QMetry loves STAREAST and we could not miss the chance to be a part of the event in 2020 as well. We have been sponsoring the event for few years now and have enjoyed all our outings. The opportunity of meeting and interacting with customers, partners, attendees and speakers is so much fun. And for us, QMetrians, it has been a learning experience as well.
Although, this was the first STAREAST as a virtual event, more than 3000 plus attendees 75+ speakers and 30 different sponsors participated in the STAREAST Virtual+. In the COVID-19 era, where physical distancing is the norm, STAREAST Virtual+ provided a platform for the QA fraternity to interact, learn and develop new ‘connects’.
The keynotes, in particular, addressed the need for Software Security, testing gaming software, Quality Engineering being ripe to have a seat at the leadership table and viewing software through lens of the AI. Sessions and tutorials ranged from evergreen topics like Shift Left Quality to in rage topics like AI/ML skills for testing world. For all of us stuck at home, this was a treasure trove of amazing content.
The expo experience was virtual as well. While webinars, podcasts and online trainings have provided us with some familiarity to attend remote sessions, virtual booth was a different ballgame altogether. Attendees had access to excellent content from sponsors. Instant messaging experience extended to conversations in the virtual booth. General feeling was that one could learn all about the product by visiting the booth and accessing all the content available. Interactions were limited to specific queries of questions.
The things we missed the most were human interactions, smiles, lunch breaks with real lunch, big smiles on prize winners’ faces and the Disney World Experience. I hope knowing that this sacrifice was towards saving human lives in COVID-19 times would have helped everyone make peace with the loss of real event experience.
Techwell team did a fantastic job. A Big Shout out to Courtney Payne, Kim Trott and the management of Techwell. The transformation to a virtual event was managed well and with minimal issues. They made it happen.
Finally, the show wouldn’t have been there if attendees from across the world did not show up for it and participated enthusiastically. A humongous shout out to all the fantastic attendees who made the STAREAST Virtual+ a success.
Adapting to the new normal
While we are all dealing with this unprecedented health and economic challenge, STAREAST Virtual+ is nothing but a triumph of the human spirit against all odds. It is a shining example of how we can adapt and still find ways to connect, learn and engage in this time of social distancing.