Tech events accessible to everyone?

Since the COVID19 situation, the tech events have undergone many changes. Some have been cancelled, others have been transformed, and the remaining ones have been postponed. Should all the events become online events? Why not?

In every four-month period, there are usually some predefined tech events with approximated dates. However, since March until July (most likely), all the events scheduled on those days have taken actions to adapt to the current situation. Although it seems that those decisions have been unilateral, the truth is that most of the organisers have often been meeting to decide what to do.

In the initial stages, those tech events which were still far from March, decided to keep the data, expecting this situation to be weakening, while the closest ones decided to postpone the celebration date. But given that the following weeks the situation got worse and realising that it could be overbooking of events at the end of the year, most of them have decided to cancel them. This is happening not only at national but also at international level.

However, there are events which have decided to turn themselves into online events. How is that possible? For example: the React event in Amsterdam or the WordCamp one this week?

Online events

At first sight, what are the implications of making an event online?

  • Free tickets or at a more affordable price.

  • Reducing the amount of days of the event, in some cases.

  • Missing a close networking opportunity.

  • Losing a significant number of sponsors, also due to the situation that many companies are undergoing because of the COVID-19.

  • Possibility of reaching more people.

  • And more…

Is it maybe better to make the event on-line rather than on-site?

It is rather different. On-line events offer some advantages over on-site events, but you miss a lot of possibilities and experiences which a live event offers. It would be, for example, like attending a concert on TV or being actually in a stadium living it.

After discussing with some organisers, the main reasons for not making it on-line are (in most of the cases):

  • It is risky to switch from one format to the other one in such a short time.

  • Risk of losing credibility.

  • Losing sponsors to face the costs.

Observing that, most likely, this situation will become a turning point in many countries. Most of the events will undergo a transformation process, where they must re-invent themselves and adapt to provide a satisfying solution in this new reality. Although in most cases, these events will keep being organised on-line, on-site events will have to create new formulas for all the people who can not or prefer not to attend the event on-site.

Which aspects should I consider organising my own on-line event?

  • Streaming: you must be able to emit one or more rooms live.

  • Scalability: it must be possible for many people to be connected at the same time.

  • Stability: the system must be steady and quality must be good.

  • Collaborative tools: specially if you have group dynamics and/or workshops.

  • Technical Support: people who can solve all technical problems you may have at that moment. If something fails, you have nothing.

It is a great opportunity to turn the tech events around, and make them accessible to everyone.

The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” (Steve Jobs).


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Translation by Santiago Moreira 

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