by Donald Wong, CTA, Bay Area CUGC Leader
It’s that time of year again to get ready for the last minute logistics preparation for Citrix Synergy, the Citrix annual conference hosted this year in Atlanta, Georgia from May 19–23. Hopefully, most of you have chosen your breakout sessions by now and have formulated a game plan of what, where, and who to meet and see. Having attended Synergy for a number of years as customer, Expo vendor sponsor, and session speaker, I have a few suggestions to round out your schedule. At the very least, you should attend the keynotes, stop by Expo vendor booths and self-paced labs, and look up colleagues to establish peer-to-peer networking opportunities so I will not dive into these in detail here.
Because there are so many different avenues to write about, this blog will focus on few interesting highlights where I found more value that I originally anticipated.
These intimate sessions are often held leaders in the CUGC community, Citrix Technology Professionals, and Citrix Technology Advocates. There’s a wide range of topics covered, from Endpoint Management, Cloud, and Virtual Apps and Desktops, to Workspace and Analytics, among others. If you ever wanted interactive, real-life feedback on solutions that you had questions about, this is the right place. I tend to lean on these as pro-tips rather than general, introduction-to-technology sessions. As a takeaway, I usually come out more confident that I either have the correct solution or that I have gained some known pitfalls from their experiences that I can avoid for a successful implementation. Seating is often limited, but fortunately, there are multiple time slots available and they occur on each day of the general sessions.
Lunch Table Tech Chats
Lunch Table Tech Chat is one of my favorites. What’s better than having lunch, fueling up for the remainder of the day, and meeting with a diverse group of peers to gain insights on how others use or plan to use the technology. I have sat on both ends of the table, both as an attendee and as a moderator, so I can share a unique perspective. These sessions are also typically moderated by volunteers from the Citrix community including Citrix Technology Professionals and Citrix Technology Advocates. The format for these are casual and meant to have participants interact with each other and share their thoughts on the topic assigned for the table. There are typically 8-10 seats available, but I have witnessed standing room attendees. Different from Match.Geek sessions, you will get a valuable introduction from the moderator to the technology topic: Analytics, Cloud, Content Collaboration, Endpoint Management, Networking, Virtual Apps and Desktops, and Workspace. The free-flowing and interactive format provides a great forum to share ideas.
Fireside chats are unique in the sense that Citrix attempts to create a real campfire-like ambiance, so you feel immersed into a real sit-down environment around a fireplace. These sessions typically are larger, seating up to the 30, but again I have witnessed standing room only viewers. There are quite a number of interesting Fireside Chats this year. Among mainstream topics ranging from Virtual Apps and Desktop to Content Collaboration, here are just a few others that I will be stopping by to hear more about: Networking, IT, Workspace, and Cloud. In the previous year, a lot of the sessions include customer or partner panelists who have teamed together with Citrix to talk about their journey and their use of Citrix technologies.
Your takeaway from these sessions are more insights on how other organizations use the technologies that you might have not have the exposure to and you’ll see how they deploy at scale that’s different from your organization. There’s ample opportunity to ask questions with the speakers, so please take advantage and get those insights that you seek.
Having attended multiple Citrix Synergy conferences doesn’t make me an expert by any means. I myself once looked upon guidance to steer me through the maze of information overload that can happen at conferences. It’s nearly impossible to visit every session or event at Synergy. Things will always come up that will undoubtedly cause you to not have as much time as you might have anticipated for your agenda. We all have our own professional and personal topics of interest in mind. Hopefully sharing these few insights on sessions such as Match.Geek, Lunch Table Tech Chats, and Fireside Chats will give you options to garner more information that you sought to obtain by attending Synergy. You can simply use the Session Type filter tool in your Synergy Session Catalog to sort by these sessions.
If you are reading this blog, you are already at the right place as there’s a huge Citrix User Group Community to reach out for advice and resources are readily available here. I hope and look forwarding to meeting some of you at Synergy. Don’t hesitate to connect with me if you have further questions using any of the channels below. Thank you!