Yeah, I’m in
By Charlie Morling, Operations & Communications at IoT613
Back in 2015 I received an email. I’d never heard of this person, but some how their email found its way to my inbox. Being the thorough person I am and knowing my workplace had a strong firewall, I opened the email and saw a sponsorship request. It was a new event loosely related to the product our team was working on, so I passed the information along to my boss and convinced her to take a shot.
In my response to the email, I also told the organizer if they ever needed a hand to let me know. Well, much to my surprise, I received an email a few months later asking if I was still interested. “Yeah, I’m in” was my response and before I knew it, I was drawn into the organizing team of IoT613.
As someone who is not overly technically inclined, I figured I’d help where I could but after a while I’d be thanked and dismissed. Needless to say, it’s been years and I’m still actively involved. To top it off, I can’t imagine not being involved!
So, what does the person who struggles to adjust the time on the stove do for a conference focused on the internet of things?
Over the years my role has evolved, originally starting with finding and booking a venue, sending newsletters (hello to all you long time subscribers!), scheduling social media, and working with the marketing machine to spread the word. Now, my role is more focused on the operations side of things, interacting with the venue, coordinating directly with catering, making sure we have volunteers where and when we need them, and so much more.
While our attendees begin thinking about the IoT613 conference as winter winds down, my role means I’m already looking ahead to the next year’s event, while coordinating with our venue, the catering team, the technical teams, and our internal team to make sure things are running smoothly. By the time everyone is getting hyped about this year’s conference, I’m already focused on where the issues will be, coordinating with the tech teams, and beginning negotiations for the following year.
You’re Awake at 4 am?
During the conference, sleep becomes the thing I covet most. A billion dollars or nine straight hours of sleep? Don’t ask me hard questions…
So, why do it? A 4 am wakeup call, tens of thousands of steps, copious amounts of tea, and being pulled in a million directions all while focusing on the next year’s event? Honestly, it’s one of the most rewarding roles! Through IoT613 I’ve met hundreds of fascinating people from so many different paths who are experts in so many different things, and I’ve learned more than I ever thought possible.
While I may have more grey hairs than when I started (no, you can’t see them!), bigger bags under my eyes, and feet unable to handle the miles in heels any more, I have learned more than I ever thought possible. For a girl who still can’t figure out how to change the time on the clock on my stove, I do know about self-driving cars, the regulations surrounding drones flying in Canada, proper UX procedures, the importance of product design, and so much more. Hopefully this gives you some insight and encourages you.
You don’t have to be an advanced developer, experienced product designer, genius entrepreneur, or whatever to attend the IoT613 Conference. You definitely don’t have to be exceptionally knowledgeable about the industry even if you want to volunteer. All you are asked to do as an attendee, volunteer, sponsor, supporter, or whatever, is dedicate yourself to the best of your abilities. You will find your own niche within the industry and we’re more than happy to help you do so.
Also, if you’re at this year’s conference and have an idea of how to change the time on a stove, please, PLEASE let me know 😊.