Like all conferences over the last year, SHARE events have shifted to a virtual platform in 2021 so we can best continue to serve our attendees by providing high-quality enterprise technology education while also striving to include peer networking and industry influence.
Since last August, SHARE has been developing and hosting its conference events online. Our most recent online event in March was focused on Technology Days, or what we in Conference Operations call them, "Tech Pods". We wanted to build an event that allowed focus on a specific technology or topic area that was presented during a one- or two-day track. This was done so that attendees could pick the days they needed and possibly limit the number of total days "away" from work or family. We also kept it super simple and used two Zoom "rooms" that stayed live throughout the day. This allowed attendees to connect once and flow through all of the topics within that track without having to reconnect to a different virtual space.
And, happily, the March event went very well! From the data we gathered from Zoom, participation in sessions was excellent. Average session attendance for March 2021 was over 100 people per session — two times the average attendance of last summer’s virtual event! The top-attended session, "MVS Program Opening" featured discussion on critical APARs and other items of interest to z/OS administrators, system programmers, and developers alike and had more than 300 attendees! In fact, the MVS Program took the top four spots for highest-attended sessions.
With such positive attendance and strong attendee feedback, a key takeaway for the Conference Operations team is that Technology Days worked out very well for general attendees and volunteers alike. Keeping it simple with Zoom was also mentioned in positive feedback. An item we heard loud and clear is that attendees would like longer breaks between sessions, when we had thought, "Hey, it's all virtual so five minutes should be enough!" Well, we even proved ourselves wrong on that one — it takes longer than five minutes to make a sandwich (haha!). Another takeaway is that everyone would like more networking opportunities. Something as simple as attendees being able to see who is in a session — and the ability to chat with those people — is of interest to a good majority of our community.
With that, we at SHARE are taking all the feedback and data we've collected from the last two virtual events in order to plan August’s SHARE Virtual Experience 2021, August 9–13. The event will kick off with a “pre-event” that offers on-demand sessions during the week of August 2–6. It will not only feature the latest and greatest information in all your favorite enterprise IT topic areas, but will also include more networking time, longer breaks, and even some time for a little fun if we can pull it off! Be sure to mark your calendars and look forward to hot topics around Security, DevOps and Open Source on the Mainframe, z/OS, and so much more!
We are ALL looking forward to SHARE conferences being back in person, but, until then, we are going to work hard to present you the education you need, when you need it, for the topics that contain the latest information out there the best way possible!
I look forward to "seeing you" in August!
TAGS: SHARE Events , Message From SHARE , Education , Virtual , Community , Connectivity , Industry Voices
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