DRJ Spring 2020 is one of the world’s largest – and coolest – disaster recovery and business continuity conferences. Here are some essential preparation tips (particularly as we’re all reacting to the coronavirus) and insights for attendees from two of our DRJ veterans.
Chances are if you’re reading this — you’re heading to Disaster Recovery Journal’s annual Spring gathering, “A Clear Vision of Risk & Resiliency,” at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Florida, March 15-18.
DRJ’s Spring event is busy, buzzing and – best of all – fun. It’s three high-energy days of learning, innovation and giving back. The conference is set up so that no attendee walks away without new information. You’ll have the opportunity to learn from industry visionaries, product experts and world-renowned speakers who can help you ensure your business is prepared for any situation – and for you to gain insights that support your career path.
However, it can be hectic if you’re not prepared. So we’re sharing a few tips and insights from our experienced DRJ veterans, James Green and Terry Lee, to help you navigate and enjoy the show. See you there!
Be ready to charge up
Terry: DRJ covers a large convention area, and you will be doing a lot of walking. Dress comfortably.
James: Your phone is your friend! From live-tweeting session highlights and snapping pictures of presentation slides, to exchanging information with new connections and posting selfies, to maybe even responding to work emails in your downtime — your phone is an important asset at DRJ Spring 2020. A pro tip – make sure you bring an extra-long cable, like a 6-footer, for charging your phone. It’ll make your life so much easier than crouching on the floor near an outlet.
There’s lots to learn – give yourself time to absorb it all
Terry: There’s a lot of high-quality content and sessions, but you can’t do it all. Take it in your stride, make sure you get enough sleep, stay hydrated, wash your hands frequently, and plan your time. Consider the learning objectives as well as the presenter to determine which sessions to attend.
James: Own your schedule ahead of time. Make sure you plan and prioritize your time in advance. There are so many activities, events, meetings and things to do, it’s easy to get overwhelmed – so think about a couple of challenges you currently face in your role and focus on getting some ideas on how to better manage those. If you get a couple of specific takeaways to bring back with you, your time will have been well spent.
Terry: That being said, be flexible. You never know who you might run into or what opportunistic conversation you might be a part of. You might miss important moments if you’re only focused on getting to the next item on your agenda.
James: Also, don’t plan back-to-back sessions and expect to be able to attend them all — you’ll never make it and run yourself ragged trying. Have a backup option (or two) for each time slot in case your location, energy level or motivations change.
Terry: Absolutely take into account the locations of the sessions or events you plan to attend – distance can make it impossible to make them all!
James Green’s presentations at DRJ Spring 2020
Five Tips for 2020 Resilience: Sunday, Solutions Track 5 (4–5PM)
Next-Gen BCM: The Convergence of Risk and Continuity: Tuesday, Breakout Track 5 (9:30–10:30AM), Session 3
Leave the introvert-you at the airport, it’s time to network
James: Introduce yourself to people! The sum of knowledge and experience at DRJ Spring 2020 is amazing. It’s a special opportunity to connect with people face to face, and you might be surprised at the ways your paths and careers could cross again in the future. Keep your business cards easy to reach or be ready to connect on LinkedIn. And consider your no-touch greeting, since coronavirus concern has many people shying away from handshakes.
Terry: Also, make sure to hit up networking happy hours. You’ll be surprised at the connections you can make. And don’t forget to take time for yourself. DRJ Spring is hectic and there’s nothing wrong with a solo coffee run to recharge. The exhibit hall is a great place to meet and speak with experienced vendors about what you’ve learned, and to challenge assumptions.
James: You should also factor in time to go to the workshop sessions. They’re never recorded, and the content is not widely available after the sessions. You’ll be hearing insights directly from industry leaders and they tend to give hands-on workshops, not lectures. So be sure to take notes and photos.
Meet the team from SAI Global at DRJ Spring 2020, booth 517. See more details about our activities & presentations.
Lunchtime is networking time, too
Terry: Be strategic about lunch; don’t assume that you can leave with 10 spare minutes before your next session and you’ll be good-to-go. If seeing software solutions is important to you, take advantage of the lunch-time demonstration sessions – and go to the ones that provide lunch, so you don’t leave hungry.
James: Or you could attend one of the Lunch and Learns. These are a great opportunity to sit, eat, chat with peers and discover something interesting. There are so many to choose from, my advice is to look at session details; not all Lunch and Learn hosts put out a full spread.
SAI Global Lunch & Learn Sessions
Monday & Tuesday 12 Noon, Fiesta rooms 3-4
Carve out time to hit the exhibit hall
James: It’s prudent to use the exhibit hall hours wisely and not take away from sessions. Plan time to visit sponsors during breaks and lunch. Having dedicated questions to ask and planning which exhibitors to visit will help you get a quality outcome. Consider your goals and objectives: Looking to buy new BCM software right away, or are your challenges longer-term? Are you looking for specific features and functionality to help you do your job better?
Terry: Make the most of the Exhibit Hall Welcome Reception – Sunday, 5-7 pm. This is the opportunity to meet the most people from each company at their booth, as there are no conflicting sessions or events. Plus, enjoy free appetizers, drinks and the best swag!
James: Create questions to ask the vendors to get face-to-face time and real answers. You can also schedule one-on-one meetings to learn more about a vendor’s products and services.
The Coronado is great for downtime, too
James: The meeting is held in a beautiful location. Take advantage of the hotel amenities – the Coronado has several great pools and a great gym too. Perfect way to wind down after a long day.
Terry: Don’t forget the parties! It’s worth figuring out which parties are worth staying up late for.
See you in Orlando!
It’s amazing what three days can bring. Our advice is to go with the flow. Step just outside of your comfort zone and try new things. Accept all invitations. Have a good time. Head back to work energized and equipped to innovate your business continuity programs. And don’t forget to come and visit the BCM team from SAI Global at booth 517.
Learn more about SAI Global’s business continuity technology that supports business impact assessments, crisis management, disaster recovery, and planning for resiliency.
Or, contact us to see how SAI Global has helped organizations like yours.