Early Bird Registration for LISA14 Ends Soon!

There are deadlines you can safely ignore: they're soft, and the consequences are trivial.  And then there are the deadlines that, when you miss them, make you smack your forehead and cry out to the sky avove, "WHY didn't I catch that?"  We're coming close to one of those important deadlines, and I want to give you fair warning.

What am I talking about? Early Bird Registration for LISA14 ends on October 20th, 2014.  That's less than a week away!  If you haven't been to LISA before, you might not know what this means.  By registering early for LISA, you get up to $200 off conference registration fees.  

More than that, though, it's crunch time all 'round.  There are a dozen things you need to sort out before you go...which is why you're here.  Print this post from your browser, grab a marker, and celebrate the completing of tasks with a satisfying waft of ink fumes as you cross them off.

  • Do you need to book a flight or rent a car? USENIX has discount codes you can use if $WORK doesn't have a preferred vendor.
  • Have you booked accommodation? Staying at the conference hotel not only keeps you close to the events, it allows for lots of networking with fellow attendees.  (It also helps USENIX keeps conference costs down.)  And if you need a roommate, check out the USENIX room sharing mailing list.
  • If $WORK is paying for you to attend, make sure you understand what they're paying for.  Are meals included? Taxis? Can you pick up a dead-tree book on the company's dime?  (And if you haven't had this conversation with your manager yet, you might want to check out our earlier post about getting $WORK to pay for LISA.)  If you're self-employed, ask your accountant if attendance can be written off on your taxes.
  • Talk to your manager and make sure he/she understands you're there to work.  Make sure both of you agree on how often you'll be checking in, and how to reach you.
  • Talk to the rest of your team.  Point them at the presentations, workshops and training, then ask if there are any subjects they're particularly interested in or events they want you to attend; offer to take notes or pick up training material.  They'll return the favor next year when it's their turn to go.
  • Look at your monitoring and think what you'll need to be alerted about.  Getting paged during a cool presentation is never fun -- and it's worse if it's something that could've waited 'til lunch time, or been handled by someone else.
  • Have a look at the sponsors and exhibitors.  Are there any vendors you've been meaning to talk to, or organizations you've been meaning to join?  What about speakers or instructors you've been wanting to meet? There's no time like LISA!
  • Go through the program and start thinking about what you'd like to attend.  It can be a little overwhelming -- there's an awful lot going on! -- but I'll guarantee it'll be a lot more overwhelming if you put it off 'til the morning of the conference.  Watch for the LISA Mobile App, due to be released the week before the conference; attendees will be able to create personalized schedules and TODO lists, and the BoF schedule will be kept up-to-date.

The excitement is starting soon -- we're less than a month away 'til the conference.  Register now, plan your strategy, then work your plan.  We'll see you at LISA!