Updated: Dec 10, 2020
Another year at the Wireless LAN Professionals Conference in Phoenix. And what a conference it was!
This is my favorite conference of the year. Six days completely full of Wi-Fi learnin'. I call it my support group, others call it "geek week". It is the only place I get to go to where everyone speaks the same language. We are all surrounded by IT people, whether it be co-workers, colleagues, or customers. It is not usually the case that they are deeply knowledgable in the dark art and science that is 802.11 wireless networking. It is here we can all get together and compare war stories and enjoy the company of others in similar pursuit of Wi-Fi excellence.
The structure of the conference remains the same as years past. It starts with three (optional) days of "boot camps". These are 10 hour days of intense courses on CWNP (CWNA, CWAP, CWSP) and Cisco and Ekahau certification prep along with other options. Followed by three days of full conference, including a selection of deep dives. Attendees come away with a ton of new information, friends and occasionally a ton of new gear.
This year I took the CWAP boot camp with Peter Mackenzie. This was an excellent course. It was a subject that I have been skirting around throughout my wireless career, Peter makes it exciting. If you ever get a chance to take this course from Peter, take it.
Keith Parsons and crew put on this conference two times each year. One in Phoenix and one in Europe. If I had to choose one conference to attend each year, it would be this one. The wireless community is given the opportunity to submit a presentation on any topic. The list of topics is then presented to the community to vote on. The presentations that get the most votes are given an hour slot, others are given 30 minutes, and a bunch more are given 10 minutes. It's a very democratic process. Keith has said the trick to making it a great conference is to "ask attendees what they want, and give it to them." That's customer service.
Some after-hours events this year were the WLA Trivia contest - A Lego build social experiment - Coffee swap - Vendor presentation and swag giveaways.
This year we were in a new venue. At just over 400 attendees, the conference has outgrown last year's location. This year everyone was able to stay in the same hotel. Convenient for after-hours meetups.
If you are thinking of attending, do it. Come ready to learn, ready to meet new people, and best of all, ready to have fun. Don't bother renting a car, you won't have any time to use it.
Check out the WIreless LAN Professionals website for all the details... https://www.wlanpros.com/ By the way, all of the presentations are professionally recorded and posted to youtube free after the conference. Go ahead, see what you are missing. See you there next February!