I wish I had the secret to picking perfect sessions every time, but alas, I do not. I already messed up this morning and walked into an all vendor panel for products I have no chance to use. But you know what? It’s ok.
If you pick a session that doesn’t exactly suit your needs, you have a few options:
-Stay and learn something. Into reference and you picked an all acquisitions panel? Stick around and see how the other half lives. You work with acquisitions people. Wouldn’t it be nice to be more conversant?
-Leave. There’s no shame in walking out of a session early. People are always coming and going. As long as you’re quiet, quick and courteous, no one is going to think less of you. This is a professional conference: just be professional about it.
-Stay and think of applications for your current setting, or figure out what would have to change to make what you’re hearing about applicable. Or, if you’re in an all vendor meeting, think about how to make an open source version of what they’re advertising.
-Words With Friends
Whatever you decide, you do you. You’re here to connect with other people, but you’re also here to connect with yourself. There will be ample occasion to listen to other people talk at you. Maybe a so-so session is a good time to exit stage right, and take some time to listen to yourself. This is only Day 1. Absorption and reflection are needed to make this experience worth it, but also to not lose your mind by Day 3.
Be good to yourselves, enjoy the sessions!