Check out the header photo up there! The Business of Yes is in the spotlight throughout Synergy—see how Citrix can help you say “Yes.” I’ll be featuring my favorite Twitter photo each day of the conference. Watch for them!

Citrix Synergy 2016 officially kicks off at the Day 1 keynote in the morning, but there’s been a buzz of excitement as the Instructor-led Learning Labs workshop comes to a close and attendees gear up for two special events this evening.

Remember that SynergyTV will be live-streaming both tomorrow’s keynote and the Day 2 General Session along with dozens of hours of technical breakout sessions. In addition to live-streamed programs, SynergyTV also will offer on-demand viewing immediately after Synergy, with videos available May 27.

I’ll be blogging the highlights live from Synergy right here, and you can stay in touch on Twitter by following #CitrixSynergy. Here’s a preview of what to expect this week:

First, a few tips

  • Download the Synergy Mobile app and play GameOn! You’re automatically entered into the game when you log in to the mobile app for the first time, and you’ll unlock badges and earn points as you attend sessions and complete activities. Keep an eye on the leaderboard for your progress!
  • Add a mix of sessions, labs and special events to your agenda. Many of them, such as Lunch Table Tech Chats and Match.Geek—valuable opportunities to speak one-on-one with experts—let you fly standby. So even if a table or expert is showing full, go anyway: if registered attendees don’t show up, you will get a spot.
  • Don’t miss the opening keynote and General Session. You’ll see some incredible demos and meet customers who will share real-world insights about how they are transforming their organizations with Citrix.

Monday highlights
The Instructor-led Learning Labs preconference workshop just wrapped up this afternoon, and, as always, it’s one of the most in-demand features of Synergy. Two of the most popular sessions included SYN602: Enhanced application delivery with XenApp and XenDesktop 7.x and SYN619: Unleash the power of XenApp and XenDesktop Platinum. Both offered double sessions and all were at capacity. The workshop package includes up to three labs for $99; preregister early next year to be sure you can attend your favorites. The labs workshop sells out quickly.

Also, remember that many of the most popular labs are available in the Self-paced Learning Labs, which are on-demand throughout the week—no reservations necessary.

Tuesday hot sessions
This year, at your request, sessions range from 45 to 90 minutes to give you the time for deeper dives on more advanced technical topics. There’s no way you could make it to all of these unless you’ve figured out quantum teleportation (in which case, let’s talk; I have so much to do and could really use the option of being in two places at once):

  •  SYN211: Windows 10 as a virtual desktop (repeats Thursday at 11:30 a.m.)
  • SYN217: Never let me down again: the future of XenApp and XenDesktop upgrades
  • SYN220: XenApp and XenDesktop security best practices
  • SYN518: Why VDI projects fail
  • SYN108: What’s new—XenApp & XenDesktop

All of the breakouts will be available on demand on SynergyTV after Friday; check the listings for details.

Tonight: Diversity in Technology and NetScaler Connect
Synergy features two exciting events tonight, including the new NetScaler Connect Welcome Reception, which kicks off the inaugural NetScaler Connect event-within-an-event exclusively for Networking IT attendees. If you’re in networking and want to focus on the latest trends in next-gen networking solutions, find your people tonight at 6:00 p.m. in The Venetian | The Palazzo Congress Center, Level 3, Lido 3001B/3101A.

I’m about to head over to the Diversity in Technology Networking Reception. This new format is especially exciting. Four guest experts will be leading small-group discussions ranging from navigating STEM fields as a woman to building multicultural, multinational teams. Diversity is critical to our industry and it’s a huge topic in the news, and I’m looking forward to some intense conversations, great networking and live music. The event, open to Citrix customers and partners, is by reservation and is full, but you may be able to participate if registered attendees haven’t checked in by 6:15 p.m. Stop by The Venetian | The Palazzo Congress Center, Level 2, Veronese 2401B/2501A to fly standby.

Looking ahead: Opening Keynote, Solutions Expo and more
Customers are at the center of everything we do, and this year we’re spotlighting them in Synergy sessions, special events and keynotes. Tomorrow, you’ll meet Citrix customers from Exelon, NewYork-Presbyterian Health System and Morgan Stanley as Citrix CEO Kirill Tatarinov kicks off Synergy with a visionary look at digital transformation. The keynote sets the tone for the entire conference, with an inspirational glimpse into the future of IT. It’s a must-attend.

Also tomorrow: the Solutions Expo opens, giving you the opportunity to get up close with the most innovative products, technologies and services from our sponsors and other leading IT companies. The heart of the Solutions Expo is The Citrix Booth Experience, where you can take a guided tour of the digital business, demo by demo.

A couple of other Solutions Expo highlights: Watch the Synergy Showdown, as teams compete to deploy an entire XenApp infrastructure on Microsoft Azure—in about the amount of time it took me to drink my morning Mountain Dew. These CTPs are fast. The Showdown starts tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. , with finals beginning at 7:00 p.m. during the Welcome Reception. And, if you’re new to Synergy, be sure to attend the Newcomers Breakfast at 7:00 a.m. in The Venetian | The Palazzo Congress Center, Level 1 Foyer for tips from Synergy alumni on how to build your schedule to make the most of your time here.

Welcome to Las Vegas, and have a great Synergy!

I’ll update my feed with news as it happens: follow me on Twitter @merisummers. And keep up on the latest news at #citrixsynergy.

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