Infotec 2020: a virtual conference bringing tech professionals together safely in the middle of a pandemic

Posted on in AIM Newsroom, Community, Tech Education, Tech Tips, Women in Tech

Who says a virtual conference can’t be a good substitute for the real thing? 

Who says a virtual conference isn’t the real thing in the first place?

Last week’s Infotec 2020 conference, hosted by the AIM Institute, proved the virtual conference is here to stay. The event offered a chance for the Silicon Prairie tech talent community to come together, network and learn new technologies and influential ideas they can bring back to their workplaces. 

Introduced by AIM’s Maria Brady, Paul Jarrett of Bulu Group kicked off things with a morning keynote about the necessity of failure on the way to success.

After that, participants attended a variety of breakout sessions ranging from a primer on machine learning to a panel of women IT leaders discussing how to make the tech sector a more equitable place for women and non-men.

The Women in Tech panel discussion was one of the most well-attended sessions, receiving stellar praise from attendees. (Watch the full discussion embedded below.)

Moderated by Brady, Women in Tech panelists were Vonda Page, organizational change leader for PayPal; Michelle Wingard, co-founder & CEO of Dynamo; Addison Parker, project engineer for Union Pacific; and Jessica Barry, IT manager for Conagra Brands.

“(The Women in Tech panel) was amazing,” said Lucy Podany, a student at Metropolitan Community College.

TD Ameritrade’s Tracy McElwee agreed. 

“All of the panelists were rock stars,” McElwee said. “I’ve attended a few virtual conferences over the last few months and the energy and content of this breakout session was by far the best!”

Dr. Pamela Boyers, associate vice chancellor for clinical simulation at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s iEXCEL program, gave the afternoon keynote about UNMC’s new Davis Global Center. The Davis Global Center employs high-tech simulation and visualization technology to help train healthcare professionals in real-world scenarios before they ever see a patient, ensuring well-trained staff and improved medical outcomes. 

More breakout sessions followed, including Werner Enterprises Associate Director of ITS Stacey Richter’s presentation about leading high-performing teams, and a session on the business value of diversity and inclusion presented by Shelton Banks, CEO of Chicago-based tech workforce development program re:work training.

Overall, Infotec 2020 featured informative, cutting-edge sessions around several key topic areas of today’s tech field: AI & Machine Learning, Cloud Technology, Data & Cybersecurity, Recruitment & Retention, and Leadership.

Many of the event’s 546 attendees enjoyed the diverse array of offerings, such as OPPD’s Alesha Walker.

“I jumped in and out of a few sessions, but all were very fascinating, from learning to fail successfully to being an empowered woman in the tech industry,” Walker said.

Missed the conference? Don’t worry. The full Infotec 2020 playlist is available on AIM’s YouTube channel. Don’t forget to like, subscribe, and share with your friends who are either working in the tech industry or considering technology as a future career choice.