WLPC: Info For Newcomers and Old-timers

WLPC is my favorite conference of the year, and here’s why.  There is no other conference where this many wireless professional get together, teach each other and elevate the industry.  It’s also about family.  Over the years, all these people have become part of my “conference family” and this is the time when we all get together.  All the presenters are attendees, and the sessions are voted on by the community.

Whether this is your first time attending the Wireless Lan Professionals conference (WLPC) or not, there are lots of fun and exciting things to do.  In addition to hanging out with some of the most amazing wireless engineers during the day, there are always plenty of fun things to do at night.

The conference in general:
Bring clothes you don’t mind getting wet because you’ll be drinking from the firehose.  The days are broken down into 60, 30 and 10-minute talks, with a 90 minute deep dive at the end of the day.  You choose your deep dive at registration, so hopefully, you picked well.  The deep dives are the only time when we aren’t all together.  The majority of the day is single track, so we all get the same experience.
There’s usually a lack of power in the conference.  Part of this is logistics, and part of this is they want us paying attention.  If you need your laptop/phone/tablet all day, plan for power.  Wi-Fi ironically can be spotty at times.
Meet new people:
Almost everyone at WLPC is there because they want to learn and want to share their passion for the wireless industry.  If you don’t know a lot of folks, introduce yourself and make lots of friends.  If you’re a long-time WLPC attendee, welcome newcomers to the group.  If standing in a circle talking, make sure to leave some room for others.  Make sure you don’t just hang out with the folks you know, but expand your group.  This is something I struggle with, as there are so many folks I want to catch up with.  My goal is to meet 5 new folks this year.
Plan for an early night:
There are events going on every night.  Even if there aren’t, there will be folks just hanging around, having fun or going to grab some food, and often you can find folks hanging out in the outdoor area until early in the morning.  For those of us arriving on Friday for the boot camps, that can make for a VERY long week.  Pace yourself and identify if you need to call it an early night during the week.
Slack is a great place to keep in touch:
The WlanPros slack community is a great place to keep in touch with your fellow wireless professionals.  You can email sclements@gmail.com if you aren’t a member of the WLAN Pros slack group. I highly recommend it.  It can be a bit noisy, so take care on which channels you join.  It can also be a great way to coordinate activities at the conference.  Even if you don’t want to participate all year long, it can be super useful for the conference.
Think about what you could present:
Some of my favorite talks are the ones where people who come to WLPC share things they are working on.  Not product pitches, but real engineers sharing some of the things that help them through the day.  Some of these things are unique to each org, but WLPC is a great opportunity to present those to the community.
After Hours:
There’s always so much going on outside of the conference.  Trips to coffee places, dinners out, brewery and distillery visits are likely all on the docket.  Below is a list of some of the events that have been coordinated already, and there are more on the way.
Rough list of extra-curricular events for this years WLPC (outside of conference hours).
  •  Registration, Food Trucks, Cash Bar, Swap Meet in the main conference area
  • Run Club: 6am in the main hotel lobby every morning.  Coordinated by Nate York (@dot11Nate)
  • Opening prayer: 6:30 am. Room TBD. Glen Cate coordinating. @grcate
  • Ekahau Vendor event: 6pm in the main ballroom
  • Lego Build and Retro Games  in Encantada
  • Nyansa Vendor Session: 6pm in the main ballroom
  • Arris Vendor Session: 7:15 in the main ballroom
  • Whiskey and Wireless: 9pm in Encantada.  Podcast recording by Ryan Adzima (@radzima) and Samuel Clements (@Samuel_clements).
  • Coffee Exchange: Tuesday Night after DeepDive: Coordinated by Manon Lessard @Mae149.  Bring a bag or two of coffee from your favorite roaster.  Both regular and decaf beans welcome.
  • There’s also always nightly get-togethers for dinner, drinks in the bar or just hanging out in the outdoor area.

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