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A conference hall with a man on a screen presenting

My keynote talk in Russia at a Conference for Intranet Professionals

I was kindly asked to be one of the international speakers at a conference in Russia called Rivelty.Conf 2021.

I met the organiser at a conference in Australia a few years back where we were both speakers.

Due to COVID, I was unable to fly out to Russia in person.

To avoid the risk of any technical difficulties on the day between England and Russia I was asked to pre-record my talk which was a first for me. I was warned Russians can be quite impatient with technical hiccups!

I was also asked to talk slower than I normally would so the English speaking half of the audience (there was about a 50/50 split) could keep up, as could, the Russian only speakers following the subtitles on the video.

On the day of the talk, I was given a virtual tour behind the scenes via Zoom with one of the organisers. I was then placed on a table facing the audience while they watched my talk.

Watching the audience during the pre-recorded video playback

At the end of the video, I was then able to take live questions from the attendees.

It was all quite strange but also a fun experience!

You can see from the photos just how slick the event was and it was clearly very well run. The organisation that goes into these kinds of events should not be underestimated.

A couple of weeks later, as I’m writing this, Russia has just had to ban all live events like this due to the worsening COVID situation there, so we got lucky with the timing.

The talk was the story of the police intranet I led when I worked in Avon and Somerset Police. You can see an extract of the talk below.

An extract of the talk with Russian subtitles

Maybe I’ll be lucky and be able to make a trip over there one year.

A big thank you to the team at Rivelty Studio for having me there virtually.

They even sent me a gift box all the way from Russia.

Chocolates, a notebook, two pens, a lanyard, and russian dolls
Gifts from Russia

Here are some more photos and the closure promo video from the conference.

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