Last week GDG wellington and Cocaheads Wellington ran a joint event called Mobile Refresh. The idea is that with Google IO and WWDC both over, It was time to gather the community for a short conference. By all accounts the event was a great success, with 162 people attending.
I was lucky enough to be invited to present on the Australian War Memorial, Visitor Audio Experience project. Unfortunately traveling to Wellington proved to be unfeasable, so instead I presented remotely via google hangouts:
Presenting remotely was a nerve wracking experience! At the start of the session we opened with a video chat, so I could see the audience. However once the slides were up, all I could see was keynote. I had no idea if things were working at their end, if the audience was listening or even if there was anyone there! I had this idea in my head, that perhaps everyone had decided to go out for beer, and I was just a laptop in a cupboard, presenting to an empty wall. Towards the end of my presentation I play a video of the app and touch wall working together. Once the video finished I was relieved to hear applause coming through my headphones – It turns out there were still people there, and yes they were paying attention!
I think that presenting remotely provides a great opportunity both to conference organisers and presenters. As a presenter you get the opportunity to connect with people outside of your local community. For conference organisers you can tap into a global pool of talent and pull in presenters with a really wide range of backgrounds. However presenting remotely is very different from being in the room and it is something that’s going to need practise to get right. With a bit investment though, you can get a really great payoff!