Dozens of tech conferences have been canceled this year in the light of the coronavirus pandemic. Last month we wrote that this crisis could lead to the conventions of the future being reimagined. Organizing virtual events was one of the possibilities we envisioned. That’s the path Rockwell Automation decided to take. The automation leader is launching a series of free online events, called VirtualConnect. The first event will take place on May 12 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (CET).
Last month, when we interviewed Edward Barbini, vice president of corporate communications at IBM, IBM had just announced they were turning their developer’s conference, Think 2020, into a digital event with live streaming of presentations and interactive sessions. Mr. Barbini was telling us he was forecasting digital-first and web-only events in the future to avoid risk exposure to COVID-19. Rockwell Automation is now following the same path. VirtualConnect is meant to help manufacturers understand how technology can solve the strategic and operational challenges they face. Through a virtual platform, they will be able to follow learning programs, network among peers and with experts, and “walk through” the digital showroom.
In a press release Nathan Turner, Director, Integrated Architecture EMEA explained that,
“Technologies enabling digital transformation will continue to evolve and broaden the scope of possibilities to improve the way we work, both on-site and remotely. Our VirtualConnect event is a good example of how the industry can be agile and embrace digital tools to maintain continuous learning without physical travel.”
The event will start with an opening keynote address by Susana Gonzalez, president of Rockwell Automation, EMEA, on Industry 4.0 technologies. Then Rockwell’s technical experts will deliver interactive video presentations focusing on how intelligent technologies can help users collect data and make better decisions to increase productivity and optimize operational efficiency.
VirtualConnect brings together virtual booths from Rockwell Automation and partners such as Biehl+Wiedemann, Dream Report, ePlan, Maplesoft, Spectrum Controls, Stratus and WIN-911. Attendees will be able to interact in real-time with automation experts to gain a better understanding of the products and solutions presented in the VirtualConnect presentations. Technical specialists and presenters will also be available throughout the event to answer questions.
Among the topics to be covered at VirtualConnect :
- How to solve critical production problems with connected services
- How can intelligent sensing devices enable better use of resources-
- How to manage safety and ensure security in the Industrial Internet of Things
- How to turn raw data into useful information
Other events will be held in June, September, and November.