Book Club

Book Club: Sci-fi – An Improvised Novel The cosmos is our playground. Outer Space! Some say it is where life began. Some say it is where we will find our destiny. It is unquestionably a frontier of adventure, exploration, and pulpy, weird romance. Grab your ray gun, salute your space-commander (or flip them the space-bird), and strap on your jet pack. There’s no time like the future to blast off beyond the stars — with BOOK CLUB: Sci-Fi. About Book Club Each month, the members of Sidestage Improv’s BOOK CLUB come together and create a live, fulllength novel from a single audience suggestion. They draw on the tone, techniques, and spirit of your favorite literary genres to deliver one of the most unique and hilarious shows in...

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Understanding Online Privacy for Technicians

Understanding Online Privacy for Technicians – Joe Kissell (Service Track) Most tech people know intuitively how to avoid many common threats to online privacy. You use good passwords, connect to a VPN when you’re out of the office, and encrypt sensitive data. You wouldn’t click a link in a suspicious email message, download a file from a site that’s likely to bundle malware, or use FTP on an open Wi-Fi network. But your customers may not be so clueful. They may come to you after they’ve already gotten themselves in trouble (like sharing photos online that should have been private), or they may be excessively paranoid and ask for the unreasonable or impossible (like deleting an ill-advised email message they already sent). Your challenge is to help them understand the risks, recover from past mistakes, and make better choices in the future about maintaining their privacy online. This presentation teaches you quick ways to explain tricky privacy concepts and demonstrate the most important steps someone can take to avoid privacy threats. You’ll learn simple ways to convey what your customers should and should not worry about, and how they can balance privacy with...

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DeepSpar: Software Recovery Overview, Part 1

Data Recovery for the IT Industry – Andrei Shirobokov (Service Track) A technical overview of the most common data recovery procedures currently being utilized by the IT industry. We will offer advice on improvements that can be made on the software level without investing into professional data recovery hardware. This topic has been broken into 2 parts, this 45 minute session is part 1 of 2.

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Quick Start: Managed Services

Quick Start Session to Managed IT Services This 60 minute presentation helps solution providers better understand how to establish a solid customer base, expand their managed services’ offerings, and evaluate different pricing considerations for their company. This session dives into customer collaboration techniques and how to partner effectively. Solution providers walk away with easy-to-implement steps that elevate their business to the next level, whether they are just starting or have been offering managed services for years.

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DeepSpar: Software Recovery Overview, Part 2

Data Recovery for the IT Industry – Andrei Shirobokov (Service Track) A technical overview of the most common data recovery procedures currently being utilized by the IT industry. We will offer advice on improvements that can be made on the software level without investing into professional data recovery hardware. This topic has been broken into 2 parts, this 45 minute session is part 2 of 2.

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Understanding Online Privacy for Sales

Understanding Online Privacy for Sales & Owners – Joe Kissell (Essentials Track) You want to protect the privacy of your customer information, financial records, and other confidential business data, especially as it travels across the Internet. You also want to help your customers make smart choices about protecting their own privacy online. Privacy threats and the measures to deal with them vary according to one’s risk level, but learning general principles of online privacy can help you take and recommend appropriate steps. In this session, you’ll learn who might be trying to get at your confidential personal and business information, and why. We’ll cover what steps you and your customers should take to protect network connections, Web browsing, email, and other online activities without making life unnecessarily complicated—as well as what information should never be exposed to the Internet at all. We’ll also discuss using mobile devices safely (with an emphasis on privacy for your photos/videos, backups, and...

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DeepSpar: Hardware Imaging

Introduction to Data Recovery Equipment – Andrei Shirobokov (Service Track) In this session we will talk about the first steps that IT service providers can take to bring more recoveries in-house. We will talk about hardware disk imaging, PCB swaps, and a few simple repairs which can be performed without specialized training.

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Role Playing Tools for Staff Development

Role Playing Tools for Staff Development with Mike McFarland & Charles Webber, Sidestage Improv. (Essentials Track) In this workshop session you will learn some simple improv games and techniques that you can use to help you communicate important concepts to your staff in a way that resonates and has emotional impact. You will experience the effectiveness of role play as a tool first hand, and you will leave with some new tools to help you build a more effective team.

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The Apple Way – Marketing, Merchandising, and Branding

The elusive brand…we all understand the importance of a well articulated brand and merchandising, but few companies actually achieve this. Tish Rentillo, Sr. Marketing Manager from Apple Inc., discusses the important considerations for the crafting and execution of your brand, marketing, and merchandising.

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Explaining Technical Issues for Service

Explaining Technical Issues for Service – Joe Kissell (Service Track) You know way more about tech than most consumers. You want to help your customers solve problems, but also give them enough information to help themselves and become smarter, more effective users. That’s challenging when they lack the background, concepts, and terminology that are second-nature to you (and sometimes don’t even want to know anything). For nearly 20 years, Joe Kissell has been writing technical books for consumers, and during that time he’s developed some serious skills and tricks for explaining complex (and sometimes scary) topics to a tech-impaired audience. In this presentation, Joe shares his secrets of geek-to-English translation. He’ll tell you how he’d explain DHCP to his mom and what he says to people who can’t be bothered to back up their computers—just for example. And, more generally, he discusses how to bolster your explanation skills and earn your customers’ respect at the same...

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Quick Start: Business Agility

Quick Start Session to Business Agility Are you planning for the future of your business? Are you able to adapt to volatile market changes and successfully transform your business quickly and efficiently? This 60-minute Quick Start session gives you the tools you need to stay relevant in an ever-changing industry. Attendees gain a better understanding of IT market dynamics, while learning how to evaluate market developments and how those dynamics affect business strategy. This session also helps you identify trends in business performance that may signal the need for change while giving tips on how to handle those...

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Explaining Technical Issues for Sales

Explaining Technical Issues for Sales & Owners – Joe Kissell (Essentials Track) Understanding how something works and being able to explain that to someone who doesn’t are two different things. Have you ever gotten stuck trying to get someone to grasp the distinctions between USB 2 and USB 3, or Thunderbolt and Mini DisplayPort, or 802.11n and 802.11ac? How do you get customers to care about the things that matter, and ignore the things that don’t? As the author of more than 50 books on technology, Joe Kissell has wrestled with questions like these many times. In this presentation, Joe shares what he’s learned about tech explanations—and especially the essential skill of idiot-proofing—from interacting with his readers over the years. He tells you how he interprets questions that don’t match his view of reality and how he boils down complex technical topics in ways that anyone can...

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How to Tell Your Company’s Story

How to Tell Your Company’s Story – Matthew Jent (Essentials Track) Beginning with an Interactive Story Structure Exercise, Matthew will analyze Stories vs. Facts. This exercise will get you thinking about: Facts relay a series of events. Facts are math. Stories help us understand what those facts actually mean. Being told something is important doesn’t make it important. But if your audience gets caught up in a story – they will internalize why it is important to them. Stories lead an audience to reach their own conclusions, not just agree with what they are given. Big concepts are hard to engage with. We all believe in integrity; we all want to do the job right; we all go the extra mile; etc. Stories help us make big concepts relevant and understandable. Specific moments engage us as an audience and they help us understand how, not just why. Next you will discuss How the Story is Useful, and what it looks like in Story Shapes. This will help you shape your customer testimonials, engagement with employees, employee training and recruitment and your brand...

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