Reflecting on IT Connect and the Plans Ahead
As we work on organizing the next IT Connect conference, we thought it’d be valuable to reflect on our first two offerings. IT Connect premiered in 2017 with the theme “Emerging Networking Technologies,” and being our first conference, it was free, allowing us to focus on refining our approach. Using what we learned from the first year, we then announced IT Connect 2018: Internet of Things (IoT), a larger event that would have an admission fee. To help illustrate how much IT Connect grew in its second year, we prepared the following chart:
Overall, IT Connect 2018 saw significant growth from its first year, across multiple areas. It included, for example, twice as many speakers and workshop leaders as the year before, all from a variety of reputable organizations, including: AWS, Cisco, Microsoft, Bell, Fibrenoire, Cree Canada, Aruba (an HPE Company), District 3, Soracom Global, and Product Success Inc. Two keynote speakers were featured - Étienne Simard, from Cisco, and Abhay Ghatpande, from Product Success Inc., where the latter was, and still is, the organizer of "IoT Montreal," Quebec’s largest IoT Meetup group. In a post-event survey to attendees, we discovered that most people praised IT Connect 2018 for exactly this: its seminars, workshops, and speakers. This reflects what we’ve felt internally, and allows us to continue focusing on the aspects that we know our attendees will appreciate the most.
We also found more than 50 organizations listed as employers in our list of attendees, including, for example, Telus, Videotron, Apple, Insight, Catallaxy Raymond Chabot, Dawson College, Université de Montréal, and McGill University. Various job titles were mentioned, including IT managers, developers, IT support specialists, IT analysts, project managers, recruiters, IoT consultants, system engineers, network admins and technicians, IT instructors, etc. And, geographically, our guests seemed to mostly be from the Greater Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City and Toronto regions.
Despite still being a young conference, IT Connect’s growth seems to suggest that it is well on its way to establishing a strong niche within the local industry. And with more than double the amount of sponsors as the second year, we see great potential in offering additional value in the future. It is in this spirit that we are excited to announce that IT Connect 2019 will occur on June 7th, 2019, and will focus on the theme of Cybersecurity.
However, that's not all - this year, a partnership with Cisco has been secured, with Champlain, a Cisco Networking Academy, being named Quebec's first anglophone Academy Support Center. Thanks to this partnership, Cisco's annual training conference for Cisco Networking Academy instructors will take place at Champlain on June 6th, 2019, and any attendees will have the option to attend IT Connect as "day two" of the conference.