Our much anticipated Ascend Conference 2023 proved to be a resounding success, leaving us with unforgettable memories and valuable takeaways. As I reflect on Ascend, several personal highlights stand out, showcasing the excitement and connection that permeated throughout the gathering.
First and foremost, the joy of seeing everyone in person after a prolonged period of virtual interactions was exhilarating! Meeting new faces and reuniting with familiar ones created a sense of camaraderie and excitement. It was a pleasure to welcome both first-time attendees and those who have been part of Ascend before, coming together in our vibrant community.
The dedicated representation by so many from Oracle was pivotal in providing valuable insights and knowledge during the event. Particularly noteworthy, too, was Marita Cheng's keynote, as she shared her remarkable journey and experiences in the world of generative AI. Her talk left a lasting impact and inspired attendees to explore new frontiers. And it warmed my heart with pride to have the honor of presenting awards in appreciation to some of the most distinguished members of our community who went above and beyond in 2022, volunteering their time and Oracle expertise with us all.
One of the standout aspects of Ascend for me personally was the myriad opportunities for attendees to connect with one another. The Customer Roundtable sessions provided a platform for lively discussions and engaging conversations. I had the privilege of facilitating a session, and the level of participation and interaction from attendees was fantastic. Even after the session ended, the conversations continued as attendees formed significant connections with one another.
Another highlight for me was the chance to meet directly with exhibitors and sponsors. Engaging with them in person offered a unique perspective and insight into their products, services, and the important roles they play in our Oracle ecosystem. Trivia and Turbo talks served as a fun and interactive way to connect with fellow users, and the Exhibit Hall provided a space for deeper conversations and networking opportunities.
The enthusiasm surrounding Ascend 2023 was further amplified by the overwhelming number of session submissions received from users this year. Witnessing this incredible level of engagement and interest was astonishing. The scope of the content was extraordinary, and I encourage you to return again and again to our Knowledge Base over the coming months because you won’t want to miss any of it.
Another memorable moment of Ascend 2023 was the Women in Technology panel. The panel format, following the "ignite" style, was a first for the event. Each panelist had five minutes to share their expertise and insights, and they did so with remarkable precision and depth. The panelists' ability to deliver valuable information within the allotted time was awe-inspiring. This format left a lasting impression and promises to be utilized again for future topics.
Beyond the enriching sessions and thought-provoking discussions, Ascend 2023 offered plenty of fun and relaxation! From the lively Kickoff event to the casual chats in the Brew Pub Hub, attendees had numerous opportunities to have a good time. Chair massages provided a much-needed respite, while the attendee appreciation party was a delightful way to celebrate and unwind. Kudos to Mohan Dutt, Ascend Agenda Chair, and the entire staff for their exceptional efforts in organizing and delivering a fantastic event!
As we go our ways during the summer of 2023, whether on holiday in Bali, Tokyo, Mumbai - or in our very own backyard by the barbeque with our families - memories and experiences of Ascend will continue to resonate. The event catalyzed connection, learning, and inspiration. Looking ahead, anticipation is already building for next year's gathering in Las Vegas, where the Ascend community will once again come together to create more cherished moments and forge lasting connections.
Editor's Note: To learn more about Dianne DeNezza and her vision as President of OATUG in 2023, please read Insight Magazine's Winter issue containing an interview of Dianne conducted by Executive Director, Julie Anderson: https://www.oatug.org/insight-winter2023/presidents-perspective.