Recently I had the opportunity to interview the Senior Vice President of Pluralsight, who like many other companies are facing big challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This also lead them to cancel their largest event Pluralsight LIVE. But with all grey clouds there is a silver lining.
Thank you Sean for taking the time to answer my questions. First thought, for the few that don’t know. what is Pluralsight LIVE Europe all about?
Pluralsight LIVE Europe is one of the continent’s biggest technology knowledge-sharing gatherings. Thousands of cutting-edge technologists come together to share insights into the emerging trends of today and tomorrow and explore the importance of skill development in the successful adoption and deployment of technologies like AI, ML, blockchain and big data. LIVE Europe creates an immersive, learning atmosphere featuring keynotes, break-out sessions and panel talks from some of the best and brightest in technology.
We all are facing serious challenges with the global pandemic, how is it challenging your event?
After closely following COVID-19 developments and noting advice from the World Health Organisation and the UK government, Pluralsight made the difficult decision to cancel our in-person Pluralsight LIVE experience and pursue other avenues to convene our community. Our partners, press, customers and the broader technology community can now enjoy all of the engaging keynotes, panel sessions, breakouts and more, but from the comfort, and safety, of their own space.
How are you overcoming these challenges?
While we were not able to have our usual in-person experience, we have created something amazing: our first-ever large-scale virtual event. LIVE Europe is now accessible virtually on the Pluralsight platform for free to everyone. So, what this means is that we can now provide the same enjoyable, immersive and enriching experience online that guests would have received had the conference taken place as originally planned. But even better, we can now provide these resources to a much larger audience for free on our platform so that everyone can learn about rapidly changing tech trends and how to accelerate tech skill development.
You mentioned there are key partnerships to provide free talks, can you please elaborate on that?
In addition to making LIVE Europe content available for free to everyone, we are also offering free access to pre-recorded content of other technology conferences and events with tech impact. This not only helps these organizations reach a wider audience on our platform, but technology professionals from around the globe will now be able to access inspiring and engaging content and new learning opportunities, and in turn, amplify their skills and stay on top of the latest technology trends.
At a time where travel is restricted around the globe, it is our hope that we can use our platform to help technologists stay connected with one another and stay engaged through technology skill development opportunities.
Why is this partnership important and what will people get out of it?
Within our Skills product, users can access Conferences, where content from some of today’s most in-demand technology events are stored. Users will have full access to recorded content from 19 conferences, including THAT Conference®, DEVintersection, Big Data LDN, and Snowforce, and we will continue to add additional conferences to the freely available offerings in the coming weeks.
Pluralsight One, Pluralsight’s embedded social enterprise, is also working with non-profits, international development organizations and NGOs to host content from their tech conferences for free on our platform. This will include recorded videos of Singularity University’s Live-streamed summit COVID-19: The State & Future of Pandemics, and will be available to watch on the Pluralsight platform in the coming weeks.
At a time when technology is becoming more important than ever to business, and it’s a commercial imperative to not miss out on best practice or new trends, we are committed to using our platform to support professionals in continuing their technology skill development journey amidst these unprecedented circumstances.
In line with the topic of virtual communication, how are you keeping connected at Pluralsight at the moment?
Communication is currently the heartbeat of all our operations as our team members around the globe are now all working remotely to protect their health and safety. We’ve implemented weekly company-wide virtual town halls for our over 1,600 team members around the world so that everyone has visibility of what each team is working on. These meetings also serve as an opportunity to keep each other motivated.
During these town halls led by our co-founder and CEO, Aaron Skonnard, he and the entire executive team are committing themselves for regular Q&A sessions to allow team members to ask any questions they may have or voice any concerns. Our teams are in constant contact over Slack and using video conferencing and team syncs over coffee to stay connected. We also hold Start the Week and Close the Week calls as well as the individual teams holding daily huddles over video conference. During this time of uncertainty, we are striving for complete transparency to reassure our team members at what is undoubtedly an uncertain time for them and their families.
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