Autodesk University is being held in Las Vegas, Nevada, again this year on November 19-21. If you’ve been there, you know that everyone has a Vegas story. There are movies about Vegas stories. Sure, they can be a little far-fetched, but sometimes truth can be stranger than fiction. Here are some time-tested rules for surviving AU in Vegas:
- Don’t go to Vegas. You could tell your boss you’re washing your hair that week. If by some long shot that doesn’t work, lie down on the floor and scream and kick your feet. Hey, it works for little kids in the grocery store, so it has been proven to work sometimes. On the other hand, if you insist on going to Vegas, and your boss says no, the same process could work to get approval to attend AU.
- Double check your destination. Make sure you’re going to Las Vegas, Nevada and not Las Vegas, New Mexico. They are very definitely NOT the same kind of place.
- Don’t eat everything that’s free. Maybe some of you were raised by frugal parents who taught you to squeeze everything you can out of life – especially free stuff. For instance, when I see a sign announcing something is free, I take one (or two) – even if I don’t need it. That goes double for food. Which leads to the next rule.
- Take along Tums. We all know you’re going to ignore Rule 3. So get ready for a little heartburn. In the downtime after classes, if you’re winning, the heartburn won’t be quite as bad. If you’re losing, go with the maximum dose.
- Attach your wallet to your body. Whether you use a chain, a piece of baling wire or even dental floss, keep your wallet close. This is not, as you might suspect, to keep thieves from lifting your wallet. It is to keep you from throwing it into the trash by mistake. Our UPS driver related a “Vegas story” about how he got cash from the ATM, and then proceeded to throw the receipt into the trash, along with his entire wallet – credit cards, driver’s license, everything except the cash from the ATM. Granted, he was under the influence at the time, and that hardly ever happens. But it never hurts to put safeguards into place. One thing’s for sure, figuring out how to fly home without a driver’s license and credit cards will sober a person up mighty fast.
- Take a memory course ahead of time. Whether it’s between classes or during the Customer Appreciation VIP Fiesta at Canonita sponsored by Applied Software, you could meet up to 9,483 people at AU. You may remember about three of those people. At least with the memory course you can boost that number to five or six.
- Take notes. There are 700 courses at AU. About ten of them are being taught by the industry experts of Applied Software. If you can’t remember more than three people you meet during AU, you sure aren’t going to remember the courses. And, no, you’re never going to look at your notes again once you get home. But taking notes will make others in the classes think you are a thought leader and someone to admire. Plus, it will give you something to refer to when your boss asks you what emerging technologies and workflows you learned about.
- Plan ahead for shows. If you want to see the Blue Man Group, get your tickets like last year. They are always sold out. Come to think of it, if you want to see blue, visit the eVolve MEP booth at AU. They are not blue people, but eVolve MEP will have blue swag.
- Remember where you put your luggage. When it’s time to leave Vegas, you’ll probably want to head to the airport with everything you brought with you (except the money, of course). I once saw a guy on a shuttle to the airport after AU, and he did not even have a coat – no luggage, no watch, nothing. In fact, he looked like he slept in a gutter the night before. Don’t be like that guy.
- Take sneakers – Fashion seems to be important in Vegas. You see those $8,000 dresses in the display windows, and you think, “Wow, I’m underdressed.” But get real. Your feet are going to be screaming after walking from classroom to classroom and roulette table to one-armed bandit. You won’t care how unattractive or stinky your shoes are after a full day at AU. That’s after just one full day, not to mention three full days. Pack your ugly, comfy shoes. Just be sure when you’re not wearing them to leave a note on them that says, “NOT TRASH” so the maid doesn’t throw them away when you’re out of your room.
- I wear my sunglasses at night – Well, I don’t personally . . . unless I’m in Vegas. It’s daylight all the time there. The place is massive overkill with the lights. They’re blinking; they’re flashing; they’re enough to turn you into a hypno-zombie. However, to combat that, you can wear your ultra-cool, yellow glare-blocking safety glasses. Hey, at least you’ll be able to sleep at night, if you can figure out when that is.
Whether it’s between classes or at the eVolve MEP booth or during the Applied Software VIP Fiesta at Canonita, we are looking forward to meeting up with you in Vegas. Look us up! And if you’ve got a rule of your own to add to the list for surviving AU in Vegas, be sure to let us know.