What is the SDG Big Event?

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Written by Peter Lawrence, Jordan Schaefer, and Kyle Bakker
on February 18, 2020

Editor’s note: The SDG Big Event is an annual event hosted by the SDG Presents Committee. In 2021, it is going digital! This internal event is for SDG’ers only and is a favorite employee event.

15 presentations, 3 tracks, 1 night.

sOne of SDG’s best attended events of the year, The Big Event is a special one night “mini-conference” that features 15 presentations broken up into three tracks on a variety of topics; soft skills, technologies, special interests/hobbies, all presented by SDG employees from every part of our business. This event continues every year largely due to the fact that employees get the “most bang for their buck” meaning the most information in the smallest amount of time. In our busy lives outside of work, this is important.

As SDG’ers, we like to learn about new things. From technologies to brewing beer, The Big Event is a great way to get a “taste” of a subject, and to get 5 of those “tastes” in one night. You get a chance to learn what other employees are passionate about and maybe develop a new passion of your own. You learn more about other employees and their passions in a hope that you can connect outside of SDG. Topics have ranged from Building Web Apps with Parcel to Whiskey Tasting to An Introverts Guide to Small Talk. Oftentimes, employees like to attend talks about technologies that they want to know more about that end up helping them while out on at a customer site later on.

Many of the favorite topics at The Big Event over the years have been those that novice presenters give, because it shows a great amount of courage. Many speakers comment that SDG is a welcoming environment and a safe place to try presenting with a less intimidating smaller block of time to fill. Many of The Big Event speakers then go on to present at other conferences with the confidence that they’ve gained. If you are a new employee, it is a great way to share a little bit of yourself with other SDG’ers. This internal conference is for everyone at SDG and anyone in the company can submit a talk to be considered by the SDG Presents committee. Commonly, we have over 30 presentation submissions.

Our SDG Presents committee handles the speaker selection, communications, and logistics for the event. Plus, during the rest of the year hosts presentations every month on a wide range of topics. The commitee helps bring learning, sharing, and connecting to all of SDG by facilitating a place where employees can show up and learn something new or practice the art of presenting.

In 2020 the 7th annual Big Event is taking place on February 18th and we cannot wait for a night of learning and fun. In 2021, The Big Event is going virtual! For SDG employees, our intranet video portal houses all the recorded presentations of the past 4 Big Events, as well as some full-length presentations dating all the way back to 2012! The learning never stops here at SDG. We consider ourselves to be life-long learners and those who partner with us can feel this energy, passion and drive to share the knowledge as well as learn from each other—something that The Big Event is all about.