support Stop Hunger Now and get to know some fellow attendees before the event officially begins. It’s a great way to meet new people while making a difference for those in need around the world. Add SYN010: Simply Serve @ Synergy to your personal agenda to sign up.
  • Monday at 4:00 p.m.: It’s time for happy hour, and that means Geek Speak Tonight!, the irreverent, funny and thought-provoking “Ted-like” talks and debates on hot tech issues featuring audience participation. Grab your snacks and a cerveza and get ready to chime in.
  • Tuesday at lunch: Each day at lunchtime in the Solutions Expo, you can join one of the 10 Tech Chat tables to discuss a topic such as mobility, networking or “speak your geek.” Meet like-minded IT professionals for a conversation led by CTPs and Citrix User group members.  No reservation required.
  • Tuesday afternoon:  Take a break from the training at Game Zone, where you can play pool, Xbox and make some new acquaintances. Alternatively, head to the Citrix Shop and Coffee Bar for a souvenir or a premium beverage. Both areas are ideal for casual conversation.
  • Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.: Head to the Welcome Reception in the Solutions Expo to reconnect with old friends, meet new people, talk to the exhibitors and enjoy hors d’oeuvres and beverages. It’s your chance to prove you can eat, drink, walk and talk at the same time.
  • Wednesday at 12:00 p.m.: All women attendees are invited to the Women in Technology Luncheon, a new Synergy activity. Meet your female peers and Citrix Senior Vice President Catherine Courage, your host. Take part in candid discussions centered on the theme of “Inspire and Be Inspired” while enjoying a delicious lunch. Please preregister by adding SYN020: Women in Technology Luncheon” to your schedule.
  • Wednesday evening: On this free evening, you might visit one of the Disney theme parks (discount tickets are available via the conference website), go out for dinner with colleagues or take in another Anaheim attraction.
  • Thursday morning: You’ve connected with us online, now say hello in person! This is a good time to stop by the Social Media Hub in XenCity to get social media advice from the Citrix social team, take part in some fun activities and see your #citrixsynergy photos and tweets on the big screen! It’s a great place to take a break and recharge your batteries, too!
  • Thursday at 3:30 p.m.: Stop by the Solutions Expo on Thursday from 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. for our first ever beer crawl, sponsored by Imprivata. Grab a cold beer from 3 local breweries, take a walk around the expo and visit with our sponsors. It will be a great way to wind down the day before the Solutions Expo officially closes for good at 5:30 p.m.
  • Thursday at 7:30 p.m.: Bring your conference experience to a close at the Synergy Party, featuring a live concert by Imagine Dragons, as well as great food, drinks and entertainment. Everyone will be there, so enjoy this final in-person networking experience.

By participating in all or some of these social activities, you’ll expand your network, get exposure to new viewpoints and have a lot of fun doing it. And be sure to follow me on Twitter @merisummers for Synergy content updates.