No one will be in the room when Jason Carolan, the chief innovation officer of data center powerhouse Flexential, takes centerstage to talk about smart cities at Tampa Bay Tech’s upcoming poweredUP summit next month.
That’s because Carolan, like all the other speakers at the conference, will be addressing the audience via video conferencing technology, as the summit goes virtual.
All of the attendees and speakers will be online for the summit, scheduled for 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Sept. 6 and one of a series of poweredUP events hosted by Tampa Bay Tech.
The idea for a virtual summit had its genesis in the May 23 poweredUP Tampa Bay Tech Festival, said Jill St. Thomas, executive director and chief revenue officer at Tampa Bay Tech.
“This was the first year we livestreamed the event … It turns out that about one-fifth of our attendees streamed it,” she said. “So we thought maybe there’s something to that. Let’s see what would happen if we built a mini poweredUP festival, aired it virtually over the course of a morning and you can check in during certain sessions, you can watch the content at that time or later in the day, and see if it resonates with our members.”
There will be 12 to 14 speakers at the upcoming summit, each with 20 minutes to share experiences, strategy and knowledge on one of three topics:
• A tech project or a “walk-through” of an interesting technology the speaker’s company has or is building.
• How to get a specific part of the audience engaged in a particular community initiative.
• Highlights of data, insights or strategies that relate to the overall Tampa Bay tech ecosystem.
“We did that to be reflective of who our membership is,” St. Thomas said. “Not all are technologists. Some are in the ecosystem. We wanted to create a broad enough range of topics for them to speak and to be interested in attending the summit.”
Closer look: Speakers scheduled to date, Sept. 6 poweredUP Tampa Bay Tech summit
Jill St. Thomas and Daniel Scott James, executive directors, Tampa Bay Tech
Stephanie Davis, executive director, enterprise agility office, Catalina
John Wang, interim chair, Emerging Tech Leaders of Tampa Bay
Jason Carolan, chief innovation officer, Flexential
Laura Sehres, board of directors, RNG Tampa Bay
Sanjay Kulkarni, director, Tampa IT center, Penske
Zachary Duffy, co-founder, High Tech Connect
James Gress, North America DevOps Solution Factory lead, Accenture
Joe Hamilton, publisher, St. Pete Catalyst
Each of the speakers will get their own link, promotional banners and a landing page for their event so they can promote their talk internally at their own firm.
Some speakers plan to pre-record their talks, while others will speak live, allowing opportunities for questions and answers and live polling.
If a lot of people sign up for the virtual summit and people enjoy it, St. Thomas said the concept could be extended to Tampa Bay Tech’s annual festival in May. While the half-day event takes place at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, there also could be virtual talks by speakers who are unable to be onsite.
“It would be a neat way to extend the reach of the poweredUP brand in ways that our users and audiences can consume where they are,” St. Thomas said.
The Sept. 6 poweredUP summit is free for Tampa Bay Tech members. Registration is here.