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Megaconference 2012 Successful

Dec 18, 2012, by Ben Fineman
Tags: Audio Video Communications Infrastructure, Collaboration, Events, imported, International Community, Tools & Collaboration, Video Services, Video, Voice & Collaboration, Workshops & Webinars

After spending some time recovering from this all day event, I'm pleased to report that we had a successful Megaconference 2012. There was a great turn out, with 108 registered sites across 24 countries around the world. I've created a map to help visualize the global distribution of both endpoints and bridges. 

The program could not have been a success without the active engagement from each participating site. The thing that really distinguishes our collaborative video environment from "TV" is the ability for every site to jump in and provide their own questions, comments, and points of view. After years of using this technology, it still amazes me when I see people on literally opposite sides of the world having meaningful face to face interactions.

From a technical perspective, we had a nicely diverse set of endpoints represented. Of the participants who reported their endpoint type, we had the following distribution:

  • 41% Cisco (or Tandberg) Room System
  • 29% Polycom Room System
  • 12% Softclient (Various Brands)
  • 9% Lifesize Room System
  • 9% Other Room System

4631b EndpointBrands In addition to great participation, we also had an excellent lineup of presenters. Some highlights included:

  • An interactive gameshow jointly hosted by high school classes in Taiwan and Ghana
  • Live classical music performance and dance lessons from the Cleveland Institute of Music
  • A live visit to the CERN control room in Geneva, Switzerland
  • A live visit with a (very large) spider from the Minnesota Zoo
  • A live visit to the National Cowgirl Museum in Texas
  • Many, many more!

A key part of this event was the contribution of staffing and bridging resources from research and education organizations around the world. Following is a logical diagram of the event's architecture:

We had a great set of sponsors this year, and I'm pleased to announce the winners of our sponsored prizes:

  • Platinum Sponsor Blue Jeans Networks, institutional bridging package ($25k retail value): The University of Southern Mississippi
  • Platinum Sponsor Blue Jeans Networks, institutional bridging package ($25k retail value): The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
  • Platinum Sponsor Blue Jeans Networks, institutional bridging package ($25k retail value): The National Autonomous University of Mexico
  • Platinum Sponsor Blue Jeans Networks, institutional bridging package ($25k retail value): Virginia Tech
  • Platinum Sponsor Blue Jeans Networks, institutional bridging package ($25k retail value): Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery
  • Platinum Sponsor Spranto, classroom collaboration package ($1k value): Mustang Valley Elementary School
  • Bronze Sponsor Polycom, Polycom Communicator USB Speakerphone: Connecticut College
  • Internet2 Mug: Utah Education Network
  • Internet2 Water Bottle: Case Western Reserve University
  • Internet2 Travel Case: Connecticut Education Network

Finally, this event couldn't have been possible without the help of the Megaconference planning team:

  • David Devereaux-Weber, University of Wisconsin - Madison
  • Jennifer Oxenford, MAGPI
  • John Fafalios, MAGPI
  • Ken Fox, OARnet
  • Nick Thompson, Internet2/The Ohio State University
  • Nate Jorgensen, University of Wisconsin Extension
  • Les Finken, University of Iowa
  • Jaime Poindexter, University of Wisconsin Extension (emeritus)
  • Bob Dixon, The Ohio State University/OARnet (emeritus)
  • Kim Owen, North Dakota State University

In closing, I have to say that being involved in this event has been exhilerating and humbling. Seeing the power of video in action to enable global collaboration motivates me even more to get this technology more widely adopted. We've come a long way, but there is still much work to be done, and I hope that we can see even more of you online for next year's Megaconference.