Getting a Jump on Resolutions: Update the General Session

As we approach the end of 2017, we're already in a contemplative mood for the year ahead. While the event world has been changed by the use of social media, accessibility of video technology, and (for the government market) the constant uncertainty of budgets, the one thing that seems to have remained static is the general session/keynote. Most events still open with a keynote speaker or even a panel. Some work in a video of some sort, but for the most part, general sessions are still one-way, lecture-type presentations.[Tweet "Getting a Jump on Resolutions: Update the General Session. #GovEventsBlog"]

While there is comfort in the familiarity of this routine, we'd like to challenge event planners to be more innovative in the new year. We've gathered some thoughts on how to change up theĀ general session routine, ensuring attendees walk away not only with more information but also with more energy. Continue reading

Going Big

When it comes to booking big name speakers, Strata +Hadoop World scored what was probably the biggest win of the 2015 conference year. President Obama appeared via video to talk about the critical role open data should play in innovating government service to citizens.  The President also introduced DJ Patel, the new data scientist for the federal government. This appearance underlies that data is big (not just Big Data).

New positions are being created throughout government focused solely on data. The new Federal Chief Data Scientist and Chief Data Officer roles are being created in agencies across the government. The addition of data to c-suite roles shows that data is serious business.[Tweet "The addition of data to c-suite roles shows that data is serious business. #GovEventsBlog"]

According to the President and Patel, data science is a team sport - meaning that working together is key to utilizing all of the data that the government has opened to industry and the public.[Tweet "Data science is a team sport...Working together is key #GovEventsBlog"] We are being challenged by the administration to find ways to apply this data to everyday life. How can organizations and event professionals incorporate this call for collaboration into our everyday efforts? Perhaps we can look at adding a session or even just a talking point to all of our events or gatherings where attendees can brainstorm on what data exists that could be used to meet a challenge being faced within that community. This ad hoc collaboration around data could provide a unique experience for attendees and perhaps result in the next big (data) thing.