Get Ready for Rising: Ryan Lowe Shares Three Pro Tips for the Annual Workday Event

Rising. Is. Here.

So much anticipation. So much to see.

What can I expect? How do I go about preparing for this event?

These are common questions. So, we asked a common man – Ryan Lowe, one of Skillcentrix’s Client Partners – to compile his five-plus years’ of past Workday Risings experience to pull together some first-timer (or how do I do this?) answers.

Our goal: To help you feel at ease, prepared, and excited for what is to be the biggest Workday Rising event in recent history (thanks, Covid).

Pro Tip One: Dealing with Walking, Information Overload (And More Walking)

As Simba’s least trustworthy but most readiness-focused uncle, Scar, once boasted: Be Prepared. Regardless of your role, company, or goals for maximizing your time at Workday Rising, there are two things that everyone will overload on: Walking and Information.

To best set yourself up for success, be smart when you choose your shoes. Apologies to my on-stage colleagues, but my personal opinion is that formal dress shoes are the no-est of no’s. I don’t wear heels, but I would encourage those of you that do to leave those at home (or bring them but keep them in your tote/bag/purse for special occasions, such as meetings or parties.) Ultimately, your feet, your call.

Yes, you want to make a good impression, but there’s nothing impressive about hobbling around with blistered feet halfway through Day 1.

I made that mistake once (and only once). “Dress Casual” shoes, “nice sneakers”, etc. are the standard for the conference-goer. Luckily, there are more business comfort options than ever now, so dust off your Jordans or go get some nice dress sneakers. Oh, and think about that sooner rather than later. Your first time rocking your kicks should not be at Rising. Break those puppies in.

Pro Tip Two: Conference Self-Care 

Strettttchhhhhhhhh your legs. You don’t need to take a yoga class (though one is available on Thursday, 9/28) but getting the blood flowing in the morning with some simple calf, quad and hamstring stretches is a good move. This may seem obvious and/or an unnecessary tip, but you don’t want to be the person that pulls a hammy hoofing it to get from one speaking event in Hall C to another in Hall A or (God help you), Hall F. More on that later.

Shoe game is solid. Legs are stretched. What next?

Whether you are local to San Francisco or traveling in, hydration is going to be essential. You’ll be walking, talking, and listening (often at the same time) which is physically and mentally draining, and you want to be on your A game.

Throughout the week, hydrate before, during, and after. Water fountains and hydration stations are everywhere, but it wouldn’t hurt to bring your own water bottle and leverage packets like Liquid IV or Emergen-C to give your immune system a boost. Note: Workday will be providing a bunch of SWAG (Stuff. We. All. Get.) and a water bottle will be a part of that SWAG bag.

Pro Tip Three: Plan Ahead To Maximize Session Coverage, Party Registrations and Re-Connecting

Physical preparations are set. You’re hydrated, stretched and rocking comfy shoes. How do you get to all of the speakers, meet all of the booths, and attend all of the events? Start by taking a look at the list of events, speakers, and events here and start to plan your approach.

Speakers: If there are multiple topics taking place at the same time or just too many booths to see, leverage other colleagues to split up and share notes afterward. If that is not possible and you cannot make it to a speaker, follow up at their booth and connect with someone from the organization. More on this in our next Rising Prep blog series.

Booths: If you haven’t noticed, there are a lot of sponsors in the Rising Community. Prioritize which ones you want to see and see them first.

Having a simple framework to get basic info from each booth will help enable you to walk away from Rising with an understanding of what you heard and with whom you want to follow up.

While most booth teams are eager to connect with you – and are not at all scary – being prepared with some questions to break the ice can be valuable – shoutout, Uncle Scar (bet you didn’t expect a second Scar reference)!

But you don’t have to overthink it. Here are some simple sample questions I usually start up with to avoid that awkward booth-hovering stare:

  1. What do you do?
  2. Who are some of your customers?
  3. Where do you focus (industry, HR business functions)?
  4. Who do I follow up with?
  5. When and where are you presenting?

Note: some booths are going to have fun SWAG and cool little things going on (magicians, putt-putt, maybe a rubber duckie in a sombrero, who knows?). Bring a backpack and/or tote to hold it all. Over/Under line on pens collected is currently at 14.5. Always bet the over.

Events: Speakers, and Booths, and Events – Oh My! Steps have been stepped. Conversations have been conversed. Hands have been shook. The sun is setting and the parties are kicking off. Maybe now’s the time to whip out your second pair of brand new kicks for the evening festivities.

As you develop your party plan, remember: Some events are invite-only, some are open to attendees, and some are ad-hoc. Work with your team, Workday, and your partner relationships to get on the list for some of the parties that follow the days of content and networking.

The nice part this year is that some major sponsors are teaming up to throw a killer party and make it easier for attendees to hit the biggest hotspots. In fact, you can join Skillcentrix, OSV, and several other sponsors for an Around the World Experience at Fort Pierce (near the Ghirardelli area) on Wednesday night. (Click here to get your name on the guest list, or reach out to

The Countdown is ON!

While Rising is just over 40 days away, there is still plenty of time to get yourself ready. Best of luck and we look forward to seeing you at Workday Rising 2023!

  • HR Strategy
  • HR Tech
  • Workday
  • Workday Rising

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