This series is intended to be a collection of advice on how to get the most out of attending the Cisco Live conference (aka Networkers). Some of it is applicable to any training event, but most of it is more specific.
If you have corrections or additional suggestions, please comment so I can keep this information up to date and accurate. I’d like this to be a resource for everyone.
The Mandalay Bay is more expensive than the other hotels, but your time is valuable. From a Mandalay Bay room it should take under 10 minutes to get to the Mandalay Bay Conference Center. I was at the Luxor in 2010 and it took me about 25 minutes at a brisk walk to get to and from the conference center. It’s tiring, it’s a drag at the end of the day when you are already tired, and it wastes a lot of time. I was amazed at how much time would pass going back and forth. Yes, most of these hotels are connected, but the hotels in Vegas are bigger (or at least wider) than the hotels in most cities, they are connected by small shopping centers, and they are designed to force you to pass through as much casino as possible.
In my experience, the tram to and from the Luxor and Excalibur doesn’t save as much time as it seems like it should. You have to walk quite a ways out of the way just to get to or from it. It’s also worth noting that the tram doesn’t go directly from the Luxor to the Mandalay Bay, though it does on the way back. It goes south from the Excalibur to the Mandalay Bay and north from Mandalay Bay, to the Luxor, and then Excalibur. If for some reason you have to go to your hotel room in the middle of the day and you have to hike, you’ll miss an hour or more of the conference. There is a shuttle for the MGM Grand, but I have no experience with it. I expect that it’s at least 25 minutes between the conference center and a room there.
If at all possible, I recommend staying in the conference hotel. It will save a lot of time and energy.