Online conference and expo with state-of-the-art features successfully offers real-time access to technical specialists and interactive video presentations to manufacturing professionals
On 12 May, Rockwell Automation hosted the first in its series of free, online events called VirtualConnect. Taking place through an innovative and interactive web platform, the event featured everything you would expect from a physical event, and more. Informative presentations from industry experts, interactive Q&A sessions, and a comprehensive virtual show floor were available to attendees across the world, who embraced the opportunity to network with each other in the event’s virtual lounge.
During her keynote address, Susana Gonzalez, EMEA president for Rockwell Automation, welcomed attendees to the state-of-the-art virtual environment. “This is the first time we are using this platform to bring technology to you in this completely virtual environment. We are excited to discuss how digitalization is changing the way we do things. Our clients often tell us they want to use digital transformation to improve productivity, efficiency and safety in their operations. It is at the top of their agenda, as they recognize the blending of information technology and operational technology. However, we also hear that they are suffering from a lack of digital know-how. The training we offer you today gives you the chance to get up-to-date on the opportunities and challenges presented by digitalization.”
The day’s agenda, running from 10h00 – 15h00 (GMT+2), offered two informative tracks bound to equip manufacturing professionals with all they need to know on the latest industry trends and technological developments. Track one, the “Smart Machine Journey” offered training on smart devices including sensors, safety devices, motor control, optimization, and security in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
The second track, the “Digital Transformation Journey” presented digital tools for enabling a collaborative environment for faster and more efficient systems. It looked at tools such as digital twins, big data analytics, and connected services. The conclusion of each presentation featured an instant-messaging Q&A session which was well-utilized by attendees who were eager to know more about Rockwell Automation’s extensive manufacturing solutions.
Virtual show floor
Along with virtual peer-to-peer and peer-to-expert networking, the event offered the chance to ‘walk’ the digital show floor featuring digital booths from Rockwell Automation and associated partners including Biehl+Wiedemann, Ocean Data Systems, ePlan, Maplesoft, Spectrum Controls, Stratus and WIN-911. Attendees could chat in real time with automation experts to gain a deeper understanding of the products and solutions featured in the VirtualConnect presentations.
In addition, the platform’s “virtual briefcase” functionality meant attendees could collect and download brochures and information packs as they toured the exhibition. Video demonstrations and interactive links kept attendees engaged and have certainly changed the game for online events going forward.