The 2017 Human Element IRCE Booth Squad. Don’t worry. We’re bringing more sunglasses.

The biggest show in online retail is upon us. On June 5, the 2018 Internet Retailer Conference + Exhibition kicks off for three days of 130+ educational sessions, 600+ vendors looking to earn your business, and a lot of old friends.

It’s become a habit of mine to write a listicle of advice nuggets before each of our favorite yearly conferences. This year, I’ve pared down my list to really hit the bare essentials for IRCE noobs. Here is how you can make the most of your IRCE experience.

1. Visit Human Element in Booth #214

For the second year in a row, a few of your favorite Human Element humans will camp out in a 10×10 space for the better part of three days just for the chance to meet you. Come visit me, Judy Foster, Ryan Muir and Ben Lorenz in our temporary home, and we will regale you with all that’s hoppin’ at Human Element (think up-and-coming services like Digital Marketing, Experience Design, and Conversion Optimization). We have a pair of bottle-opener sunglasses waiting for you. And if you’re lucky, Ben will tell you all about his bus. Or his converted church music studio. Or how much he loves the Magento B2B suite. Or all three.

2. Check Out All the Cool Magento Stuff

Human Element is a Magento Professional Partner, and we’re participating in Magento Partner Mania. Get your game card from the Magento booth (#729) and come get your stamp from us (Booth #214) for a chance at some cool prizes.

Secondly, and probably more importantly given recent events, Magento will be hosting Straight Talk Sessions, where they’ll give us lots to think about in the areas of machine learning, competing with Amazon, progressive web apps, and more. Check out the Magento Straight Talk Agenda & Register for Your Sessions now. Space is limited for this special event.

3. Download the IRCE App

I know, I know – This is pretty basic. But I almost always forget to download it until I’m crashing through the Exhibit Hall doors with a pile of swag and a booth box. This year’s mobile app available on Android or available on iOS gives you a cheat sheet for speaker bios, a schedule of all the educational tracks, exhibitor booth numbers and company details, networking opportunities, and a way to mark your favorite sessions and exhibitors so you don’t miss anything critical. I’ve already got a list of booths to crash… Look out Nexcess!

4.  Meet Me (And Everyone Else) on Twitter

I’m not always an avid tweeter, but events like IRCE allow me the opportunity to hit the hashtags hard. Look for irreverent IRCE commentary from @dreeziegs or for a more profesh take, on the Human Element company profile at @humanelementa2. There will probably be decent action on Human Element’s Instagram too, because frankly, we have no shame.

5. Make Plans Now… Like, Today.

IRCE can be overwhelming. There is so much going on – sessions, lunches, dinners, drinks, talking, walking, exhibiting, taking business cards… you get it. It’s a lot in three days. But we have plans to hit a few events already. A couple of our favorite partners are hosting a Wrigleyville Cubs game experience. And there are more than a few themed after-parties. If you want the inside scoop, hit up the booths of some of your favorite partners (like us) and see what they’re up to at night. We’re happy to drag you along on a memorable Chicago adventure with us, just ask.

See you in Chicago, party people. Let’s do this.