What happens when you can’t hold a physical conference event?
Conference organizers put in incredible amounts of work to invite speakers, review submissions, shape a program, and mold the experience to be for attendees. This, of course, is happening alongside all sorts of logistics planning: food and beverage orders, room sizes, audio/visual needs, and flows of traffic to encourage networking. When that is blown away by events beyond our control, what happens next?
The first thing that comes to mind is shock, with a large dollop of sadness. Then the wheels start to turn. Everyone wants to move things online. There is a sense of urgency: we can’t lose the passion and the energy.
Next, a new reality begins to crystallize — we can’t move a physical conference sideways, drop it into a convenient online package, add people, and stir. It just doesn’t work like that. So we begin to think of creating something new, different, and hopefully compelling.
That’s where we are within Agile Alliance with this year’s events. deliver:Agile, XP 2020, and now Agile2020 — all not possible to hold safely in the physical world.
The teams are sifting through lots of ideas to bring new experiences to what everyone hopes will be a larger audience. People have thought about running things continuously for 24 hours to “follow the sun”. Ideas for social interaction with an overlay of educational content have been floated.
The time frames for each event are, of course, very different. deliver:Agile 2020 is still something of an unknown. XP 2020 is going online in a slightly abbreviated but interesting way on June 8-12, 2020. Lots of attention is going into exploring concepts to enhance interaction between attendees and speakers. Academics will still get to present their research and publish their papers. Experience Reporters will present and publish.
Agile2020 is different altogether. The program team, our staff, and the Agile Alliance board of directors are thinking about different ways to connect the Agile community while still providing great content. What that experience will be, how long it will take to unfold, and what the ultimate value that will be provided — these things are very much still up in the air.
The Alliance has attempted to keep you apprised of the thought process as it evolves. Some things we know, many things we don’t know. All of us are working together on this and hope that you will have patience as these processes evolve. We promise to keep you informed.