WiDS Pune Conference, I never knew there were such events being held; endeavours and professional journeys of women being exclusively promoted with a noble purpose of encouraging prospective data scientists and ML or AI aspirants,
till I was approached to be a speaker at the event. I was in awe when i got to read some articles on Sucheta Dhere, how selflessly she was strategizing these events, which need the strength of an army, let’s not forget the skills needed to lead so many volunteers administering each a role to play to make the event a grand success. If I'm asked to describe entire conference in one word, I’ll be in a huge confusion to choose between impressive and well-organised.
Days prior to the conference, I was well informed of scheduled time of my speech, the details of
other speakers, venue, point of contact for travelling, wids2020 app, directions to venue, even the
code to get 50 % off uber fare etc by Ms Dipti. The moment I got off the flight I got a call from
Prajakta, enquiring if I have reached safely, assuring me that breakfast was ready, which was very
well thought of. I was received by a volunteer at the venue and accompanied me through the huge
campus and introduced me to Prajakta and left to receive other speakers and guests. Prajakta
introduced me to other speakers and other members of WiDS team, all of us had nicely prepared
breakfast talking about our backgrounds and career profiles which was a sheer delight. That’s when I
got to see girls in white t-shirts, volunteers, that made this event absolutely pleasant at every step.
They navigated us to leave to conference hall, showing all the stalls installed.
Conference, when it got started with introduction of WiDS2020 by Ms Sucheta, I was wondering:
# what it takes to pull an event like this
# how paperless conference can report data and feedback from recipients
# how even the student volunteers have crystal clarity on their responsibilities
Registration using face recognition, capturing audience emotions through the sessions, speech to
text conversion of speakers notes using rammer.ai and QR code-based attendance Q&A sessions
definitely made this event unique and absolutely impressive.
Each speaker was introduced delightfully and key points were reiterated thoughtfully. As I was in
Track2, we had Ms Manjiri, Ms Aparna and Ms Sanika, who listened to speakers’ presentations
carefully and engaged audiences navigating easy through the sessions. I got to attend the sessions of
almost all of speakers in Track2, all presentations were fresh wrapping the breadth of diverse fields.
I had plenty of opportunities to network with other speakers, students and faculty members of
COEP. I got to see the stall installed by Dr Nazreen Khan, that attracted huge number of students.
Albeit it was a mere small talk, interaction I had with Ms Praveena stands out, as her positive
attitude and skills of orchestration could not go unnoticed.
Oh yeah, did I mention lunch was yummy including desert kulfi and campus was expansive with lush
Yes, I have come up with one word to describe the whole event, ‘Amazing’.