Working at Microsoft Ignite New Zealand Conference

It’s been such an amazing opportunity to work as an Events Usher at Microsoft Ignite NZ Conference at Skycity Convention Centre, Auckland. It’s my first time working at a large scale event and I’ve had a wonderful time meeting people from different companies and occupations.

Microsoft Ignite NZ Conference is New Zealand’s largest IT Conference and there are approximately 2000 delegates attending this year. It is a 3 day conference running from Wednesday 2nd September to Friday 4th September.  It is mainly targeted towards people who work in the IT industry or who have an interest in technology. There are a wide range of conference sessions on topics such as innovation, app development, coding, using Microsoft software, public speaking and much more.

Today, I got the chance to attend a conference session by Microsoft Researcher, Ethan Jackson who is running Project Premonition (a system which aims to identify and prevent infectious disease outbreaks). However, this project was really unique because it involved using mosquitoes, drones and cloud computing. The project uses drones and robotic mosquito traps to capture mosquitoes and analyse them for pathogens. Using gene sequencing, pathogens are detected and cloud computing is used for data analysis. Mosquitoes were utilised for this project because of their ability to locate and sample the blood of different species of animals which means they can be used to monitor infectious diseases carried by wild animals. By collecting and analysing data about viruses, this system is an innovative method of tracking the movement of pathogens before they can cause disease outbreaks in the human population. I am looking forward to seeing how this form of technology can help us to solve problems in the present and future.

For more information about this project go to: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/projects/projectpremonition/default.aspx

Another highlight of Microsoft Ignite conference was learning how to use hand-held scanners to scan the name tags of delegates before they enter the conference sessions. This enabled us to provide valuable information about the number of attendees per session to the Microsoft Ignite conference staff. Today was a really busy day and there were nearly 700 attendees in the Skycity Theatre at the conference session on “Introduction to Microsoft Hololens”. If you haven’t heard of Microsoft Hololens, I encourage you to look it up because it is the first fully untethered, see-through, holographic computer. It enables you to make notes, view and interact with holograms and play games. It hasn’t been released yet but I definitely hope to try it out one day if I get the chance.

For more information check out: https://www.microsoft.com/microsoft-hololens/en-us/experience

Another highlight for me was meeting people from different companies. Here is a photo of Master Chief from Halo and I at the Intergen company stall.

Here is a photo of a cow from Provoke Solutions that was roaming around the conference.

So far, I’m really enjoying the Microsoft Ignite NZ Conference and I am looking forward to seeing what the final day of the conference will be like. Stay tuned! 😀

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