Conference plans for 2022?

Hey, Everyone,

So…the last few years has been tough for everyone for lots of different reasons, but as we get close to 2022, events are opening up more and more.

So, here’s a question: which events are you planning on getting out to in 2022 and as a follow-up, what are your favorite events to go to and why?

I will go first:

Open Source Summit

This is one of my favorite events. Great content, solid hallway track and networking. Fun social events, and I always leave having had some great conversations and learned a lot.

KubeCon

Huge event dedicated to cloud native with a super-passionate community who joins. This is one of the biggest ecosystems out there in open source with hundreds of companies and projects building inside of the CNCF and beyond.

The Lobby

This is a weird one: a gathering of founders, VCs, and others in Hawaii. No presentations or talks, just a focus on discussions and sharing experiences.

All Things Open

A fun conference out in Raleigh with a general focus on Open Source. Good content and sessions, good hallway track.

Future Developer Summit

I never went to the first one in person but joined virtually for the next one. I heard great things about the content and topics, with a strong focus on developer growth.

So, what events would you like to get to in 2022?

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I hope to see you at Open Source Summit, for sure, and hopefully All Things Open as well!

Right now, I’m deeply sad that FOSDEM and DevConf.cz must again be virtual this year — to me, those are in-person experiences that can’t really be replicated.

We’re still figuring out what we’re going to do with Flock to Fedora, Fedora’s annual contributor conference. For the past two years, it’s been all virtual (as “Nest with Fedora”), which has been really amazingly successful despite my fears. Although we have historically funded travel for project members (separate from having talks accepted), the virtual approach lets us reach and include so many people who for many reasons couldn’t make the trip — there’s something important there that we want to continue, but… also there’s something about the high-bandwidth, non-work-focused in-person connections that’s not possible to replicate.

We’ll see what’s in store this year for Flock — we have a month or so to make the decision. I don’t think we’ll be able to do full-on in-person, if simply because I don’t think the world is going to be safely open for travel, and the whole point of Flock is to bring together our global community. So, we might try something different, with simultaneous in-person regional events, followed by a global virtual day. We’ll see what we can do!

I think a lot of the open source conference world is also in a holding-our-breath mode … it’s hard to plan very far into the future right now.

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Likewise, it has been too long, pal!

Totally agree! God, I haven’t been to FOSDEM in years, would love to get back.

Maybe you could do virtual and then experiment with some different formats? I have become a big fan of the unconference model for virtual events - I think people are bored with watching presentations.

Also, over the last few years I have been refining a meetup format that might be helpful food for thought. I talk about it here:

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Our last two virtual events were really successful — almost 1000 attendees and a very high (I don’t remember the number offhand) attendance ratio compared to registrations. I just hope we can do something with an in-person component as well this year. I don’t think hybrid virtual + physical works very well, at least not as I’ve seen it … you kind of end up with the worst of both. So if we do that

I have an idea for an online format I’d like to try. I’ve often found that people tend to sign up for the topics that they’re already interested in — which makes it hard to learn something you didn’t even know you wanted to learn, or to get a message to people who aren’t already aware of the thing you want to say. And lightning talks can be good for people to get a taste of things, but they’re often shoved to a random back room session on the last day or something.

So in my idea, every hour starts with 3 five-minute lightning talks on a “main stage”, with nothing else at the same time. Then, each talk has a 40-minute followup right after — either a further deeper presentation, or Q&A, or just a group discussion. You can go to the one that interests you the most — or hallway track or whatever.

I don’t know if that’s what we’ll do for the next Fedora conference, but we might put it in the mix.

And I’ll also check out the video!

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I agree, I have been underwhelmed with the hybrid approach too. And…there is no way I am going to sit on my computer on a Zoom call at a conference.

This is funny, I had a similar idea a while back too, and the design of the online meetup (that I shared in the video above) has a similar format with short bolts of learning at the beginning. What I love about this in a physical setting is that within 30mins you have taken away huge value - whereas in my in-person full conference sessions it takes 30min+ to get some tangible value.

Sounds like this would be a great fit for the Fedora conferences, and would love to hear how it goes!

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Very interesting discussion here @mattdm!

Love to hear that your last events were successful! With having roughly 1000 attendees, just curious how do you manage your attendee information? Do you create mailing lists for attendees?

Also @jonobacon I love the idea of having breakout sessions, keeps things interactive and engaging.

Having two rounds of breakout sessions, allowing members to choose which session they would like to attend based on a summary of key findings from the first breakout session, is a great way to keep online events more engaging.

@mattdm you’re right most of the time people do tend to sign up for the topics they’re interested in. The breakout format in Jono’s video provides the best of both worlds. People can choose topics they’re interested in, and also come together and learn something they might not of known they wanted to learn.

This can easily be done in Zoom, and you can also keep track of topics attendees decide to choose using LFX Events for future follow-up and newsletters.

I would love to hear about the format you chose to follow @mattdm, sounds like you’re brainstorming a great engaging online meetup!

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So I watched the video and find it amusing that I came to a similar idea as Jono’s, right down to having three short presentations to the whole audience followed by breakouts. The key difference is linking the “shares” — the short presentations — directly to the breakouts. And also, perhaps having several sessions like this in one all-day event (rather than doing a full multi-track conference).

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Haha, great minds think alike. Definitely keep us updated on the virtual event format you decide to go with @mattdm, happy holidays. :slight_smile:

The big question here is, when will you host the first in-person LFX Community Conference? I could definitely see some workshops around LFX Tools and presentations by LFX mentees/mentors!

Sign me up to attend and help organize! :slight_smile:

Rob Mcelhenney GIF by Apple TV

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Haha, I would say keep your community post notifications on because it’s like you’re reading our minds or something.

We’ll definitely keep you in the loop on this and let the community know when we can all come together for a better open source experience.

Buckle up, we’re going on a tour de LFX :wink: .
Great Gatsby Movie GIF by Sony

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