ICHEP is a huge conference, and with huge I mean there will more than a thousand participants, and a loooot of presentations. The standard way to pack a lot of contributions in a huge conference is to hold parallel sessions: talks belonging to different "tracks" (read: with an affine subject) are grouped together, and get presented in different rooms at the same time. So far, so good: if you are interested in a single track - let's say, in anything related to Heavy ions collisions and soft physics at hadron colliders - life will be rather easy for you. Tomorrow you'll just look for Salle 253, sit there all day, and you'll be done. But one might have more eclectic interests, and this is where things become more complicated.
If there is something I learned the hard way about huge conferences with lots of parallel sessions, is that the speakers are strictly not allowed to speak more that the time they were allocated: the participant-with-eclectic-interests must be able to trust the schedule she has been given at the beginning of the conference, and to jump from one room to another just to hear that single presentation talk in that particular session. Chairpersons at huge conference can be very mean with talkative speakers: I wonder how the ICHEP ones have been instructed...
Anyway, that's my program for tomorrow, first day of the conference. The morning will be rather easy: I'll be traveling from Geneva to Paris and will miss all sessions, so I have no real choice to make :-) . But even if I was there, it would be easy: from 9 to 10:30 I'd go to Salle 252B for The SM and EW Symmetry Breaking session and hear about W and Z boson production at HERA, Tevatron and especially at LHC by ATLAS and CMS, and stay there for the same session after the coffee break, for some top-quark galore.
My plan for Thursday afternoon looks a bit more complicated. For hors d'œuvre I plan to go to the Beyhond Quantum Field Theory Approches session in Salle 252B, where from 14 to 14:42 (sic!) Erik Verlinde will be talking about Gravity as an emergent force. There has been some fuss about his work in the last weeks, so I'm curious to hear about it in person, and especially to see the discussion. I'm definitively not a theorist, so this will be even more fun.
From 14 to 15:45 in Salle Maillot there's the Early experience and results from LHC session: I'll skip the Particle ID at LHCb talk, run back from Salle 252B for the CMS and ATLAS calorimetry talks, and especially for the CMS and ATLAS Electron and Photon performance talks.
After the coffee break I'll jump back again in Salle 252B, where the The SM and EW Symmetry Breaking session will take place, to hear about the SM Higgs boson searches at Tevatron. But not immediately: I would probably skip the first talk (Higgs prduction at the Tevatron: theoretical prediction and uncertainties) to be again in Salle Maillot for the Material Studies with photon conversions and energy flow at the ATLAS experiment talk, again in the second part of the Early experience and results from LHC session. In the same session there will be a couple of interesting jet-related talks, but I cannot really miss the Higgs-at-Tevatron talks (even if the D0-CDF combination will not be presented before next Monday), so Salle 252B will be were I'll end my Thursday.
Now the question is: how far is Salle 252B from Salle Maillot? :-)