Lotusphere… a small survival guide.

These words were written for a colleague of mine – he’ll be at “the ‘Sphere” for the first time, but since they were written, we’re happy to share them. A very small survival guide, in no particular sort order, for everyone visiting the IT Disneyworld for the very first time.

The flight:
Will take a while. Actually (and thanks to a number of time zones passed in flight) it’ll only be four hours. From Frankfurt (Germany). You’ll spend 10 sitting in the plane, though. Sitting? Well… sort of. Compact storage is probably a more fitting description. Can’t be helped. Take something along for personal entertainment and something to wear on top of whatever you’re wearing. You’re on your way to Florida! Who’d expect to get deep frozen on the way there? It also helps to have studied your airlines safety guidelines beforehand. Unless, of course, you prefer to be lynched by fellow passengers, because you’re trying to carry about everything onboard of the plane that is forbidden. Yes, they’ll find it. Yes, it is rather unnerving, that it obviously only takes a plastic coke bottle to blow up a plane, but no, it makes no sense whatsoever to try to talk your way around it.
The arrival:
Americans are famous for their friendliness. Almost all of them. Those that work for the Department of Homeland Security, however, rarely are. To stick to the truth… not often to never. At least not toward foreigners. Let’s face it that a) we’re potential terrorists – and if a) is untrue then b) we’re trying to illegally immigrate to the US. Did you notice? There is no option c)! It helps a great deal to take the immigration process with a good sense of humor and the famous grain of salt. Friendly comments to the well-trained staff suggesting optimized workflows are usually not very well received and may not help your speedy immigration process a whole lot!
The trip to the hotel:
Usually by means of a rental car and one of the team members has lost the lottery and has to drive. Tough luck! (Just a quick note to non-German readers: We come from the land of the Autobahn, which sometimes really has no speed limits. Really! No lie!) Traffic works differently. Sort of unhurried. Slllooowwweeer. Lots. The usual, hectic, German pace is uncalled for and can a) become expensive and b) rather dangerous, considering the laws for firearms in most states of the US. So… just go with the flow. Chill. As soon as you’re driving, you won’t feel too bad about it anymore. Once the exceptional driving experience, surrounding the mobile high-tech equipment, provided by your trusted rental company, engulfs you. Don’t be afraid… the car will not fall apart. Most of the time, anyway. It just feels like it will.
Entering sacred Lotusphere ground for the first time:
Remember your flight? The “being frozen” part? The same is true for the Lotusphere venue. Air condition somehow has to be set below 18 °C. Whatever the reason may be. Adapt and be prepared by bringing something to wear on top. Otherwise it may end up being a bit chilly. Shoes? Sure, it’s a show. We’ll be on our feet at least 10 hours a day, so you’ll need suitable footwear.
And besides that?
Just enjoy the madness of Lotusphere. There is tons of knowledge to be soaked up. There are lots and lots of interesting people to meet and you will experience THE party and get to see THE special guest during the opening session. Both of which will be absolute highlights…