I get that arriving to the session early (at least on time) and paying full attention is a given. I sit on the front row when I can to lessen distractions & help me focus. Also I get to go to bed at a reasonable hour.
I ask because:
* I don't want to listen to product sales pitches disguised as information sessions given by "experts."
* I have signed up for breakouts only to find the content was so high-level, it could have been given at any conference. In other words, I attend the breakout with expectations as per the description. However the content, while loosely aligned with the description, was not unique to my testing needs and the setting is a testing conference so how could it not relate to testing?
* Excellent breakouts are scheduled at same time & I can't attend both. Is there a way to make this a win-win for an attendee?
* Let's say I see industry experts chatting in the lobby. I have read their books, blogs and tweets for years. And they tweet, e-mail, comment on each others' blogs regularly, and will see each other at the next conference in 6 months (if not sooner). I go to 1 conference every 2-4 or even 5 years and am thrilled to be around such a great pool of valuable knowledge. Knowing that I may not get this opportunity again, and, as a professional, I would like to say "Hello" and introduce myself. What is the best way to do this?
Those are a few ideas to get thoughts rolling, but generally speaking, I am looking for tips on how to get the most possible benefit from attending a testing conference.
Thanks in advance.