Lessons Learned from the 1st IPVM Seminar

Author: John Honovich, Published on Sep 22, 2011

On Wednesday, September 21st, we successfully held our 1st ever IPVM Seminar with over 80 Pro Members attending throughout the day, exceeding our target/limit of 75 attendees. I was quite happy with the turnout and even more pleased with the high quality ongoing discussion among the attendees.

Here are key lessons I learned from the event on better sharing information and educating.

Participants vs Panelists

The standard event format is to have a small number of panelists on stage that talk 95% of the time. These panelists are generally sponsors of the event or partners of the sponsors (e.g., a sponsoring manufacturer will pick an end user who they know will tout their products/approach). This is an incredibly boring and corrupt way to run an event (though certainly financially profitable for the ethically oblivious).

By contrast, we did not have any panelists. I acted as moderator/presenter leading a structured discussion with the attendees themselves. I would speak for a few minutes on a specific topic then we would open up the discussion to the group and speak for an equal or greater amount of time talking through the issues involved.

Throughout the day, at least 40 people spoke making more than a hundred comments. It was far more lively hearing many voices rather than me going on and on.

Ongoing Discussion

Not only did the ongoing discussion make the event more interesting, the range of comments helped us all learn more:

  • Sharing Experiences: Many attendees shared their experiences of products and configurations that worked and did not work.
  • Asking About their own Problems: Attendees brought up specific issues they were having in the field. One good example was an exchange we had about blurry license plates during our exposure setting discussion.
  • Asking About Other Options: Quite a number of people asked other approaches and products. For instance, in our 'best of' IP camera session, we ran through the pros and cons of a number of manufacturers. This provided a broader perspective.
  • Disagreeing: From time to time, attendees disagreed with me or each other. This helped flush out issues and highlight complexities involved.

Lastly, and equally importantly, attendees get more value when their personal questions or concerns are addressed. Otherwise, they could simply read content in a book or on a website, etc.

Polls

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

We ran about a dozen live polls throughout the day. These polls allowed attendees to text responses (using polleverywhere, a useful service). We had two types of polls - open ended and multiple choice. The multiple choice worked great but the open ended ones had very few responses.

One of the best benefits of multiple choice polls was the ability to learn what the attendee's beliefs were on certain topics. For instance, one poll asked 'A 5MP camera is equivalent to how many analog cameras?' Now, according to manufacturer marketing departments, the answer is ~15. However, over 60% of our attendees voted that a 5MP camera can replace only 3 or less analog cameras. Now, are marketing departments full of bull or is our group ignorant? :)

Audience Size

To encourage discussion, the audience size cannot be too big. One, it can be hard for people to hear each other if there are too many people. Second, too much competition would exist for speaking and many people would not get a change to talk.

Around 75 turned out to be pretty good. I think 60 might be even better. I definitely would not want to exceed 100 as it would clearly get too big and likely diminish the overall interaction.

Topic Depth

Attendees seemed to prefer talking about things in greater depth rather than skimming topics. I think part of this is a function of the attendees themselves. This group was very sophisticated with many members leading surveillance experts themselves.

Additionally, good discussions with back and forth take more time. However, the upside is that people generally learn more, retain more and find it more engaging.

Future

We are definitely going to do more seminars. The next one will be in Las Vegas March 28th and 29th (during ISC West 2012 week but, of course, not affiliated with them). We will have 4 in depth sessions and members can pick and choose which ones they want to attend. More information and discussion on this in the next few months. Save the date!


Most Recent Industry Reports

Imperial Capital Security Investor Conference Review on Dec 08, 2017
Investment bank Imperial Capital holds an annual Security Investor Conference where 60+ companies present, including this year: IPVM bought a...
Integrator GPS Vehicle Tracking Statistics and Success Examined on Dec 08, 2017
GPS vehicle tracking is a growing but somewhat controversial topic. On the plus side, tracking may increases productivity by providing greater...
Hikvision NA Biggest Sale of 2017 on Dec 07, 2017
Hikvision North America has been relatively disciplined the past 5 months, reducing the number of sales and the breadth of what is on sale. No...
Security Integrator IT Expertise Statistics on Dec 07, 2017
20 years ago, putting physical security systems on IP networks was just emerging. Today, almost every system is networked in some way, IP cameras...
Lighthouse Deep Learning Camera Tested on Dec 07, 2017
A Silicon Valley startup, Lighthouse, with a Stanford PhD CTO, has released a deep learning AI camera with 3D sensors for just $300. The company...
Access Control Course Winter 2018 on Dec 07, 2017
Learn more below about the Winter 2018 IPVM Access Control Course. Register here. IPVM offers the most comprehensive access control course in...
Broken Hikvision App Exposes Hypocrisy on Dec 06, 2017
While Hikvision talks about a commitment to cybersecurity, their broken app and their insecure 'solution' exposes not only their engineering...
'Catastrophic Problem' For Videofied App on Dec 06, 2017
Less than 2 months after closing their DIY division DragonFly, Videofied has been hit with a problem the company calls 'catastrophic'. Now the...
ASIS Dumps 'ASIS' For Show on Dec 06, 2017
After 60+ years, ASIS is dumping its eponymous show name and replacing it with 'GSX'. This is a classic marketing mistake. For a show struggling...
Risks Of Managing End User Passwords (Statistics) on Dec 05, 2017
Integrators know admin passwords for nearly all end-user systems, according to IPVM statistics. But how do they manage them? How do they ensure...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact