Customer_OHA Todd HutchingsEleven years ago, before Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) had even received its Mediasite equipment and begun using the technology, Sonic Foundry EVP Rob Lipps suggested that I attend the first-ever Mediasite User Conference Unleash.

He told me, “You’ll learn everything you need to know about the equipment before you even start using it.” That was the best decision I’ve ever made in my career, because it really set OHA’s video strategy in motion.

Unleash 17 - Community AnnounementI’ve been back to Madison, Wis. every year without hesitation. Why? That’s easy – for the  networking, both professionally and socially. I’ve connected with so many Mediasite users from all around the world over the years.

We’ve shared best practices and received valuable product roadmap updates. Unleash is truly a user group meeting where people share ideas and learn from each other. It’s like no other conference I’ve ever experienced.

If you’re new to Unleash this year, here are a few tips to get the most out of the conference:

  1. Don’t be shy. Everyone there is willing to share information and is excited to tell you about their video strategies. There are no dumb questions, so ask anything. People of all technical levels attend Unleash. I’ve met so many people that I can now call throughout the year. I would have never received that kind of access had I not participated in Unleash.
  2. Attend the evening social events. The networking aspect of the conference is as important as the content shared in the sessions. Each night of the conference there is a fun event with dinner and drinks. A great way to meet new people and hear about some of the best Mediasite deployments is at the Enterprise Video Awards. OHA has won in the past, and being recognized by my peers for my work was very rewarding.
  3. Choose the more challenging track. If you’re not sure which session to attend, choose the more challenging one. You’ll get more out of it. Plus, everything is available on-demand with Mediasite, so you can watch all the sessions you missed.
  4. Explore Madison. The Wisconsin State Capitol in downtown Madison, just blocks from where Unleash happens, is just breathtaking. Madison has a small-town feel with a very friendly atmosphere, and the conference’s home -- Monona Terrace and Convention Center -- is a beautiful piece of architecture. Everything is within walking distance – you can walk down State Street to get a glimpse of what the university life is like and find some great restaurants and shopping.

I hope to see you in Madison May 1-3! If you have any questions in the meantime, feel free to contact me in the Mediasite Community at https://community.sonicfoundry.com/people/ToddHutchings.

Todd Hutchings is the former Director of Distance Learning at Ontario Hospital Association. Now retired and an educational technology consultant, Todd still remains active with Mediasite as a Mediasite Community Advisor.