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Community Participant

First timer

Hi, this is going to  be my first time and like some others I'm coming from Australia.  I've only just ben given approval to go, so I'm madly looking at trying to organise flights and accommodation. I may have something in Lakeside village and I want to go on the Tuesday to the pre conference. Are there any tips or advice? Thanks in advance. Jacki

13 Replies
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @jackiallen1972 ​, Welcome! Since this is a brand new location for the conference I can't give any tips on location, but for the conference itself I'll try to help!

1. Leave room in your suitcase for swag. If this conference is like the previous three you will end up with a crazy amount of swag. Last year we had so much we ended up buying an extra suitcase just to get our swag home!!

2. Check the weather before you leave, but in general expect decent daytime temps (so shorts and short sleeves), but night time temps can get COLD so bring some pants and something long sleeve. I will say in the past part of the swag from the conference was either a Canvas jacket or sweatshirt so you might not need to bring a jacket.

3. Bring good walking shoes. I like cute shoes, but in the past I've made sure my cute shoes were also good for walking because I found myself walking a LOT while at the conference.

4. Food - in the past the food at the conference is pretty awesome and includes plenty of snacks!

5. The best part of this conference is the people! Both the people who attend and the Canvas employees. Don't hesitate to strike up conversations with people. Some of my best memories are of conversations I've had beyond the presentation sessions!

Overall be prepared for an awesome time! Canvas knows how to put on a conference and InstructureCon is by far the best conference I've attended (I've gone the last three years)!!

Community Champion

 @jackiallen1972 ​ - This will be my fourth InstructureCon and I would tell you that it is an extrovert's dream!  My advice is to talk to as many people as you can about whatever topics interest you.  Sit next to people you don't know during the meals and during the sessions you attend.  This will be the first InstructureCon with a big exhibit hall with lots of third-party applications (like Alliance Partner - AspirEDU​) so walk around see all of the cool integrations that make up the Canvas technology eco-system.  Spend as little time in your room as possible!  It will be exhausting but you will have a blast!

Community Contributor

Hi Jacki!

First, welcome!  This will be an amazing experience for you.  This will be my 3rd conference.

I will add to what Kona and Chris have said and tell you to get sunscreen and nasal spray when you get to Colorado.  The altitude is horrendous about drying you out, I think there was someone who advised to start super-hydrating about 2 weeks ahead.  I am from N. Georgia, so I am used to an altitude of about 1500 ft above sea level, so this is a massive change for me, but it was a complaint I have heard from several people when I have been at the conferences in the past.  And the sun, while beautiful, is intense in the mountains.

And finally, come prepared to have an amazing time.  I have been at these conferences from the time that they were an (almost) intimate gathering to the craziness of being on the stage with Hammer with a few thousand of my closest friends and it just keeps getting better.

My favorite time is the Tuesday pre-conference workshops, I feel like I have gained a years worth of knowledge in that one day. As for what would be the most helpful, it really depends on where you are in your Canvas timeline and what your role is.  My first year was all about migrations while later years have focused on APIs and using the SIS integrations.  These are based on my role of an lms admin at my university.  This year I am super excited about the helpdesk and training workshops as those are also under my care.

And be prepared to twitter your heart out... and connect with as many folks as possible that way, it is a great way to find the meetups.  Smiley Happy

Mary Johnson


Community Contributor

It should be pretty fun for your crew!  Give yourselves more time than you think you need to get from Denver (or Eagle?) to Keystone, & show up a day early if you can - you'll be on the more difficult side of jet-lag... and at altitude.  After you land, and while you're at the resort, keep an eye on each other - everyone copes with altitude a little differently, and there's a good chance someone else will notice when you're having a hard time with the lack of air before you do - they'll have your back (and vise-versa).  Bring a proper set of sunnies or two, a refillable water bottle (fill and empty it all day), and pick up a big, straw lifeguard hat at the airport.  Sunscreen.  Eat a bag of salty chips for the electrolytes every now and then; this with the water will keep you in good shape more than anything.

The base of Keystone Resort in Colorado is nearly the same elevation as the top of the Canyons Resort​ in Utah, where the convention has been held in the past.  I have a feeling some folk wont learn this until they arrive.  All of this being said, everything should work out if you give yourself enough time for everything.  You'll feel a little rushed between sessions; be late, don't worry about it - they record it all and post it online after anyway.  And, should something come up, it ain't the resorts' first rodeo - their staff and the Instructure folk will help out when you need them to.  Colorado loves Aussies Smiley Wink

Community Team
Community Team

Hey  @jackiallen1972 

Welcome to Canvas and welcome to Instcon!  This will be my sixth time going to the conference and, like  @kona  I'd have to say that this was by far my favorite conference that I attended as a client/user.   It has changed a lot as it has grown but it remains a great time that manages to stay focused on learning and educators and technology rather than many of the distractions that other events seem to get mired in.  Hopefully we'll manage to pull that off again this year (knock on wood).  The only other thing I'd suggest with regards to the altitude is to try to give yourself plenty of time for sleeping and resting and if you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.

I hope to meet you there.

Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @jackiallen1972 ​ and welcome aboard!

This will be my fifth year, and the first time without bringing my family (wife can no longer do the altitude, and granddaughter must stay with grandmother).

Everybody has given you some very great and logical advice, but I am going to go off the beaten path a bit. Make time to network. So many folks think that they are wasting precious time if they don't run from presentation to presentation, and cram as many as possible in during each day. Humbug! Skip at least one a day (I always skip two), and just gather around a likely meeting place and get to know some of your peers and what they are doing. After every event I attend, someone will ask something along the lines of "what was the best thing you learned?" Invariably it will be those things I learned just chatting with folks.

See you there, and Kumbayawesome mate!


You're a "deep old file" as they used to say,  @kmeeusen ​

Community Participant

Hi Kona,

Thank you! Your tips are great. I too love cute shoes but will make sure I  pack the ones that are also good for walking. Im sure Ill have an awesome time.

Hi Mary,

Thansk for yor words of wisdom. I did book into the preconference- I'm sure I will learn a lot! Now I just have to get into twitter....