It’s finally here, and we’re all set up and ready to welcome you for Citrix Synergy 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia! I’m thrilled about this year’s event and don’t want you to miss all the good things that will be happening over these very powerful three days, so once again I’ll be blogging each afternoon of the conference to share the day’s highlights and my favorite moments and to let you know what’s coming next. I’ll also be spotlighting an iconic image in the header photo — today’s is “vintage” Synergy for a cloud-first future, courtesy of our own Tim Minahan, Executive Vice President, Business Strategy, and Chief Marketing Officer at Citrix.

What’s been happening so far

Several hundred of your colleagues are already here building their skill sets to get the most out of the conference. They arrived early to participate in the two-day intensive Instructor-led Learning Labs workshop that took place yesterday and today and have been going deep into solution architecture implementation and deployment, configuration procedures, troubleshooting using issue isolation techniques, and the best ways to monitor, scale and optimize Citrix solutions.

If you missed the workshop, you’re not alone. This is one of the most popular features at Synergy, so space sells out quickly. We’ll be offering it again next year, so I encourage you to preregister early if you’re interested. The package includes up to three labs for $99.

Plus, don’t forget that you can still get access to this training: 90-minute Self-paced Learning Labs covering these same topics will be available on demand every afternoon starting at 2 p.m. ET in Synergy Park, and all you need to participate is your conference badge, a laptop and a power cord (you can review the system requirements here). Consider checking out Configuring a hybrid workspace experience with Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops and App layering integration with Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops using PVS and User Layers, as these were two of the most popular labs this weekend.

What’s in store this evening

The Navigators Reception (Thomas B. Murphy Galleria in Building B) is a fantastic way to kick off your conference experience, whether this is your first time attending or you’ve been coming for years, because in addition to great networking and a delicious assortment of beverages and hors d’oeuvres, there will be tables staffed with event experts who can answer your questions, provide conference insights and help you ensure you’ve got the best game plan in place to meet your goals for the conference. I’m headed over there shortly and would love to meet you and chat!

Tonight, if you have time, view the finalist videos for the Citrix Innovation Award and vote for your favorite. This prestigious award recognizes customers who have been using Citrix technology in a variety of ingenious ways, and I think you’ll be as inspired by their stories as I am. Voting closes at 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday, but given how full the next couple days will be, you might as well check those out now.

More ways to ensure a great Synergy experience

Here are some additional tips for those of you who are joining us in person:

  • Download the Synergy Mobile app: this is the best way to stay connected to everything going on at the conference. Be sure to set up push notifications so that you’ll get reminders and be informed of new announcements right away. You can also build and access your agenda and change it on the fly. The app also includes 3D maps of the conference center, Solutions Expo and Citrix Experience Center and enables you to easily interact with other attendees using the chat feature. Plus, you’ll get to play GameOn! Compete against your colleagues for prizes and bragging rights: keep an eye on the leaderboard to know where you stand!
  • Confirm your itinerary: make sure your conference plan includes a good mix of sessions, labs, and special events, like Simply Serve @ Synergy (the 3rd annual Battle Bots competition is Wednesday), Lunch Table Tech Chats, and Match.Geek. Remember, if your expert of choice is booked, you may be able to fly standby if someone doesn’t show up.

  • Check out the Citrix Experience Center: be sure to also make time to explore the workspace of the future in this immersive exhibit in the Solutions Expo. Choose a guided tour that takes you step-by-step through the entire experience, or wander through and watch video demos of the technology in action at your own pace. Experts will be on hand to answer your questions about any Citrix technology, and digital whiteboards will be available to sketch out ideas and work through your challenges.
  • Don’t miss the main events: the real excitement begins tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. ET when Citrix executives take the stage with a surprise special guest during the Opening Keynote, where they’ll be sharing an incredible vision for the future, phenomenal demos, and more. Trust me, you don’t want to miss it. Wednesday we’ll welcome Dr. Madeleine Albright, the first female U.S. Secretary of State, to the Super Session stage at 9:00 a.m. ET, and Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind person to summit Mount Everest, will get us going on Thursday with a hugely inspiring presentation at 9:00 a.m. ET.

Those who aren’t able to make it here this year can still join us virtually and watch some of the biggest sessions live, including the Opening Keynote, which will be live-streamed tomorrow on Citrix Synergy TV starting at 9:00 a.m. ET. The top technical breakout sessions will be live-streamed, as well, along with Erik Weihenmayer’s Super Session on Thursday. Check the schedule for a listing of exact times. Many of these sessions will also be available on demand after Synergy, and attendees will be able to download presentations from their My Synergy Account tool beginning June 3rd.

Can’t-miss for tomorrow

Did I mention that there will be a special guest at the Opening Keynote tomorrow!? It’s true—as if you needed another reason to be there because this will be the session to see the revolutionary technology that lays the foundation for the future of work. I saw a glimpse of what’s to come, and without revealing too much, I can tell you that this session alone will give you the vision and the roadmap to empower your users, simplify IT, and create competitive advantage for your organization. Come see what Citrix makes possible. You won’t be disappointed. Tomorrow is also a great day the visit the Citrix Experience Center because you’ll be able to immediately test out all the extraordinary technology you’ll hear about in the Opening Keynote.

The Citrix Experience Center and Solutions Expo will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. tomorrow and will reopen in the evening from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. for the Welcome Reception, so there will be plenty of opportunity to check it out.

Explore Synergy Park tomorrow to see the awesome cityscape and the heart of Synergy, home to Fireside Chats and Meet the Experts Theaters, Match.Geek and Simply Serve @ Synergy, and Self-paced Learning Labs and the Event Connection Lounge. Synergy Park is also where you’ll find the Social Hub and Community Hub: the social team is running some fun contests, and you can create your personalized Citrix MiniMe, so get there before they’re gone!

Keep up with it all

For the latest news from the conference, follow Citrix on social, especially ‪‪#citrixsynergy on Twitter, where all the big announcements will be shared. And be sure to use ‪#citrixsynergy every time you post to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram about the event—for two fantastic reasons. First, for every post made this week (today through Thursday) that includes ‪#citrixsynergy, Citrix will donate $1 to United Way of Greater Atlanta’s STEM education program, for a total of up to $50,000! And second, you might just make it into this blog because, as you can see, I’ll be featuring some of my favorite tweets from each day.

Keep an eye out for my next post tomorrow, follow me on Twitter @merisummers and have a great first day at Synergy!