What I Learned By Hosting 32 Sessions With Different Topics and Speakers During the Pandemic

Michael Katz, Chief Relationship Officer at Zignage, LLC, is a DSF member and a member of the DSF Education Committee. This article, written by Michael, was published in rAVe Pubs this month.

Read the full article on rAVe Pubs here.

I formally joined Zignage (CMS software solution company) on Feb. 3, 2020, and attended ISE 2020 in Amsterdam from Feb. 10-12. On March 3, I attended the New York Build 2020 Expo at the Javits Center and continued going into New York City for meetings — March 9 (my office) and March 12 (small vendor show hosted at a NYC hotel). I believe that non-essential businesses in NYC went into lockdown starting the week of March 16 — so, I had to quickly figure out how and what I was going to do since I just joined a new company. Fortunately, I had started the process of working with some integrators, manufacturers and consultants on several opportunities through 2020, and some continue into 2021 and beyond.


I thought that since I was extremely lucky in finding these projects that were still moving forward without delay, I can help people who may be in unusual situations (working from home or in some cases, losing their jobs). I had 12 years of experience with videoconferencing, and had already set up my “global command center” (see attached photo) in my home office with dedicated FIOS 75/75 megabit-per-second bandwidth, along with my own Pexip VMR license and a global contact list. So, I thought a good use of time would be to set up weekly 30-minute VMR sessions. The purpose is to provide my contacts with valuable information including the logistics of working from home. I would be the host, invite a single speaker for each session (they choose their own topic), send emails to my contact list and then send VMR invitations to get a group of attendees (20-25) for each session. This was a small enough group to enable each person to ask the speaker questions and hopefully interact with each other…..