Your first M3AAWG meeting

It’s that time of year again where nearly all my client calls involve the question, “are you going to be at M3AAWG SF?” Up until last year, the answer was always yes. But now it’s not a brief drive up the peninsula and a BART ride into the city, it’s a transatlantic plane flight.

The clients I was talking with today said this was their first MAAWG and what did I recommend they should do or talk to. So here’s my list of things you should do if you’re new to MAAWG.

  • Attend the open round tables. These are where a lot of the documents and work starts so go and participate.
  • If you get into town on Monday attend the training sessions. Of particular note is the facilitation training that occurs on that day. MAAWG facilitation is a great way to get comfortable standing up in front of people, running a meeting and speaking out.
  • Go and meet folks at the member breakfast. It’s a great way to get to know folks who are there.
  • The working sessions are just that – sessions where folks get into a room to work on a document or some processes or a work product. Even if you just go and listen, it’s valuable to see how the group arrives at a consensus.
  • Introduce yourself and network. If there’s a group talking in the hallway, join them. Particularly if they’re in PacMan formation. And all of you who have been there before remember to be the PacMan.
  • Go to some of the non email sessions. A lot of the senders who go often focus on the sender sessions. But there’s a wealth of interesting information in the technical sessions as well. Join one and learn.

The vast majority of folks at MAAWG are awesome and welcoming and are more than happy to chat when they’re not running to another session or meeting. The best advice I can give is be there and jump right in.

Oh! And the hotel is back up on Nob Hill this year. You know those hills that San Francisco is famous for and the car chases? Yeah, one of them is Nob Hill. It’s a hike up and I do recommend a car up. You can BART from the airport, but grab an UBER or a cab for that last few blocks. Your leg muscles will thank you.

Have a great time! I’m definitely feeling the FOMO as I look at everyone making plans for the trip. But we’ll see everyone in London this summer (and, well, Dublin 2021 which is a short walk from our neighbourhood).

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