Whether you are a regular at technology events and trade shows or, as more of an introvert, you prefer to hold down the fort at your own office while everyone else is out traveling, the year 2020 presents a unique opportunity for plenty of IT pros.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the familiar trade shows and vendor events are being transformed from physical events to virtual ones. You don’t need to go through TSA, take a plane, rent a car, spend money on a hotel. All you need is your computer and web browser.
So if you are a more of the homebody type, or if your travel budget has always been limited, this year provides the opportunity to attend all those events that you wished you could have gone to in the past, because now they are virtual.
If you are a road warrior, looking to hit as many shows as you can, it will be easier than ever to attend multiple events, even if your company has restricted the travel budget this year. You could even go to multiple events in a single day. It doesn't matter where you are geographically.
Plus, forget about the need to wear a facemask when you are at a virtual event. Even though you need to wear one when you go out locally, you are free to go without in the virtual world.
What you do need, if you want to get the most out of your virtual event hopping for the rest of 2020, is a plan. Some events may overlap. Plus, you want to make sure you block out time on your calendar for the important ones so that you don't end up on a long internal Zoom meeting because people thought your calendar was clear. The first step on your virtual tech event tour for the rest of 2020 is to decide "where" you want to go. We've made it easier for you by compiling a list of a selection of some of the biggest events. (If we are missing one that you think is important, please let us know.)
Here's our list, so open up that calendar and get your plan together.
July 14 – September 8
This digital event will offer new content each Tuesday for 9 weeks, starting on July 14. Topics will include industry insights, productivity and collaboration, infrastructure, security, data analytics, database management and databases, application modernization, cloud AI, and business application platform.
July 21-22, 2020
Microsoft Inspire is where Microsoft partners meet to connect, collaborate, and celebrate as one community, while exploring new ways to accelerate success. Working with industry experts and Microsoft leaders, partners learn to overcome the obstacles confronting their clients today and anticipate the challenges they’ll face tomorrow, Microsoft says.
Now in its 23rd year, Black Hat USA, a top information security event, will go entirely virtual this year, but it will still provide attendees with the latest security research, development and trends. (Black Hat USA is operated by Informa, InformationWeek's parent company)
Microsoft Ignite is for IT pros, decision makers, implementors, architects, developers, and data professionals who want to expand their proficiencies. The event features Learning Paths providing opportunities to explore the latest tools, receive deep technical training, and get specific questions answered by Microsoft experts, according to the company.
Oracle OpenWorld, Las Vegas
Oracle is bucking the trend to take its big event virtual in 2020 so far. If that changes, we'll update it here.
All technologies from Dell, this event has operated over many years, and has now moved from a May 2020 in-person event to a virtual event in October.
As one of the few remaining independent events for Networking and IT Pros, Interop is committed to focusing on the needs of our community of career IT and networking professionals with cutting-edge and unbiased content. From strategic trends, to inspiring keynotes, to innovative tactics that you can use in your enterprise, Interop offers the tools IT pros need.
Salesforce announced plans to take all its conferences, including its big flagship event, to a virtual only this year. The original event had been scheduled for November 19-22. Dates for the virtual event are unconfirmed right now.
The following events are completed and now available on-demand:
Do you know of a virtual IT event that hasn't been listed here, but should be? Please let us know. Send an email with the subject line "virtual event" to [email protected]
Jessica Davis has spent a career covering the intersection of business and technology at titles including IDG's Infoworld, Ziff Davis Enterprise's eWeek and Channel Insider, and Penton Technology's MSPmentor. She's passionate about the practical use of business intelligence, ... View Full Bio