We are less than a week from Autodesk University. After attending every Las Vegas based Autodesk University, I have compiled a long list of tips over the years for not only surviving, but making the most of AU. For many attendees Autodesk University is not just 12 hours a day as there are activities virtually around the clock so pace yourself and get organized before you land in Las Vegas with a plan.
Autodesk University is the premier Autodesk customer event held yearly where several thousand creative design and visualization experts descend on Las Vegas. They arrive wide eyed, craving knowledge from the best in the industry. They leave tired and full of valuable knowledge to make them more productive back at work. Register at AU and get your badge early: The registration is open Sunday at 4:00 PM to 8:00 pm and Monday 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Follow the signs out in the Sands Event area for the registration area.

Check-in hours
Sunday, November 12: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (Venetian/Palazzo Lobbies only)
Sunday, November 12: 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. (The Hub/Venetian/Palazzo Lobbies)
Monday, November 13: 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. (The Hub)
Tuesday, November 14: 6:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. (The Hub)
Wednesday, November 15: 6:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. (The Hub)
Thursday, November 16: 6:30 a.m.- 7:00 p.m. (The Hub)

AU Orientation & Tours for first time AU attendees.
Sunday 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. PT
Monday 5:30 – 6:15 p.m. PT
Tuesday 7:00 – 9:00 a.m. PT

Your AU Schedule
Sign in to your AU account, to review your AU schedule or make changes. Be sure to download the AU Mobile app to your phone or your tablet so you can check and update your schedule, share photos, and join in conversations about the themes and topics discussed in classes and keynotes at the conference.

Mix n Mingle
You are encouraged to mix at the events and lunches and get to know your fellow Au attendees as well ask an Autodesk employee a question. A great opportunity is Tuesday, Nov 14, 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. at the AU Community Reception in the Exhibit Hall.

Make sure to attend the keynotes:

Opening Keynote - Tuesday, November 14, 10:30 - 11:45 a.m.
Join Autodesk’s new president and CEO Andrew Anagnost and guest speakers as they kick off AU 2017 with insights and inspiration about automation and the future of work.Technology Keynote - Wednesday, November 15, 10:30 - 11:45 a.m. PT
Amy Bunszel, VP Digital Engineering, reveals how the products our customers use every day are evolving to fit the changing ways they work. And pioneering customers share their groundbreaking projects and processes.

Two separate industry keynotes (AEC and Design & Manufacturing) are scheduled for Thursday, November 16, 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. PT.

If you can’t be in Las Vegas, you can participate in AU by tuning in to the live stream (http://au.autodesk.com/au-online/live-stream) of your favorite sessions via your computer or mobile device. On-demand recordings will be available shortly after each session.

Have a burning Autodesk product question?
AU is a great place to get that answer on how to do something, just cozy on up to the Answer Bar where solutions and wisdom are served tall without ice.Top Notch Classes! After all why are we at AU, the classes and sessions are amazing. Don’t forget to ask questions, rate the classes, and take the knowledge back with you to your office. Make sure to pay attention.

Attend the AU Block Party
The annual epic AU party is a must to attend and enjoy the entertainment, drinks, and food. It is a new format this year. Choices abound to what party you will go to.
Wednesday, Nov 15, 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Visit the Exhibit Hall
See the latest in tech, exhibits, a drone cage, and partner solutions as well as get some free goodies. But please, don't climb on or into the exhibits.
Get Certified!
Take an Autodesk Certification exam for FREE at AU for the products AutoCAD, AutoCAD Civil 3D, Inventor, Revit, 3ds Max , and Maya . Learn more and get preregistered at http://au.autodesk.com/las-vegas/certificationAU Dress Code:
Dress business casual and comfortable. Remember this is a professional event where your peers and there are people you may want to network with. This is not the place to wear Bermuda shorts. Wear some fun socks and show off your funky style. Business Cards: Bring plenty of business cards to hand out to the people you may meet and want to follow up with.
Help Shape the future of Autodesk products by participating in research:
There are many opportunities at AU to participate in feedback and research sessions as teams want to hear from you and your needs.
Shutterbugs Share your photos online using the free Flickr website or the app. You can post your photos to the AU 2017 Photo Group https://www.flickr.com/groups/au2017/ for everyone to see. I will also be posting to my Instagram account https://www.instagram.com/shaanhurley/. Geotag your photos with the photo location (phones usually do that automatically as well as tags like #AU2017
Hashtags: When posting blog posts, or updates on social media like Twitter, Facebook, or photo sites like Instagram or Flickr please use the hashtag #AU2016. This way people can follow the event around social media.https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/au2016/.
Eat: There are light snacks and coffee each morning and then lunch is provided in a huge hall each day where you may have 10,000 people eating with you. A Tip: walk to the further food lines to avoid the longer waits due to people just taking the first line.
Hydrate: Drink lots of water. You will lose water faster than a fly in a microwave. Soda, coffee, and beer do not hydrate you. You can purchase water cheaper outside the hotel at the Walgreens as well as get other goodies or aspirin.
Caffeinate: If you stay out late make sure to grab a coffee, tea, or healthy herbal remedy to be alert for the days sessions. There are several coffee shops in the Venetian as well as a fresh green juice shop.
Don’t get Lizard Lips: Your lips by the second day will look like something off of a lizard, so keep them lubed up to fend off the dry desert air.
Dragon Breath? You do not want to walk around and talk to your peers with breath that smells like a mixture of coffee, garlic, and road kill. Take some mints or gum and drink lots of water.
Run Jog or Walk in the morning air in the first official AU5k named Shaan’s Run.
We have been running for the past few years and it has grown in popularity with over 50 runners last year and over 200 expected this year. This year it is an official AU event on Tuesday morning complete with staff, paramedics, nice giveaway gift, and breakfast bites. It is listed as full, but everyone that shows can join in the fun and run or walk. Read More AU5K aka Shaans Run Update
Shoes: Wear comfortable shoes as the walking distances between rooms and the event can add up and you will feel it at the end of the day. My step counts show that I walk about 4-10 miles a day at AU.
Fuel: Carried some spare snacks for when you get hungry, perhaps granola bar or something to tie you over as your brain is running full power during AU sessions.
Bad Air: Due to the dry air and smoke in the casinos, make sure to bring some eye drops and perhaps a nasal spray.
Humidifier Tip. Did you know you can escape the dry air problems by requesting a humidifier free in your room? Hurry before they are all spoken for. These are amazing and make the stay in Vegas all that much more enjoyable.
Sleep: I am not sure if it is all the stimulation of the sights and sounds or if there is different oxygen levels, but it is pretty hard to get to sleep at night so bring some earplugs to quiet the ambient noises.
Wireless Security: Make sure if using the public wireless connection to have a firewall enabled to prevent someone from messing with your machine or gathering data. It would be good to use a VPN connection to secure your data.
Antivirus: Make sure if you use a public wireless connections to make sure you have updated antivirus enabled. Using any public Wi-Fi connection can be risky and can easily allow infection of your machine if not protected.
Static Electricity! Be careful and touch a door nob before touching your laptop. A few people including me fried their laptops due to all the static electricity built up on the carpets and the dry air. There is nothing worse than your entire laptop frying the day before your class session you are teaching and having to stay up all night to re-write and redo some content that was edited during AU. I have heard having a dryer sheet or coins in your pocket will help minimize static electricity risks.
Watch Your Valuables: Keep an eye on your laptop and valuables. Like any place with thousands of geeks and cool electronics in one location, the crooks will be around in sheep's clothing.
Keep Notes: Use an app like Evernote on your mobile or tablet to jot down notes during a session or those follow up questions for the speaker.
Can you hear me now? You may not always be able to get a cell phone signal or Internet. Be prepared and don't panic. Take a deep breath and enjoy the lack of it.
Gadget cables, cords and power supplies. You devices may run out of power while at AU so carry some of the most needed power cords, portable batteries, and chargers with you.
Cold in Vegas: Do not be fooled by the palm trees along the streets and casinos, this desert oasis is only hot 75% of the year. In winter it can be downright cold, and has even snowed the day after one AU. Bring a jacket and do not expect to dress in beach clothes if walking outside.
After Hours Dress Code: Make sure that if you plan on attending some events or venturing out to the clubs that you do not wear tennis shoes or a tee-shirt. Most clubs and finer restaurants enforce a dress code and normally do not permit sneakers or tee-shirt wearing guests.
Sin City: You DO NOT have to drink, gamble or smoke in Las Vegas to have a good time.
Venetian Floor Maps: https://www.venetian.com/content/dam...resort/map.pdf
There are many more events and opportunities so please check your AU schedule and plan accordingly as you will get extremely busy. http://au.autodesk.com/las-vegas/schedule

See you soon and have safe travels!
Shaan @ShaanHurley on Twitter and Instagram