Survive and Thrive at Mega Camp!
If you are a first time or a veteran of Mega Camp, this year is different. In year past, attendees mostly sat in one room while the speakers on the stage changed. There where separate days for leadership, technology and agents. This year at Mega Camp, there are breakouts and a multi day format. So check the schedule and make sure you plan ahead.
What to wear at Mega Camp
Two things to consider when coming to Mega Camp. Making a good impression and Texas Heat! August in Texas can be very hot with temp above 100. In Austin, most people get around by walking, so a three piece suit may not be the best choice. While you will see almost every type of dress (shorts to suites), business to business casual in the norm. You will see some women in heels, keep in mind you will be walking a lot! You may want to bring flats to change into. Purses and bag at Mega Camp - for security reasons purses and bags will be searched upon entering. This does create a line and often you will only be allowed to bring a clear bag. There is also a line for those who are not carrying bags.
The Mega Camp exhibition hall
There are many great vendors who offer special deals at Mega Camp, for example I normally order signs while at Mega Camp. You will see all kinds of neat items.. Dont buy what you cant afford with the thought "I will get one more deal..." Plan ahead and have a budget. Really access what you need.Also, if you tour the vendor floor the first day, it gives you time to consider if you really need the item. Before you buy, think about what you expect of the item and how to track its effectiveness.
Networking events at Mega Camp
There are several networking opportunities, make sure to take advantage of them. Meet as many agents as you can and have a real conversation with them. Dont be a card whore and just stand in one place handing out cards. If you do, you will see many people throw them away. Also, keep your kelle app handy and make sure you know how to use it to scan each other. Austin has so much to offer, lots of restaurants, clubs and bars, its tempting to stay out most of the night, keep in mind why you are in Austin. You can "party" anytime. Even at night you are working because you never know who you will meet and how they may impact your life.
Getting around Austin during Mega Camp
Getting around Mega Camp can be as you have several options. Most of the events and the hotels are within walking distance to the convention center. So many people walk, of course there is uber and lyft for ride services. Austin also has scooters and bike rentals in addition to a good bus system. There is a train that arrives right next to the convention center. For driving, there are many parking lots. You can park on the street, it is hard to find a place. I find it best to leave the car and get around without it.
Getting to Mega Camp from the Austin
Capital Metro’s 100-AirportFlyer bus runs to and from the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) every 30 minutes. Direct access to the Downtown area is $1.25. The route stops at the corner of Riverside and Town Creek Drive on the Southeast side, at the cross section of Fourth and Trinity streets Downtown, and on 23rd Street between Robert Dedman Drive and San Jacinto Boulevard near the University of Texas campus. Ride share companies like Super Shuttle give you ride to and from the airport. And Lyft / Uber are options. Car rentals are very affordable in Austin. There is a separate building for car rentals in the Austin airport.
Food at Mega Camp
Austin has so many great restaurants. often some of the ugliest looking places has the best food. If you can try some Texas style BBQ and Tex-Mex food. Steak also is a big in Texas!
Speakers at Mega Camp
If you see a speaker while at Mega Camp, let them know what you thought. If the speaker says something you want to know more about, ask them, you can email them or even call them after mega camp.
Communications at Mega Camp
As you can imagine, 10,000 agents creates a slowdown in the wifi and cell networks. Bring a power cable to your electronics
Most of all, you have two eyes and ears, keep them open at all times and listen to everyone! Have fun and be prepared to learn!