ITx: What it meant for me
So you've heard about ITx no doubt, but what is it really, and what can you expect?
ITx: What is it, you ask?
ITx 2018 is a collaboration of twelve tech-focused conferences and runs every 2 years. ITx is the premier tech conference in New Zealand and attracts the best innovators, leaders and experts in our sector.
ITx focuses on innovation, technology and education and brings IT professionals, decision-makers, leaders and academics together under one roof. This is where industry, academia and government come together to network, learn and engage.
But what does it mean to me?
Okay, so there you have the official word on what it is, but what does it mean to me? Two things, opportunity and learning.
It is not only the opportunity to hear from fantastic speakers from all around New Zealand (and further afield), but there is the fantastic opportunity to meet other IT Professionals and listen to them talk about their own disciplines.
With 12 organisations collaborating on the conference the programme is impressive to say the least. It's great being able to step outside my usual area of work and attend streams put on by the other organisations, where as I wouldn't necessarily attend a standalone conference from these other organisations, its great to have the opportunity to check out what they have to offer.
If you were fortunate enough to attend ITx 2016 I'm sure you'll agree that the caliber of not only the speakers and presentations was extremely high but the caliber of attendees was impressive in itself. The networking opportunities are invaluable and depending how you work a room, can lead to some fantastic relationships.
For myself networking can be a bit challenging, as being slightly introverted it can easily fall outside my comfort zone (usually I will be to the side listening and watching everyone and taking everything in) to push forward and introduce myself to new people, however where I have done this in the past it has been fantastic to learn more about the people I meet.
Many of the speakers provide fantastic insights into their subject, and this is a great learning experience, especially when you join presentations from some of the organisations outside your usual forte. While a 45 minute presentation will not give you an in-depth look at any topic, it will open the door and potentially spark your interest to follow up for further learning. I must admit I'm a bit of a sponge when it comes to learning new things, and love soaking it all up, unfortunately I'm not always able to retain everything.
This year ITx 2018 enhances on this by providing several masterclass workshops which are a steal ($495 +gst) when comparing the costs to how much you would normally expect to pay to see these speakers. However if the workshops are beyond your budget (let's be honest, attending conferences can be an expensive exercise not just in monetary terms, but also in time) the good news is a few of these speakers are also keynote speakers.
ITx 2018 Excellence in IT Awards:
In addition to the conference, the event also showcases excellence in IT with the NZ Excellence in IT Awards Gala Dinner on the Thursday night. These awards offer sector-wide recognition of individuals and teams who have truly excelled in our industry. While other awards focus on companies and vendors, these focus on and celebrate the people involved.
Check out that setup from 2016, a massive 26x6m screen offered a fantastic backdrop to the awards evening, with some fantastic entertainment ranging from acrobatics, dragon dancers, comedian MCs to great table banter. Needless to say the queue for coffee the following morning was more sustained than the previous couple of days.
3 Days too long, try 2, or even 1:
As mentioned earlier, attending conferences can be an expensive exercise, not just the cost of admission but the time away from the office also has to be taken into consideration. To help with that one and two day passes are available and with a fantastic programme spread across all three days I'm sure there will be opportunities for everyone, even if it is only for one or two days.
It's going to be fantastic:
Based on the success of ITx 2016 and looking at the programme and speakers attending, ITx 2018 is going to be a fantastic conference with huge opportunities for networking and learning. With only a few weeks to go I recommend anyone in the IT industry that hasn't already registered should consider attending even if just for one day.
Hopefully I will see a few of you there.
Anthony Dowling is an attendee of ITx 2016 and Deputy President of IT Professionals NZ. This first appeared on his blog.
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