AWS News Blog

Newbie’s Guide to AWS re:Invent

If you have been to the first and/or second AWS re:Invent, you know how to prepare and you know how to get the most out of your time in Las Vegas. If this is your first time, you’ll appreciate this Newbie Guide that my colleague Tracy Laxdal has put together!


There’s only one week to go until AWS re:Invent! We hope you are looking forward to a great week of new announcements, valuable technical sessions, fun after-hours activities, and more. If you can’t make it to Vegas, feel free to watch the live stream of the keynotes and the top breakout sessions (sign up here). If you will be coming, check out these top 10 tips!

  1. Use the Mobile App The mobile app has all the details you need to navigate AWS re:Invent: the conference agenda, venue maps, session lists, and more.
  2. Get Your Badge & Swag Early – Registration will be open Monday (6:30 AM-8:00 PM), Tuesday (7:00 AM-7:00 PM), and Wednesday (7:00 AM-7:00 PM). Tip: The best times to get your badge and swag are 7:00-9:00 AM, Noon-3:00 PM, and 6:00 PM-7:00 PM on Monday and Tuesday.
  3. Arriving on Tuesday? – If you arrive early on Tuesday (November 11th) and are looking for something to do, check out the Test Drive Labs (7:00 AM-5:00 PM), the Hands On Labs (1:00 PM-7:00 PM), or register to take a Certification Exam. AWS re:Invent Central (the Expo hall) will open at 5:00 PM. Tip: AWS Partners are welcome to attend the APN Summit from 11:00 AM-5:00 PM.
  4. Plan Your Schedule in Advance – Plan your schedule around the sessions you want to see. Use the Session Catalog to find sessions and log into your AWS re:Invent account to add them to your Schedule or download them to your calendar. Sessions are first come-first serve, so arrive early. Check out the full event agenda to see what else is happening.
  5. Find Sessions to Match Your Interests and Level – Sessions are categorized by track, level, role, tag, day, speaker, etc. You can also search by keyword. Check out the Session Catalog. (Tip: Session IDs indicate track and level for quick reference; see the definitions.)
    • If you are new to AWS, check out the Introductory (200 level) and Advanced (300 level) sessions, especially the Services Overview track.
    • If you are an existing AWS user, check out the Advanced (300 level) and Expert (400 level) sessions, especially the Architecture and Services Deep Dive track.
  6. The Spotlight Track has Hidden Gems – AWS re:Invent is a rare opportunity to hear from the teams that built the AWS Cloud. The Spotlight track is the best of the best, including sessions from AWS engineering leaders sharing behind-the-scenes details. DO NOT MISS!
  7. Stop by re:Invent Central Stop by the expo (over 300 AWS partners), the AWS booth, Developer Lounge, and more. (Tip: we will be giving away ChapStick in the AWS booth – it may seem silly now but wait till you have spent several days in the hotel). Join us for the Welcome Reception, Tuesday November 11th from 5:00 PM-7:00 PM.
  8. re:Play Party! – Don’t miss the party of the year on Thursday, November 13th, from 8:00 PM to Midnight. You will be entertained by interactive activities, games, a surprise musical guest, food, and drinks (Tip: don’t forget to pick up a party t-shirt).
  9. Get Extra Swag by Filling out Surveys – We want your feedback on breakout sessions! As a bonus, you can get more AWS swag by completing session evaluations. Use the Eval kiosks throughout the conference or log into your re:Invent account to see your session evals and go to the reg desk to redeem swag.
  10. Follow & Share – Stay connected and share your feedback via Twitter. We’ll be using the hashtags #aws and #reinvent for our own content.

Are you looking for more tips? Check out Cloudability’s re:Invent Survival Guide, it’s full of good advice, from what to pack to restaurant recommendations

— Tracy Laxdal, Senior Marketing Manager

Modified 2/11/2021 – In an effort to ensure a great experience, expired links in this post have been updated or removed from the original post.
Jeff Barr

Jeff Barr

Jeff Barr is Chief Evangelist for AWS. He started this blog in 2004 and has been writing posts just about non-stop ever since.