What to Expect at the 2017 Fall #SourceCon Conference – Back to Reality

Is this your first SourceCon, or perhaps you haven’t been in awhile?

Being the SourceCon junky that I am, my goal each year is to meet more people and learn more about sourcing. With so much going on, the conference can be a little overwhelming if you’re not prepared.

So, to make your experience the very best it can be, I’ve put together some tips for you.

Let’s start with the basics.

Have you downloaded the app? Once you register, you will receive an email inviting you to download the official SourceCon app. It’s one of the most downloaded conference apps on the market, so make sure you take advantage of it.

What to pack:

Your laptop and power cord and phone charger. Most sessions will be interactive, and you will definitely need it for the Hackathon. Wireless internet is provided. I bring a rolling bag to carry everything around.

Business cards. You’ll need them for vendor giveaways and to share with your new friends.

Something to wear. SourceCon fashion icon Steve Levy says “shaving is optional,” however SourceCon Editor Shannon Pritchett says, “no pajamas, please.”

Casual to business casual dress is the norm – jeans, t-shirts, however you feel comfortable. The temperature is going to be in the high 80’s during the day, 60’s at night. The conference rooms may get chilly, so pack a sweater or jacket just in case. Wear comfortable shoes. There is a lot of walking!

Your phone or camera. Take a quick photo of that interesting presentation slide. You can use the #SourceCon hashtag across all social channels to share your photos.

Getting Started:

Check-in and registration begin at 7:30 am on Monday. Once you get checked in, visit the Welcome Wagon, staffed by knowledgeable and helpful volunteers. You’ll be able to identify these folks throughout the conference by their purple Converse Chuck Taylor high top shoes and matching SourceCon t-shirt.

At the Welcome Wagon table, we can help you plan your schedule. We can introduce you to anyone you’d like to meet.

We can help with tough sourcing problems.

Want a photo opportunity with Steve Rath, Shannon Pritchett, or Nancy Dorn? We can arrange that too.

And it begins:

Come with an open mind.

If you think you know everything about sourcing, you’re in for a surprise!

Bring your sense of humor and a smile

The best way to learn is to laugh, and, believe me; there’s a lot of laughing going on at SourceCon!

This is a friendly, collaborative, giving group – don’t be surprised if someone sits down next to you and starts a conversation. Feel free to include yourself as well – see an extra seat at the bar? Invite yourself to join in.

You don’t need a podium to make an impact.

Share what you know – we learn from each other.

Take notes and practice what you learn

Take notes and try things on your laptop as you see them demonstrated. Bookmark your links, take screenshots, organize your info while you are at the conference. Presentations will be available to attendees after the conference.

Follow and tweet

Follow what’s happening in concurrent sessions @SourceCon using #SourceCon on twitter

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Don’t miss the keynotes!

Don’t miss the Hackathon. What goes on at the Hackathon stays at the Hackathon, so no details have been revealed yet, but I am assured it will be challenging.

Take advantage of the downtime to socialize.

Take advantage of the downtime to have a drink with a new friend in the hotel bar, or explore the area.

Surrounded by rolling hills and beautiful lakes, Austin is known for its’ phenomenal barbeque and Mexican food.

Austin is also known for its’ infamous Sixth Street where you can find live music nightly.

Here are a couple of sites you can find events:

https://www.austintexas.org/visit/events/august-september/.

http://thingstodo.austin360.com/events?neighborhoods=&categories=&range=09-24-2017-09-30-2017

Opening keynote & pre-conference workshops.

Day one of SourceCon is very social, and it’s highlighted by the SourceCon Welcome Reception/Happy Hour from 6:00-7:00 PM. There will also be an opening keynote from Jim Stroud starting at 5:00 PM. Stroud was the MC at the first SourceCon, and you don’t want to miss his opening session.

There are two pre-paid and private pre-conference workshops which start at noon on Monday the 25th. Both are sold out, but if you are interested in attending, contact SourceCon to get on the waitlist.

Don’t forget your wallet!

Every year, SourceCon and the ERE Foundation partners with a nonprofit to increase education and community awareness. This year, SourceCon is partnering with SAVE. There will be plenty of unicorns to purchase and many other opportunities to donate towards this great organization.

SAVE was one of the nation’s first organizations dedicated to the prevention of suicide. Our work is based on the foundation and belief that suicide is preventable and everyone has a role to play in preventing suicide. Through raising public awareness, educating communities, and equipping every person with the right tools, we know we can SAVE lives.

10 years!

For 10 years, SourceCon has been the premier sourcing conference bringing together innovative speakers, industry leaders, and hundreds of sourcers for three days focused on the smartest minds, the latest technologies, and the sourcing industry’s top influencers. At this year’s anniversary conference, attendees can also expect the best Texan BBQ to go along with the world-class networking and education.

We are looking forward to celebrating a decade of SourceCon and sourcing with you in Austin.

Cyndy Davis is a senior sourcer for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. She is a Grand Master Challenge finalist and self-proclaimed SourceCon junky. Follow her @techcyndy

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