Last year, the UC San Diego UC Tech Conference 2022 Planning Committee received the 2023 silver “Yvonne Tevis UC Wide Collaboration” award for their successful management of a challenging hybrid event. Despite time constraints and remote work, the committee, comprised of 96 volunteers and conference ambassadors, executed an outstanding conference. The team’s UC Tech 2023 Awards Program application highlights the contribution of this UC-wide team.
The UC Tech 2022 conference at UC San Diego engaged 96 volunteers to serve on the committee or support conference operations; 23 volunteers (about 25%) came from campuses other than UC San Diego. In particular, 12 of 13 virtual stage managers who supported virtual workshops came from other campuses.
Project description: Multi-campus collaboration powers successful UC Tech 2022 conference
On the first day of classes for Winter Quarter 2022, the UC San Diego campus was effectively closed. Due to a Covid surge, classes would again be remote for the entirety of the month, and remote work encouraged as broadly as possible. Under these daunting circumstances, planning work began on the 2022 UC Tech conference hosted by UC San Diego.
In August 2022, close to 900 UC technologists participated in the conference, with roughly half attending on campus and half participating virtually. In the intervening eight months a remarkable spirit of teamwork across the UC system prevailed to plan and execute a very successful event.
The effort required a total of 96 volunteers to make UC Tech 2022 a reality, with 23 volunteers (roughly 25%) coming from UC campuses other than the host institution. The UC Tech 2022 planning committee leveraged volunteers from:
• UC Berkeley
• UC Santa Cruz
• UC Merced
• UC Davis
• UC San Diego
When conference planning began, most members of the UC San Diego planning committee still worked remotely. However, planning the conference remotely expanded the pool of who could join the committee. Three non-UC San Diego people joined the committee, spending months joining Zoom planning meetings and spending their own time balancing the conference books, organizing the Triton Tasting event, supporting the UC Tech Awards ceremony, and planning optional activities.
Others contributed their time on site, such as monitoring food lines, helping with setup, or staffing the information desk.
The conference was designed to be hybrid, with some sessions originating at UC San Diego and live-streamed to virtual audiences, and some sessions being 100% virtual. Therefore, the most impactful UC-wide partnership was supporting the virtual sessions. A total of 13 volunteers were assigned as virtual workshop stage managers. In this role they:
• Set up the meetings via their Zoom accounts based on conference specifications
• Logged in early to perform video and sound checks with the speakers; reviewed the session flow and structure and worked out any last-minute presenter needs
• Started the Zoom meeting and responded to any speaker or presenter needs that came up
• Provided the session recording to the UC Tech committee for online posting
Of the 13 virtual stage managers, 12 were from other campuses; 23 of 26 virtual sessions were managed and produced by non- UC San Diego volunteers.
Special recognition goes to the UC Santa Cruz Zoom Corps, which was established in 2020 to provide remote teaching support to instructors as they transitioned to virtual classes. UC Santa Cruz Zoom Corps supplied 10 of the virtual stage managers.
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of Zoom Corp and other virtual volunteers. All our sessions started seamlessly and were recorded for posterity. For us as a planning committee, the remote sessions needed to be flawlessly executed…and they were, thanks to the volunteers’ professionalism and attention to detail.
Finally, we must acknowledge the UC Tech Ambassadors, who are a mainstay of UC Tech conference planning. This is a standing committee with one or two representatives from each campus or UC office, and their role is to provide advice and counsel to the planning committee, as well as communicate conference details to their campus.
In summary, hosting a hybrid conference for 900 people is really like hosting two conferences at once. We could not have done it without every single volunteer, no matter their campus affiliation.
This spirit of teamwork and cohesion is a living example of UC values. The Committee demonstrated:
• Accountability by meeting deadlines and achieving goals
• Collaboration by working across institutions
• Diversity and inclusion by welcoming all into the planning
• Excellence by providing a high-quality event on campus and virtually
• Innovation by coming up with creative solutions, including leveraging Zoom Corps and other remote volunteers
• Integrity by holding firm to our beliefs, and presenting a great attendee experience regardless of format
• Being mission-driven by furthering UC’s goals
On behalf of the UC Tech 2022 planning committee, we feel that the UC-wide support for pulling off the conference exemplifies the spirit intended by the Yvonne Tevis UC Collaboration Award. In the face of unprecedented obstacles, we engaged representatives from the majority of the campuses and UC Office of the President to make it a success.
About the UC Tech Awards Program
The UC Tech Awards program will open shortly for the 2024 season. The season, including applications and judging, will culminate with an awards ceremony to be held at the UC Tech Conference around October 28, 2024 (TBD). Learn more about the UC Tech Awards program.
IT Services Communications & Outreach Manager
UC San Diego