In April I had the absolute pleasure of being involved in Global Azure, the UK & Ireland Virtual edition 23rd – 25th April.
Global Azure is an event which takes place every year on the same day in 300+ locations. The Azure community comes together to hold an event in their local city to share knowledge and network. This year, due to Covid-19, the plans had to adapt and like many other events Global Azure moved to a virtual event. It expanded from a one day event to a three day event. The result was one of the most amazing and inclusive events I have ever experienced.
Global Azure Featured Track
The event was truly Global! It was made up of the Global Azure Featured Track and then countries around the globe streamed their own event! The featured track event was streamed live on YouTube and was co-hosted by the awesome Isidora Katanic and Rik Hepworth. This was an extremely professional set up and Microsoft MVPs Karl Ots and Alex Mang ran the greenroom to bring a brilliant show to a worldwide audience. The featured track of course had some spectacular sessions but my personal highlight was Natalia Mackevicius and the Microsoft Product Team for the Azure Stack portfolio! Find the recording of that session here.
All of this was of course recorded and is now available for you to watch on YouTube: Global Azure YouTube.
UK & Ireland Global Azure Virtual
The UK & Ireland represented with their own three day event. We had people take part from not only the UK and Ireland but also other countries across Europe, it was awesome! On Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th recorded sessions were uploaded to the website. Two days full of content! I submitted a session giving a high level overview of the Azure Stack portfolio and explaining the use cases for each offering. You can find that here.
Saturday 25th was dedicated to live sessions and we had 3 Microsoft Teams tracks running each filled withe live sessions from 9am until 4pm. I had the pleasure of co-hosting Track 3 with co-hosts Mark Allan in the morning and Hugo Barona in the afternoon. I’d like to say a massive thank you to Allen ONeill for reaching out to me and asking me to be a part of the event by hosting. Allen had listened to one of my podcast episodes where I had spoken about how I wanted to get more involved with the community. (P.S I have started a podcast: Lisa at The Edge
You can find all of the UK & Ireland sessions here.
We may not have been able to gather locally to share the knowledge and catch-up on all things Azure together in person but moving this event online definitely had some silver linings.
The event went from 1 day to 3 days (actually 4 days for the featured track). From an accessibility perspective this has been amazing. There are people who may not have an event happening in a city near by or be able to travel to an event. Global Azure Virtual meant that everyone had the opportunity to attend not only local events but events all over the world. Not only that but the content is recorded and available for everyone and anyone to watch so if you’ve only just discovered this event you can catch-up in your own free time.
It also created opportunities for so many people. For instance I had the opportunity to co-host a talk track, something that I wouldn’t have got the chance to do if the event hadn’t moved online. It will be interesting to see what happens for Global Azure 2021. Will we have a hyrbid in person and virtual event? Will the in person events be effectively events at the edge?! I’m looking forward to seeing how this develops and Glasgow Global Azure 2021!
There is no doubt about it, you can’t beat in-person events. However, I think it’s clear to see there is some very important benefits to virtual event: increased inclusivity and accessibility which are so important in this space. Myself and Isi recorded a podcast where we have a very open and honest discussion about our feelings towards events become virtual and how we are coping during Covid-19.
The UK & Ireland session kicked off with a super special poem written and recorded by Isidora Katanic which perfectly sums up this event and this wonderful community.