Experience of my first in-person event as a speaker at ACD Pune 2022
6 min read
I am going to share the experience of my first in-person event as a speaker. Till now I was on another side of the table. Attending many conferences and events as an attendee.
17th October 2020 I started giving sessions. Due to the Covid pandemic, it was online mode. As it was my first one as a speaker even if virtual it is always special for me. Till now I delivered 9+ sessions with different communities like Angular, AWS, and PHP. Conducted AWS training in my organisation Eagleview. But everything is online only no in-person event. I was looking out for an opportunity to get. So started applying for CFP for in-person events or conferences. First I applied for AWS Community APAC Summit due to some issue couldn't able to give a good topic so it is not got selected. I didn't stop as my father ( who is seeing me from heaven ) said don't stop keep doing, one day you will get a chance. I applied for AWS Community Day Kochi but didn't get approved there too 😭 But I wanted to keep trying. I took a step back and did some studies like
What will be the reason for a rejection
Which topic should get more chance of acceptance
What is your exact expertise area? etc.
I discussed with Jones is can we submit CFP for ACD Pune 2022. We can check out serverless topics for I also will get to learn. But later he comes back to me. Why not use a virtual photobooth topic with some additional functionality? Just for information for AWS Community Day India 2022, I was working on a use case to create a virtual photo booth for clicking selfies with photo frames. I was ready with the demo. He said will add some more functionality to this application like admin, user management, photo frame management, Twitter feed using hashtags etc. The idea was super I said yes on the spot to him. We started working on ideas and crafting abstracts. And finally, we submitted CFP to ACD Pune 2022 and the topic was "Building a Virtual Photo Booth with AWS Amplify"
Waiting for acceptance
Hurry! We got acceptance for ACD Pune CFP. For me, my happiness was on cloud nine. Now it's time to pull up our sleeves.
We started working on the actual demo and PPT for the final day. We wanted to showcase this in a storytelling way so decided to start with a quote.
"Problems are nothing but wake-up calls for creativity" – Gerhard Gschwandtner
after having a lot of time constraints we are able to finish our demo application.
Jones is going to write a separate blog on how we build virtual photo booth application using AWS Amplify.
Time for D-day -10th Dec 2022
Coming from a vernacular medium school English is not my favourite language. But now that is not a challenge for me for speaking. But I remember the last in-person presentation given in engineering college time for technical paper presentations ( 12 years back ). So I was excited but at the same time nervous too. Speaking virtually and speaking in person is different challenges, and different logistics come into the picture. I was a little relaxed because Jones was there to if any mistakes or missed anything from my side cover it as Jones is an experienced speaker.
The day started with awesome keynote speakers "Dr Biswajit Mohapatra - Head of Customer Solutions Management - India and South Asia, AWS" and "Sai Vennam Principal Developer Advocate, AWS".
During the end the keynote, Dr Biswajit ended the session with the nice line "To get insights, you need to experiment" which means to achieve something you need to take risks. without diving into can't learn swimming.
After having a line of speaker sessions now time for a lunch break. ACD Pune organised very good food items. After having good food my tummy was full and my nervousness was increasing.
Finally after having two amazing sessions after the lunch break. The time arrived for our session. I and Jones decided to use our laptop because I added last-minute changes like some graphics and demo links etc. Unfortunately, my laptop couldn't able to connect and somehow I lose my confidence for a few seconds. But you know Jones did his magic to keep the audience engage which give me time to relax and prepare for the start.
Then I started with an introduction and the first slide which everyone was waiting to know the story behind building a virtual photo booth.
Last year I attended the Mauticon conference virtually there in the event they introduced a virtual photo booth. I like this concept so at the time of AWS Community Day south Asia 2021 thought of using this. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any free tool to use. Time was less so I dropped this idea. This year when ACD India preparation started we decided to build this for the community. I discussed this with the ACD India team and started working on it. Jones told me can we make a fully customisable tool which any community or group can use for their event. Then we decided to build this virtual photo booth with AWS Amplify.
Then we jump to explaining the architecture behind this application and how to build and deploy using Amplify.
The last part of the slide was to ask attendees to try out the virtual photo booth and success story of AWS Community Day India 2022 which is an actual use case. Here is the video link 👇🏻
That's how we ended up our session. ACD Pune organising team gave Punery Pagadi as appreciation to both of us. Thanks for this amazing gift. Which shows the cultural side of Pune.
In last I would like to say thanks to the AWS Community Day Pune 2022 team to accept our CFP and give this amazing opportunity. Every corner of this event was well organised.
"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." – Helen Keller
As the above quotes said when you have a powerful and passionate team no one can stop you to make a great event. ACD Pune was one example of a successful event. Kudos to all the organising team and volunteers who help to make it successful. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻
One of the important parts of an event I should not forget is amazing quizzes. Thanks to the KonfHub team for hosting quizzes and ticketing for ACD Pune 2022.
The last but important part of this blog is learning.
Learning from this experience :
Make demo and PPT advance and submit to organising team to avoid last minute hassle.
If possible make a video as a demo instead of a live demo.
Select topics which cover the use case and explain them as stories.
Keep content less using graphical representation or screenshots.
Meme or Anime will be the cherry on top.
Keep your script ready to keep the audience engaged if any technical challenge is faced.
Code repository: github.com/AvinashDalvi89/virtual-photobooth
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